It was truly a lost weekend for this White Sox fan. While the White Sox were being swept by the Oakland A’s at the Cell, the Cubbies were sweeping the Marlins in South Florida. On Friday a pair of 13 game winners didn’t get the job done. Both Jon Garland of the Sox and Dontrelle Willis of the Fish were losers. Garland lost a toughy 4-2 to Kirk Saarloos. But the real story of this game was when Willie Harris failed twice to advance a runner to third with nobody out, in both instances he’d have scored. The Cubs clobbered Willis for eight runs in 4 1/3 innings of work and cruised to a 9-6 behind Carlos Zambrano who pitched around six walks, 120 pitches thrown.

Saturday wasn’t much better as Barry Zito outdueled Sox Ace Mark Buehrle. The final score of 10-1 doesn’t really tell the whole story as three minor leaguers played major roles in this one. Pablo Ozuna commited two errors at 3B which led to three unearned runs, Bobby Jenks stunk up the joint allowing three runs in 1/3 of a inning, and Kevin Walker kept his ERA at 9.00 by giving up one in the 9th. Still it’s hard to win when you only get three hits. Kerry Wood picked up win #2 of the season and seems to have figured out he doesn’t have to strike everybody out as he walked one while striking out four in 7 2/3 innings pitched. Still the Cubbies were trailing after six 2-1 before jumping all over the Marlins bullpen for seven runs, final score 8-2. Despite a 5-6 performance by Paul Konerko including a game tying homer in the bottom of the 9th the White Sox were swept losing the finale 9-8 in eleven. Neal Cotts, who’s been pitching lights out this season, just didn’t have it allowing three runs in 2/3 of an inning. Still the Sox were still right there until Ozzie Guillen decided to pitch Luis Vizcaino in the top of the 11th, the A’s scored off the beleagured reliever and the Southsiders failed to score in their half. To make matters worse the Northsiders were completing their sweep behind Greg Maddux in a battle of greybeards as he bested Al Leiter 9-2. Maddux had a shutout through eight before leaving the game.

There are a couple of observations I’d like to make. They might be completely off the wall, but here goes nothing. First off everyone was saying how much better the White Sox would be once Frank Thomas returned to the lineup. Well I don’t know what their record has been since the Big Hurt returned to regular duty, but sometimes a team can get into the habit of waiting for the big guy to carry the team rather than a team doing the little things that makes a team a team. While on the Northside Dusty Baker seems to have taken my lineup suggestions and put them into somewhat into practice. The Cubs only have one player who is a proven leadoff hitter Jerry Hairston and Todd Walker is a very effective #2 batter. Both of these guys know how to take a walk and are excellent table setters for the big boppers. I really don’t know what Baker was thinking batting Neifi Perez & Corey Patterson at the top of the order. Still the first half of the season has been enjoyable. This White Sox team is the best in my memory and has a record of 57-29 going into the break. While the Cubs have been struggling to put things together and finish the first half at 43-44. The 2nd half should be interesting. Cub fans would like to have me know that with a rotation of Prior, Wood, Zambrano, & Maddux healthy anything is possible. Yet the White Sox strengths of speed, pitching, & defense don’t go into slumps. Soon we’ll see what we’ll see.


  1. i see your point re your comment about the Big Hurt. Us Cub fans have gone through the same thing. How many Cub fans have said, “Wait till JoBo gets back off the DL”. Well, he’s no longer a Cub.
    Same goes for Wood, Prior etc. Fortunately, they’re still Cubs but you get the point.

    No disrespecting Frank or anything but I think the Sox have done just fine without him. His presence will help of course but a team can’t go in standby mode until their big guy gets back and fortunately for the Sox, they didn’t.

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