By Eliott Large
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
On a very rainy Tuesday night, the White Sox regained a winning record on the season, now at 39-38, for the first time since May 2.
More importantly, it seems like Kenny Williams’s visions for a successful 2009 youth movement are finally becoming apparent. Guided by the White Sox veterans, Clayton Richard, Chris Getz, Gordon Beckham, and Jayson Nix let the Sox to a 11-3 victory over the Indians.
The White Sox got to 2008 AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee early, scoring four runs in the first behind a Paul Konerko two-run home run and a Gordon Beckham RBI single. Lee departed after pitching just three innings and allowing the Sox to score seven runs.
Beckham had an especially productive night, going 3-4 with a home run, two runs batted in, and two runs scored. His season average now stands at .267. Chris Getz was 2-4 with two RBI. Jayson Nix, leading off for Scott Podsednik (who received his first break in forty-five games), also collected two hits. Jermaine Dye continued his All-Star push going 3-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Clayton Richard got the start and pitched six strong innings through two rain delays. He wasn’t needed after the sixth, because a third rain delay led to the game being called in the top of the seventh. He allowed one run through the first four innings- a solo shot to Travis Hafner- with the remaining three coming after a 30-minute rain delay. He walked one and struck out six. After the game, Ozzie Guillen stated that he thinks this was the best Richard has pitched all year. In his 68 innings of work so far this season, Richard has posted a 3-1 record with a 4.48 ERA.
Should the young White Sox players continue this recent performance that has allowed them to win six of their last eight games, there is no doubt that they can make a heavy push for the playoffs. With sustainable pitching and a decreased dependence on the home run ball, the Sox will certainly make the struggle for the AL Central crown more interesting.
The Sox are tied with Minnesota for second place in the AL Central, just four games back from the division-leading Tigers, who have the third-best record in baseball. They wrap up their series against The Tribe tonight at 6:05 p.m.
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