by Mike DePilla
Can the Sox keep up their torrid pace after the All Star break or will the three off days, which felt like an eternity after all the winning of the last week, kill their momentum? We'll find out tonight as real baseball finally resumes. John Danks takes the mound in Target Field where the Minnesota Twins will play host to the Sox for four games.
The Twins, after big expectations and a hot start, have slipped over the last two months in the AL Central. On June 1, they were in first place with a .596 winning percentage- 4.5 games ahead of the Tigers and 8.5 ahead of the on-the-verge-of-selling Sox. But the Twins have gone 15-22 since June 1, dropping them behind both rivals in the standings
So are the Twins on their way down? Don't fall for the act, Sox fans! The Twins play possum every year at this time. They play just bad enough for everyone to count them out and then charge back into the race after they've been forgotten. It happens every year, and this year's team is better than previous models.
The Twins will be there in September, Book it.
Somewhere in the midst of all that winning it became official: Jake Peavy will have surgery and is out for the season. With a detached muscle in his back, he's in a bit of uncharted territory for a pitcher, and he's no cinch to return to form even by next season. (The surgery, performed on Wednesday in Oak Park, was deemed an unqualified success.)
It goes without saying, but this is terrible news. Especially considering how well he was pitching recently. But, for some reason, I just don't feel that upset. Maybe it's because the Sox are playing so well right now. This 25-5 stretch is the best run I can ever recall any Sox team going on, (in fact, it is the best run by a White Sox team since 1983) and it seems to dull any senses of trepidation elsewhere. But I think it mostly has to do with the fact that Peavy's injury, while certainly a shock, is real no surprise.
From day one this season, didn't it just feel like it was only a matter of time before the Jake-meister suffered some kind of significant setback? It did to me. There was just this ominous feeling that some injury was looming, like I never truly expected Peavy to be pitching by the end of the season.
For all the talk of how tough he is and how hard he works, I have to say: it feels like Peavy does not take great care of himself. He had clearly been hurting the last few weeks leading up to his muscle tear, but instead of shutting it down for a bit to get healthy, his reaction was to ignore all the signs and just throw as hard as he possibly can until something goes horribly wrong in his body, in this case tearing a muscle off the bone. That's not courageous. That's just reckless.
It might be that this injury was unavoidable anyway. But it just feels like, one way or another, Peavy's season was going to end before September. And it kind of feels like Peavy himself was somewhat resigned to that fact. In any case, I hope he comes back strong in 2011, and that he realizes that it is OK to take a few weeks off on the 15 day DL mid-season, as opposed to landing on the 60-day-er.
Other random notes:
-Despite some rumors of Kenny Williams "kicking the tires," Cliff Lee was never going to the Sox in any way shape or form. Thus, good for Texas. It's certainly better than New York, and way better than Minnesota. Now Roy Oswalt, despite his stated desire not to come to Chicago, is a guy I could see the Sox pursuing. What are the odds Williams attempts a Oswalt-Lance Berkman blockbuster?
-Phil Rogers sure seems to be in a hurry to extend Paul Konerko. Why don't we just let things play out and see where we're at in the offseason? If the Sox win, Konerko will be in. If not, let the chips fall where they may. Let him win in 2010 first.
-Oh, and buy JJ's book. Hey, if you were running for mayor, he'd vote for you!
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