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Freddy Garcia probably doesn’t have a major-league arm anymore. But since he always struggles against the Royals and he didn’t completely embarrass himself on Tuesday, it’s likely he’ll get another shot.
The bullpen springs into action in a one-run game, pitches 4 2/3 scoreless innings (not counting one inherited runner). But the effort is in vain.
Paul Konerko breaks out of an 0-for-23 slump with a single and a homer, and Carlos Quentin snaps out of a power slump himself. But they still end up one run short because of spatial issues on the basepaths, to put it kindly.
This is the behavior of a .500 team. Ozzie Guillen backed up his boss, agreeing with the “underachiever” label Kenny Williams tagged his team with the day before, but after 4 1/2 months without one excellent stretch of solid play, it’s probably time to cut back on pretending this decent Chrysler of a team is a Bentley.
At least until Jake Peavy can be counted upon to contribute to the big-league club.
Peavy actually gave up runs in his second rehab start — this time in Durham — and reports said he wasn’t as sharp as he was in his first time around. There’s no timetable on Peavy’s return, except to say that he’s ruled out from starting against the Cubs on Sept. 3.
This news itself isn’t a surprise or a setback, because Williams couldn’t guarantee any appearance by Peavy in a Sox uniform before 2010. However, the timing is fitting for a team that can’t find any.
In today’s rubber match, Guillen has to send a starting pitcher in a tailspin to face off against one of the American League’s best, Zack Greinke. It’s illustrative of the Sox’s inability to separate themselves from the break-even point. Sure, they’re a better team than the Royals, but a real, actual, bona fide contender would never find itself at a significant pitching disadvantage over a three-game series against a team 25 games under .500.
Funny thing is, it wouldn’t surprise me if Jose Contreras somehow manages to pull a gem out of his hindquarters and outduel Greinke. With the Baltimore Orioles on deck, there’s at least one Bobby Jenks blown save in store to negate any kind of shocking progress.
At least Scott Linebrink isn’t in the setup role anymore. He didn’t take the news in comforting fashion, though:
‘We’re trying to get him back on track,” Guillen said. ”As soon as he’s back on track and we feel like he can help us in that situation, he’ll be back to his job.”
Linebrink’s initial response sounded more like that of a player hearing the news for the first time.
”Get me back on track how?” he said.
Speaking of quotes, I missed this gem from Ozzie Guillen. Speaking about Scott Podsednik’s misjudged fly on Sunday, he said:
(Scott Podsednik) make a couple mistakes. Well, Pods is not Joe Gold Glove in the outfield.
During the spring, Don Cooper said Mark Buehrle wasn’t “Johnny Condition-Guy.” Slowly, but surely, we could have a full lineup of alter egos. Some future suggestions:
- Alexei Ramirez: Fred Focus
- Jermaine Dye: Direct Route Dave
- Chris Getz: Koko B. Durable
- A.J. Pierzynski: Gene, Gene, The Walking Machine
Minor league roundup:
- Durham 5, Charlotte 2
- Jake Peavy: 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR.
- Carlos Torres worked around a lot of baserunners, allowing just a run over four innings despite giving up six hits and three walks. Five strikeouts helped.
- Tyler Flowers missed his third straight game.
- Potomac 3, Winston-Salem 1 (Game 1, 7 innings)
- Greg Paiml had two of the Dash’s four hits and the lone RBI.
- Brent Morel went 0-for-3 and committed his ninth error; Justin Greene was 0-for-2 with an HBP.
- Levi Maxwell dropped to 4-13 despite pitching OK — 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR.
- Winston-Salem 2, Potomac 0 (Game 2, 7 innings)
- Brent Morel went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
- Dylan Axelrod struck out eight over six innings, scattering three hits.
- Santo Luis struck out the side for the save.
- Kannapolis 3, Lexington 2 (11 innings)
- Jared Mitchell went 3-for-4 with a walk, RBI and strikeout.
- Jon Gilmore joined Mitchell with three hits.
- Drew Garcia, Josh Phegley and newly promoted Ryan Lee had two hits apiece.
- Joe Serafin threw a quality start, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks over six innings, striking out four.
- Kevin Asselin (2 IP), Kyle Bellamy (2 IP) and Drew O’Neil (1 IP) combined for five innings of hitless relief.
- Bluefield 6, Bristol 1
- Brady Shoemaker went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
- Trayce Thompson and Leighton Pangilinan also had two hits.
- Daniel Wiltz struck out two over two perfect innings.
- Santos Rodriguez struck out four over two, but gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits.
- Casper 7, Great Falls 4
- Jesus Avila had the lone multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 with an RBI.
- Birmingham vs. Montgomery PPD