Sweaty theft

Freddy Garcia extended his quality start streak to four by meeting the bare minimum in his victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
In the process, he likely extended his stay on the South Side into 2010, especially considering he was Ozzie Guillen’s first choice for a fifth starter before his second W of the season.
Sure, there’s a lot of time for collapse, or injury, but barring either of the aforementioned events, picking up his $1 million option is a no-brainer at this point. I mean, it’s the same price as Bartolo Colon’s one-year deal, and while Garcia has the same injury-riddled history, at least his track record doesn’t include disappearing into fat air.
If there’s one area for concern, it’s that a good September isn’t necessarily indicative of a good start next season. In 2006, Garcia was incredible down the stretch, going 4-0 with a 1.73 over his last five starts, including a pair of back-to-back eight-inning, one-hit performances.
The next year for Philadelphia, he started the year on the DL, put together a similarly adequate stretch of pitching, and then was done for the season.
There is a distinction: Garcia the Junkballer introduced himself rather late in the ’06 season, and his lack of velocity for Philadelphia the following year still surprised some people. Everybody knows what they’re getting now — lots of curves, sliders, splitters and changeups.
(To that end, he’s throwing fastball less than 40 percent of the time this year. Even with Philly, he was near the 50 percent mark.)

Garcia seems to mesh well with Ozzie Guillen. Guillen has a good handle on Garcia’ s prima donna tendencies, managing his big-game bravado while keeping him from getting into trouble late in games. Hell, Garcia looks like the quintessential team player in comparison to Colon’s stubborn obtusity.
For me, the greatest thing about Garcia’s resurgence is that he and Gavin Floyd are successful for the Sox at the same time. The Sox traded Garcia to Philadelphia for their No. 2 starter, then re-signed him to be an effective No. 5 after ineffective stints for two different teams. Toss in the fact that the Sox received the third player in the deal, and that, my friends, is a fleecing.
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The Sox will give their new fourth starter a shot this coming weekend, as Jake Peavy is slated to start against Kansas City:

Peavy is expected to be on a pitch count, considering his last two bullpen sessions were the equivalent of throwing four innings or so and could get the yank at about the 70-75 pitch mark.
”I wanted to put everything to rest a lot quicker, but the bottom line is that I just wasn’t able to do that,” Peavy said. ”I can tell you that I did everything I possibly could do, and [Don Cooper] as a pitching coach and these trainers absolutely worked their tails off to get me as healthy as I could be.
”I don’t expect to be 100 percent. I’m not 100 percent. I would be lying if I told you I was.”

We’ll see what this not-fake bulldog is made out of, but I’m going to guess that Peavy at 85 percent is better than Carlos Torres at 105 percent.
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Two items of good news in the War Against Detroit:
No. 1: They lost 11-1 to Kansas City.
The Sox are now 5 1/2 games back of the Tigers, and only a game behind in the blueprint I laid out last week.
No. 2: Magglio Ordonez triggered his $18 million option.
Ordonez isn’t as bad as Alex Rios has been for the Sox, but $18 million for a .405 slugging percentage from a corner spot is still a gross overpay.
And if Rios can continue to flag down flies like he did late in Tuesday’s game, he won’t need to hit like an All-Star to live up to his lesser contract. That was one sweet route.

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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knoxfire30

Garcia had bad starts to 06 and 07 because of injuries and being worn down to large workloads. That won’t be the case fo rhim heading into 2010, as his workload has basically been throwing for 2 and a half months, and hopefully he is as healthy as he needs to be. He has been exactly what you want from a 5th starter, 5 to 6 decent innings give the offense and bullpen a chance to win it. (actually other then his first start he has been even a little better then that).
Peavy being on a very limited pitch count shouldnt hurt to bad with the expanded rosters. Hudson, Torres, Carrasco depending on the situation provides more then enough of a bridge to the later innings if Peavy can only give you say 4 innings. If this was mid august it would be a very suspect start.
Mag’s contract will sting about a million times more if Detroit somehow manages to cough up this division. What happened to this guys power did it go the way of his magic pills or is he banged up real bad???

kevins

Where does the 3 vs Cleveland at Cleveland fit into your blueprint? Obviously they would have to win the series, but do they have to sweep?

striker

What are the odds of Garcia increasing his velocity? I always hear of pitchers losing velocity but never getting it back.
ZERO RUNS FROM OUR BULLPEN LAST NIGHT!!! When was the last time that happened?

jimbo

How did Clemens do it?

vanillablue

“Hell, Garcia looks like the quintessential team player in comparison to Colon’s stubborn obtusity.”
Didn’t you mean “stubborn obesity”?

eddystankysghost

Glad to see the peerless agent-wizard in Ordoñez’s corner. I doubt he will convince Tiger fans the option is such a sweet deal for their team, though.