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White Sox Thu Aug 26 2010

Struggling Sox Get Relief from RHP Jackson

SoxLogoSmall.jpegBoy, I pick some of the least representative games to write about.

For most of the month, there's been all kinds of weeping and gnashing of teeth about the sinking fortunes of the Chicago White Sox. Sure, there were four losses in six games against AL Central rival Minnesota, but that was only part of a string of five straight series losses to such limp foes as Detroit, Baltimore and Kansas City.

Yet every time I pop up here in Tailgate, the Sox are celebrating some absolute romp of a win. Last week it was an 11-0 win in the finale at Minnesota, a rare moment of sunshine in that frustrating series. And now the Sox are breathing a sigh of relief after Edwin Jackson and the bats rolled over the visiting Orioles, winning 8-0 on Thursday to capture their first series victory in three weeks.

Of late, the South Siders have been scheming to acquire Manny Ramirez from the Dodgers; waving off another mild Oney-Guillen-on-Twitter scandal that's too silly to even recount; and patching up a bullpen depleted by injuries to veteran setup men and bromantic heroes J.J. Putz and Matt Thornton. It's been heaven for inveterate shit-stirrer and would-be Prohibition-era gangster Joe Cowley of the Sun-Times.

On the field, the Sox have just barely kept the Twins from running away with the division title. Since climbing to 16 games over .500 on Aug. 5 with an 11th-inning win in Detroit, they are 7-12, including five extra-inning losses. They sit 3.5 games behind Minnesota with upcoming series against the Yankees and Red Sox sandwiched around a trip to Cleveland.

Will we see Manny in black and white soon? (Former Dodgers teammate Juan Pierre, for one, is telling reporters he's all for it.) But it might be more important to see the pitching staff regain some semblance of the form it showed earlier this season. Jackson's stellar turn Thursday -- eight shutout innings, 10 strikeouts and only five baserunners -- was one of the best outings by any Sox starter this year.

And not a moment too soon.

 
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