What a fool I am. I thought the White Sox undoing last night had to do with Mark Buehrle getting lit up like a Christmas tree. (Jose Molina is petitioning to face Buehrle every night). Or, perhaps it was Scott Podsednik's inability to get on base at the top of the order. Or, maybe it was Buehrle's sudden inability to locate the strike zone in the seventh. (Or his first baseman). Or, even, it could have been Ozzie's stubborn refusal to use his talented, and under-utilized bullpen when his starters start to unravel late in a game. (More on that later). But, no. Apparently the Sox lost because of QuesTec -- that ominous machine that has haunted the confines of South Side Park this season. "When you have both sides complaining about the strike zone, what does that tell you?" Buehrle said. "[The umpire] was consistent, but I live on the corners. I need those corners. When umpires know that QuesTec is being used, you're not going to get the corners."
And yet Escobar and the Angels bullpen kept the Sox bats mostly quiet, including racking up 10 strikeouts on the night. So, it must be a conspiracy against us. Hawk certainly saw the light. He claimed the umps were making Buehrle throw the ball
"through a teacup" to get a strike in the seventh inning. ENOUGH! The Sox lost a winnable game last night without Jenks, Macdougal, or Cotts ever setting foot on the rubber. Maybe the Angels would have put the Sox away in the seventh anyway, but when Buehrle started unraveling, Ozzie should have been ready with his pen. After all, Macdougal was this team's key deadline acquisition. Hard to contribute when you don't get in the game. This is nothing new. The Sox pen has seen the least action in the league. Ozzie leaned on his starters just as much last year and it worked. So, maybe it's just my imagination, but I feel like the starters have watched good starts unravel late a lot this season. How many times have Sox pitchers reached "quality start" stats, only to lose that quality start late? It feels like a lot, and last night is one example. I know someone at Baseball Prospectus keeps that stat, maybe I'll bug them to print it. In the meantime, Buehrle and Hawk need to keep digging into this QuesTec conspiracy. How many times have we been here before? So close to the truth.