Justin "Blue Steel" Verlander has seemed like a one-look failure against the Sox the first three times he faced them, but last night he broke out Magnum and shut down the Pale Hose. Still, it's not the offense that's worrisome. If the starting pitching doesn't improve, pretty soon, they'll be reading *our* eugoogaly. At the beginning of this 24 game stretch, I said 16-8 would put the Sox in a good spot for the stretch run. Some people told me I wasn't being ambitious enough. Now, the Sox need to go 6-0 over the remainder of this run to even reach that goal. It's not really losing a game to the Tigers, or even 2 out of 3 to the Twins, that's the problem. It's losing the make-up game at South Side Park to the Angels. It's losing 2 out of 4 to the Royals. Win two of those three losses, and the Sox need only take 2 of 3 from the Tigers and Twins to be where they want to be. That's a reasonable task for a play-off team. Still, the good news is that if the Sox win 2 out of 3 from the Tigers and Twins over the next six days, they'll probably still be in the wild card lead.