Monday, May 21, 2007

David Aardsma: Traitor

David Aardsma must still be being paid by the Cubs. He must be a traitor to the White Sox' cause. That's the only explanation for the suddenly flammable nature of the previously effective reliever. His ERA went up 3.37. Not his ERA went up to 3.37, it went up that much. He entered the weekend with a 1.64 ERA and exited with a 5.01. Actually, Aardsma had an ERA over 5.00 in day games last year, so maybe that explains it. The sample size is too small to read much into, but Aardsma's ineffectiveness in day games may reflect some sort of truth about his pitching.

Anyway, Aardsma's ineffectiveness was just one odd aspect of an odd weekend. What else would you expect from this Crosstown Garbage. (I detest this series by the way. I relish the tribal aspects of sports. There is unity when everyone in US Comiscular is pulling together for the Sox to beat the Twins. There is much less enjoyable about the hostility felt at the ballpark when a third of the fans are suddenly rooting for the other team. And I certainly had no interest in being at Wrigley this weekend as part of a vocal minority). The Sox entered the series with one of the more effective bullpens in baseball. The Cubs saw the pen as their principle question mark. But it was the Sox' pen that blew up.

As expected, NL pitching provided something of a tonic for ailing White Sox bats. Paul Konerko has even found his way above the Mendoza line. What was less expected was the effect of Cubs' bats on our pitching. Oh well. Honestly, the Cubs have played better than the Sox this year. The Cubs have the stats and run differential of a pretty good team. The Sox have the numbers of a .500-ish team, and they're only that good because of heroic pitching so far. The bats really better wake up at some point.

Speaking of which, as much as Ryan Sweeney and Brian Anderson would make more valuable parts of the outfield picture than Luis Terrero and Darrin Erstad, its hard to fault the club for returning the struggling Sweeney to Charlotte. If it helps his long-term development into a starting major league outfielder, then the marginal loss of production is worth it. Sweeney wasn't doing much with the big club anymore anyway.

In other interesting prospect news: Joe Crede left Sunday's game with back problems. He's been playing with two herniated discs for two years. As the Redhead (Official Wife of the Fan Club, for those with short memories) can tell you: ouch. Anyway, I wonder if Crede is going to miss extensive time whether Josh Fields might not get a taste of the big time in his absence. Fields has been struggling early this year at Charlotte, but he's heated up of late, and offers some intriguing pop when he doesn't swing and miss.

Anyway, the Bulls are through. The Sox have reached the quarter pole above .500 and 4.5 games back of the Indians and Tigers. And, the Crosstown/interleague nonsense has begun. Sounds like baseball season is finally here.


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