Yaziel Puig currently has singlehandedly been breathing life in to the lethargic Dodgers. He has been on a batting tear. The Diamondbacks pitcher singled him out, threw at him and he was hit in the nose. Fortunately, a tragedy did not result, but a brawl erupted.
The atmosphere at U.S. Cellular Field was electric, as a crowd of 40,354 rabid Sox fans dressed in black witnessed one of the most exciting games in Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field history. The “blackout” was a success, as the Sox did what the University of Georgia could not do Saturday night.
Boston has only managed to win five of its last 10 games but it remains just a half a game in back of New york in the most heated division race in the Majors. The Red Sox are 77-49 overall; 38-24 at home and 39-25 on the road.
That’s not to say Twins’ starter Nick Blackburn didn’t have a good outing, either. The sale jerseys had fits against Blackburn’s sinker, driving the ball into the ground all day. However, a 2-2 high changeup to Thome in the seventh inning was the mistake that cost the Twins the division, as Thome nailed it over 460 feet to the centerfield concourse to give the sale jerseys a lead they would not relinquish.
Carlos Guillen, who has stumbled to a .182 average, should be very welcoming of Chicago pitching. Guillen led all current Tigers with a .326 average and an on base percentage of .456.
Owens never was the answer in center field, though. At best, Owens projected out to be a player like Luis Castillo-a player who did not get a ton of extra base hits, but was always on the basepaths and creating havoc. Castillo never has had a season in the majors with a slugging percentage over .400, but with the exception of 2001, Castillo has never had a season in which he has had over 400 at-bats and an OPS below .700. In his heyday, Castillo simply got on base enough to make up for his lack of power.
Manager Joel Skinner did a masterful job at holding together a team that had a revolving door at the clubhouse entrance. No major league team can survive a season with that many players coming and going, but it is the nature of the beast in the minors especially at the Triple-A level which is one step away from the show.
The Knights got off to a slow start and they continue to sputter along leaving them in the cellar of the IL South at 7-20, tied for the worst mark with the Toledo Mud Hens, and in the throes of a five game slide. Duente Heath was the first of what are now 22 transactions with righty Matt Zaleski going on the disabled list, righty Brian Omogrosso (promoted) and lefty Donnie Veal (optioned by the parent White Sox) being the latest to be added to a growing list.