While the first-place Twins were playing the disappointing but still dangerous Angels this weekend, the second-place White Sox had a three-game set in Kansas City.
In theory, this was a chance for the Sox to make up some ground. Instead, they slid a game further back — and did it in excruciating fashion, as all three games went extra innings, with a backdrop of bad blood toward one of the umpires and frustration with the TV rules.
The saga begins with Friday night, when the game began despite the expectation of drenching rain. The rain came, and stayed, and washed out what little had been accomplished.
The crew chief, and hence the man responsible for calling the game, was Joe West. The Sox had a run-in with West in May, and in the wake of Friday's rainout weren't happy with the decision to start the game to begin with.
- Generally speaking, it's not the umpires' decision until the game starts. Up to then, it's usually the home team's call. (There are exceptions, and maybe this was one.)
- If Ozzie Guillen expected heavy rain, he didn't have to start Edwin Jackson. He could have deployed one of his middle relievers.
- Jackson threw just seven pitches before the game was called. Seven! Sure, he warmed up beforehand but still ... this is a guy who threw 147 pitches earlier this season to get a no-hitter, and now he's burned for five days by a seven-pitch outing?
My take: Ozzie messed this one up.
Saturday: Because Fox has an exclusive TV window on Saturday, the rain-out was rescheduled as a nighttime double-header. First game started after 6 p.m. It went extra innings, with the Royals winning. The second game went extra innings, with the Sox winning (and Tony Pena, normally a middle reliever, going seven innings for Ozzie).
Sunday: A 1 p.m. start, meaning three games in 22 hours — and extra innings again, meaning 31 innings in those 22 hours. Royals win.
All kinds of deliciousness for me in this mess of a series.
Oh, one more thing about the Sox: Ace lefty reliever Matt Thornton hasn't thrown a pitch since Jim Thome's homer last week and may be headed to the disabled list.