Thursday, July 05, 2012

Youk delivers in the 10th

The South Side's latest addition, Kevin Youklilis, hit the walk off single to score Alejandro De Aza in a come from behind win against the daunting first place Texas Rangers.

Care must be taken not to read too much into one game or one regular season series, but this one feels real good.  Tonight's win comes off last night's 19-2 drubbing the Sox put on the Rangers' ace Roy  Oswalt who gave up 11 runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Youkilis's at-bat tonight was a grinding affair of a dozen or so pitches that ended in a solid hit to left, but the preceding at-bat by De Aza was similar, including a foul ball off his knee that had sent him to the ground. In between, De Aza had the wherewithal to steal second to put himself in position to score.

This game, while not as flamboyant as last night's 19-run jobbing, was prettier. The White Sox struggled from behind, made some excellent defensive plays and toughed it out with base hits and base running. There simply is nothing prettier than a tough mano-a-mano at-bat that results in a walk-off win. That's baseball.

The bigger story is that so many sports pundits had picked the White Sox to come in last place this year. Yes, the season is far from over, but the Sox are also far from last place.  General Manager Kenny Williams, much maligned here and elsewhere on the interwebs, has a redeeming quality: he's the eternal optimist. Williams never stops trying to improve his team, never hesitates add a player who might help in some tiny way. To catch lightning in a bottle, you have to keep the lid open.

We've had some good baseball and the second half brings the White Sox another veteran hero in Kevin Youlilis, a bullpen full of kids to go along with their rookie manager, and lots of heart. We have a World Series to win.

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