The White Sox’ magic was supposed to carry over from Monday night to Tuesday afternoon.
Adam Dunn came to bat in the eighth inning as the tying run to face the same pitcher he beat 18 hours earlier.
Ah, but the mighty Dunn struck out and eventually so did the Sox in a 4-3 loss to the Indians.
Maybe we should have known. First place notwithstanding, the Sox haven’t sustained much magic all season.
These aren’t the Go-Go White Sox. They aren’t the 2005 World Series champions. They aren’t much of anything to grab on to.
The announced audience was 13,797, which usually means something like 10,000 or 11,000 actually were in Comiskey Park.
The place was about as excitable as it was magical.
In other words, not very.
The teams arrived, they played, there were a few home runs, and everybody disappeared into the night to observe Yom Kippur or hit Rush Street.
If fans in the stands were like I was in the press box they had some popcorn, called home, ate some peanuts, called a friend in Florida … hey, where are the freaking hot dogs, can anybody please help balance my checkbook, and what inning is it anyway?
Remember when the Cubs recently played well into the morning and Alfonso Soriano said he could hear people talking on their phones?
Well, everybody in the ballpark on this day could hear a fan in the mezzanine accuse the first-base umpire of being an NFL referee.
The Sox did little to amp up the electricity. They fell behind 4-0, hit 3 solo homers and failed to maintain any semblance of offense against the team with the American League’s worst record.
Pennant races are supposed to be thrilling, especially with just eight games left in the season. This struggle with the Tigers is more like chilling, with neither team able to play enough quality baseball to break away.
The benchmark for serious contenders is 90 victories, and the Sox must win out from here to reach that level.
Good luck, fellas.
All you need to know about how the Sox are playing is that Corey Kluber pitched for the Indians. Yes, that Corey Kluber, whoever that Corey Kluber is.
“He’s the guy out there,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said in not exactly a rave review. “He did what he needed to do.”
(I couldn’t stop daydreaming during the game that if Arizona outfielder Jason Kubel had a sister named Karen and she married Corey Kluber she might become Karen Kubel-Kluber.)
Anyway, Kluber came in with a 1-4 record and 5.36 ERA. The Sox allowed him to escape at 2-4 and 5.02.
Of course, the Sox threw Francisco Liriano’s 6-11 record and 5.24 ERA at the Indians, which begs the question, “This is a pennant race?”
Perhaps the faithful who have avoided Comiskey Park this season were correct all along: Even first-place teams can be uninspiring.
“The good news is if we get through it and get (to the playoffs),” Paul Konerko said, “we’ll feel comfortable because we’ve been battle tested.”
Then the Sox’ first baseman added, “The hard part is getting there.”
Unfortunately for the Sox, they’re making it even harder. Fortunately for them, the Tigers have been, too.
If one of them finds some magic during the next eight days it’ll win this snooze fest.
If neither does, one will survive in spite of itself.
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