As you’re probably aware by now, the White Sox beat the Twins in the series finale today, 12-5. It was kind of fantastic, if I do say so myself. For all the struggles the Sox had in the Metrodome, they’re having some better luck now that the Twins play in Target Field. Since Target Field opened in 2010, the Sox are 11-10 there.
Chris Sale continued on with his amazing start to the season, picking up his ninth win and dropping his ERA to 2.27. Of his 93 pitches, 64 were for strikes, and Sale only walked one batter. He did give up two runs, one being a homer in the fifth, but he only allowed six hits over seven innings.
Sale has proven that he is one of the AL’s elite starters this season. He has the lowest ERA in the AL, he has nine wins on the season (tied with Ivan Nova, CC Sabathia, and CJ Wilson who are all behind Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, and David Price who each have 10 wins), and he is sixth in strikeouts with 94. He has clearly proven that he belongs on the All-Star team.
Speaking of All-Stars, you know who else had a good game? Adam Dunn. He went 3-for-5 and didn’t strike out. He hit his 24th home run of the season, a three-run shot in the fifth. Later in the game, he batted in another run. Dunn has drastically improved since last season. For the casual fan, a .216 batting average is atrocious. And he does have 121 strikeouts this season, 27 more than then next closest batter in Carlos Pena of the Tampa Bay Rays, and 31 more than the NL strikeout leader Rickie Weeks of the Milwaukee Brewers. Despite that, he’s the AL leader in walks, second only to Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds. While it looks like Dunn is just awful, Sox fans have to remember that this is what to expect from Adam Dunn. He strikes out a lot, he walks a lot, and he hits a lot of homers (he has 24 and is tied with Josh Hamilton for second in all of baseball behind Jose Bautista’s 25).
Kevin Youkilis had himself a great game too. He played first today to give Paul Konerko a break. Youk went 3-for-4 with two RBI before he was replaced by Tyler Flowers who went 1-for-1 at the plate. So far I have no complaints with Youkilis in the lineup. Hopefully he’ll stay healthy so he can continue to contribute to the team.
The Sox head to New York to face the Yankees for the first time this season tomorrow. It’ll be an interesting series to watch since CC Sabathia was placed on the disabled list today, and during today’s win over the Indians, Andy Pettitte was hit in the leg and was later diagnosed with a broken fibula. He’ll be out for at least six weeks. Dylan Axelrod faces Ivan Nova. Axelrod is looking for his first win of the season while Nova is looking to bounce back from a shaky start against the Mets.
One final reminder: tomorrow is the last day to vote for the All-Star Game. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday. The last AL update on June 18 had Paul Konerko trailing Prince Fielder by about 265,000 votes. AJ Pierzynski was fourth in that update, as was Adam Dunn. If you haven’t maxed out your votes yet, you have less than 24 hours to do so. And as Hawk put it during Mark Buehrle’s perfect game, “Call your sons, call your daughters, call your friends, call your neighbors!” Let’s get Paulie as a starter!