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Gameday Thread: White Sox at O's, 07/29

     Orlando Hernandez, RH           Erik Bedard, LH
     (7-3, 4.78)                     (5-2, 2.11)

     LF S Podsednik                  2B B Roberts
     2B T Iguchi                     3B M Mora
     DH C Everett                    SS M Tejada
     1B P Konerko                    1B R Palmeiro
     CF A Rowand                     DH S Sosa
     RF J Dye                        C  J Lopez
     C  A Pierzynski                 RF B Surhoff
     3B J Crede                      CF D Newhan
     SS J Uribe                      LF L Bigbie

Game time is 7:35 on MASN and Chicago's WCIU.

Look it's Duque! Hernandez made 15 starts last year for the Yankees and went 8-2. This year he's made 13 for Chicago and gone 7-3. He is a dramatically worse pitcher this year than he was last year, giving up far more hits (1.57 WHIP compared to 1.29 last year). His walks have remained pretty consistent, up a touch. His strikeouts are WAY down: 8.98 K/9 in 2004, 5.75 this year. Now, his '04 K-rate was above his career average, but his '05 rate is well below his career average coming into this season too, which was 7.22 K/9.

Bedard was a bit rocky in his start at Tampa Bay on the 24th, but it was still a quality start and he was in command, just giving up too many hits. Considering he was out for two months, three earned runs in your first 12 innings back is pretty damn good.

I think the White Sox are a good team, but not a great one. Their record against the Central division is 32-9; they are just 33-26 against everyone else. They're starting to show a little wear and tear, but peaks and valleys and all this. They had a huge peak that will almost certainly be more than enough to carry them to a playoff berth, but are they so much better than the Orioles that we can't win three or even all four of these games? Not really. Over the last ten games, we're the worst team in the AL, but winning streaks gotta start somewhere. Putting a beating on the team with the best record in the AL could be quite a boost.