Contreras turned in yet another solid outing, going seven strong innings and allowing just one run while alllowing six hits, two walks, and striking out four.
He now has thrown 6.0+ innings in his last six starts, and still has yet to allow more than four earned runs in any one of his outings this year. In short, he's certainly pitching much better than anyone could have anticipated before the year.
Of course, Contreras hasn't been as dominant as the '05-'06 All-Star break to All-Star break version of himself, but nobody expected that. His 3.66 ERA is excellent and, again, better than anybody would have predicted before the year.
Remember when everybody thought giving Scott Linebrink $19 million was a bad idea? Yeah, neither do I, and it's because of performances like he had tonight.
It took Linebrink a grand total of seven pitches to set the Mariners down in order in the bottom of the eighth, lowering his ERA to 1.93 on the season in the process.
The White Sox really haven't had a dominant eighth-inning setup man since 2005, when Cliff Politte and Neal Cotts combined to really shut down offenses before Dustin Hermanson or Bobby Jenks came in to get the save. Linebrink, so far, has proven to be that dominant eighth-inning reliever this team has lacked since their World Series run.
The middle of the White Sox lineup took advantage of a scoring opportunity—something they had not been doing in their offensive slump—in the third inning when they loaded the bases with one out. Paul Konerko then delivered a two-run double and Jermaine Dye a sacrifice fly to plate three runs off Carlos Silva in the third inning.
The fourth run came on a long, solo home run off the bat of Jim Thome in the seventh.
Considering how bad the offense has been, four runs is quite good.
To be honest, I'm tired and putting this article up about two and a half hours after the game finished. The Sox won 4-2 and I don't feel like really harping on Joe Crede, the only Sox player to not reach base today, even though his batting average is down to .246.
I would have liked for him to not give up the solo home run to Wladimir Balentein, but he still picked up the save, his seventh of the year and first since Apr. 16.
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