With Juan Uribe nursing a tight hamstring, Ramirez got the start at second today and broke a 0-0 tie in the top of the seventh with a two-run home run, the first of his major league career.
Ramirez has really struggled in the first month and a half of the season after playing so well in spring training. Maybe this home run is just what he needs to get on a roll and really play to his true ability. He hasn't looked comfortable in the batter's box, which is partly due to his very limited at-bats. However, at times, he's also just looked overmatched.
While it's still far too early for Sox fans to feel confident about Ramirez—he's going to have to string together a few good games for that to be the case—today was certainly a step in the right direction.
Against any other team, Floyd probably would have given up at least three or four runs with the stuff he had today. He wasn't locating his fastball especially well and his curveball did not look good at all, and, in typical Gavin Floyd fashion, he walked as many as he struck out (3:3).
Luckily, he was facing the Giants.
I can't put Floyd in any other column but "good," as he threw six shutout innings and only allowed four hits. When he needed to get out of a jam, he got out of it.
Again, Floyd is going to have to pitch better than this against Cleveland next week, but for now, I have no problems with the results today, especially following his poor start against Seattle last Sunday.
Ehren Wassermann, Boone Logan, and Scott Linebrink combined to throw two shutout innings of work to bridge the gap from Floyd to Bobby Jenks.
Logan and Linebrink have both been good this year; their performances today lowered their ERAs to 3.00 and 1.56, respectively. On the whole, the White Sox middle relief has been excellent this year, and Logan and Linebrink are huge reasons why.
Despite a one-out double to Ray Durham, Jenks looked good in nailing down his ninth save of the year in 11 chances.
I also want to highlight Jenks' save from last night, when he retired the 1-2-3 hitters in the Angels' order in a one-run game to nail down the victory for the Sox. That save was one of the more impressive ones Jenks has had in his great tenure with the White Sox.
A shameless plug, but a worthy one nonetheless. No. 15 Missouri defeated No. 5 Nebraska (Whoops. Wrong sport. Oh well.) 8-1 tonight in Columbia behind another stellar outing from Crow, who threw 8.1 innings and only allowed one run on four hits with eight strikeouts, pushing his record on the season to 12-0.
Crow's stock has slipped a bit in the past few weeks, but it's all relative, as Crow originally was projected to be a top-five pick. Now, there's a decent chance that he'll slip to the eighth pick, which the White Sox hold. If they pass on Crow at No. 8, they may be eating it for a long time to come.
Another lefty, another poor performance by this group. The Sox picked up five hits to go along with three walks off Jonathan Sanchez in tonight's game, only scoring those two runs on the Ramirez home run.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually a little bit concerned with this team having to face Barry Zito tomorrow. Zito doesn't throw hard and throws a changeup, however poor it may be at this point.
Here's hoping my fears are completely unfounded. But if the Sox can't hit Zito, you might as well chalk up every game they face a lefty starter in this year as a loss.
It's actually funny the love/hate relationship Sox fans have with Aaron Rowand. About half of Sox fans love him and wished the Sox had paid him a contract even more ridiculous than what the Giants gave him (or just not have traded him at all), and the other half loves to laugh at the misfortunes of Rowand, mainly because they're so sick of the other half blabbing about how much they love him.
Either way, all the "Rowand!" talk gets pretty annoying after a little while. I put him here because I'm just that: indifferent on Rowand. I appreciate what he did in 2005, but have absolutely no qualms about trading him to Philadelphia for Jim Thome and am incredibly happy that the White Sox didn't give him that five-year, $60 million contract that the Giants did.