The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Sacks Full of Sox

In another apparent attempt to build the struggling reliever's confidence, Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen bravely inserted former fireballer Billy Koch into the 9th inning of today's game against the Royals. At the time this seemed like a fairly safe move. The White Sox had an 8 - 5 lead at the time and the bottom two hitters in the Royals lineup would be leading off the inning. Here's what Koch accomplished - 2/3 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 HR.

Koch earned an ERA (I know it's not a great statistic but since the scoring came mostly via home runs, it's pretty fair today) of 54.00 today, bringing his total for the season to 11.25. Sometimes I wonder if I could rival such numbers in the major leagues.

Luckily Ozzie Guillen had saved Jon Adkins in the pen. Adkins came on and, after walking a batter, struck out alleged BALCO customer Benito Santiago to end the inning.

Today the White Sox were fortunate enough to face Curtis Leskanic and Nate Field in the 9th and they were able to come back with three runs to win the game (without so much as making an out). I doubt that this luck will carry through for the Sox throughout the year (particularly when faced with the Yankees and Mariano Rivera or the Angels and Troy Percival), but they got lucky today. Koch seems to have run his course though and is a danger to have in any game. I'm not sure what the Sox will be able to do about it exactly, as they're saddled with his contract and it's unlikely they'd be able to get anything of value - or anything at all really - for him at this point. Don't be surprised if a mysterious arm ailment develops for Koch in the near future and he's forced into a long rehab stint in Birmingham until he returns to form.

The Sox have to do something. They can't be looking up at the Tigers in the standings all year.


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