Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota Twins’

Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank  As the back and forth of the White Sox AL Central race concludes this weekend, I’ve had more mood swings than Naomi Campbell and Lindsay Lohan combined. The “Hunt for Black October” roller coaster ride gives me so much tension and anxiety, that an outside observer might assume I was an AIG shareholder. On Thursday night, I left my house happy and confident with the Sox up 6-1 in the 5th inning. I attended the Stephanie Izard (Chicago Top Chef winner) Diva Series event at Madame Tartine downtown. It was a fun time partying with fellow Street Teamers Desiree Prieto and D.C. Crenshaw as well as hostess Sarah Vargo. But the party became a lot less fun (for myself anyway) when I found the television at the end of the bar and camped out to watch the Sox lose the biggest game of the season in extra innings at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. For some reason, following the game online with my brand new Smartphone made blown leads seem more calming. My text messaging back and forth with the Soxman fails to alleviate my anxiety. Getting into very mean sounding, but ultimately hilarious text message wars with the lead Twins writer of my site, Peter Christian is an enjoyable pastime, but it still doesn’t soothe my nerves.

On Friday night, I watched the Sox lose a home contest to the Cleveland Indians (and fail to recapture first place from the Twins who got blown out at home by the Kansas City Royals that same night) from the Press Box at U.S. Cellular Field. Coincidentally, there was a Tampa Bay Rays media guide laying near my seat in the press box. Given that Tampa is the team the Sox would most likely play in the postseason, I think this is more than serendipity. I think it’s a sign. Or at least I hope. In my next segment, I’ll tell you what manager Ozzie Guillen and the players themselves have to say about handling their pennant race stress.

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank It’s one of the most shopworn cliches in all of sports (right up there with “we just need to step our game up the next level”) the game possesing a “playoff like atmosphere.” In this case, however, it’s true. Three games in the Metrodome for the division title. You knew it would come to this, like the 80s hairband Europe told us, “It’s the final countdown…do-do-do-do…dah-do-do-do”

Game One

Javier Vazquez, RHP (12-14, 4.32)  vs. Scott Baker, RHP (9-4, 3.69)

Baker has an awful ERA of 8 versus the ChiSox, but I would feel better if the Sox were throwing a lefty at the Minnesota lineup in two of the three games instead of just one. I don’t trust Vazquez nor the middle relievers these days, so I’ll say Twins narrowly win a slugfest here.

Game Two

Mark Buehrle, LHP (14-11, 3.87) vs. Nick Blackburn, RHP (10-10, 4.15)

Buehrle is a big game pitcher and I expect a masterful performance from him in this one. Jenks will nail it down and the Sox win it by a couple of runs in running time of two hours and change.

Game Three

Gavin Floyd, RHP (16-8, 3.84) vs. Kevin Slowey, RHP (12-11, 3.85)

Tough one to predict here. Two young pitchers who have keyed their respective team’s run for the postseason squaring off. Slowey shut out the Sox in his last Metrodome outing against them. I say both starters put in a gem and it later comes down to which bullpen blows it first. In extra innings, Twins win by one and take the series 2-1. Sox will be sitting 1 1/2 games up, magic # 3 heading into the final weekend.

For more Chicago Sports analysis and discussion click here.

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