As the White Sox struggle to keep up with the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins down the stretch, their once-solid pitching continues to put them further out of playoff contention.

This weekend’s series against the A’s in Oakland was a prime example. Usually stellar starter Jon Garland lost the opener Friday night, giving up nine hits and three runs before getting the hook in the sixth. The A’s tacked on another one to take a 4-2 victory.

In game 2, Chicago took a 4-1 advantage into the sixth, but Oakland rallied that inning with a two-run homer from ex-White Sox slugger Frank Thomas off starter Javier Vazquez. Then the Sox bullpen—which couldn’t keep a lead if it was handcuffed to a radiator—gave up four more runs in the seventh, and the South Siders’ offense couldn’t answer. A’s win, 7-4.

The final contest between the two teams this year saw Thomas deal another blow to his former squad. The White Sox got an early 2-0 lead in the second, but the Big Hurt brought the pain in the fourth. Thomas smacked a three-run round-tripper in the fourth off of Jose Contreras, who yielded five hits in the six innings he pitched. The A’s ended up winning 5-4 for the sweep, which severely damaged the Sox’ playoff hopes.

Thomas was pleased to be the one thrusting daggers into his old team. “Oh yeah, that was sweet,” he said after the series. “I can’t think of anything that’s more satisfying than getting back at the team that paid me millions of dollars to basically do nothing for so many years.”

Number of the Series: 0
Beers imbibed by Ozzie Guillen at the McAfee Coliseum following the three games against Oakland this week, due to the A’s “stupid (expletive deleted)” ban on alcoholic beverages in the stadium clubhouses. It’s a shame, he really could have used them.

heckler editorial staff