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Laboring for wins

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The White Sox finally toughed out a win in Boston. Even with a 4-1 lead in the 9th, I was squirming a little as the ball was handed to Rusty Jenks, but he allowed minimal damage and saved the victory, getting White Sox-killer Dustin Pedroia (who had gone 8 for 8 in the previous two games against the Paler Hose) to fly out with the tying run on 2nd base. Your final: 4-2, leaving the White Sox 1/2 game up in 1st place as the Piranhas cam to their senses and beat the A's.

Gavin Floyd was fantastic in his 15th win and Thome pounded career HR No. 536, tying him with Mickey Mantle. Speaking of The Mick, my Sox-crazy friend The Commish and I will be heading out to NYC in a couple weeks to pay our respects to Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium in their final days. Hoping to make it to make it to Mickey's Mantle's Restaurant, too. Expect some "Live from New York" posts the weekend of Sept. 12-14.

Getting out of Boston with at least 1 win was huge as the Sox prepare to face-off with Cleveland, a team which suddenly remembered it was supposed to be good this year. The Sox need to remind them their season is actually over.

Meanwhile, the Cubs lost their 2nd consecutive game at home for just the third time this year against a solid Phillies team, as Zambrano missed his start with a tired arm. Ugh--but again, the bigger story was that the Cubs left numerous men in scoring position. The 5-3 final makes it 4 of 5 games in which the Cubs have failed to score more than 3 runs, the exception in the run being A-Ram's grand slam in last Thursday night's comeback victory.

The red-hot Astros come to town today, and Mrs. SBW and I will be taking in the late-afternoon contest from the upper reaches, where hopefully we'll still feel a stray breeze or two with the temperature expected to hit 90. Marquis vs. Oswalt is not a match-up I like late in the year, as Oswalt always finishes strong, but it's definitely time for the powerful Cubs offense to come back to life. After the Reds, the Astros are probably the second-worst team the Cubs will face the rest of the way, but even the Astros are arguably still in the wild card race.

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