An extraordinary thing happened yesterday afternoon at the Cell: the White Sox won a game without hitting a homerun. I kid you not, take a look at the box score yourself. It's only the 5th time that has happened all season, and the first time since June 26.
No word on whether Greg Walker poured over the Major League Baseball official rule book all night to see if such a win is legal.
The 4-3 win over Oakland wrapped up a mighty impressive 8-2 homestand that saw the Sox battle a slew of baseball's best pitchers. Ryan Dempster, Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, Justin Duchscherer, Joe Blanton, Greg Smith and Rich Harden all rolled through town; three of those guys are All-Stars and the rest are noted Sox-killers but the Pale Hose won all but two games.
That's a good sign for a team that is fighting for a semblance of consistency in an up-to-now boom or bust season. The no-homer thing is nice too, as it is important for the Sox to be able to scratch out W's any way possible, especially if they have playoff aspirations for the cold month of October.
But realistically, this team plays its home games in a launching pad and is built to hit homers. When Paul Konerko returns from the DL this week the Sox are probably going to go to post with a semi-regular line up of:
That is a heck of a mashing line up, with longball potential from every spot in the line up. (I could grumble that the Sox did just fine without Konerko and don't really need him back but I won't. Yet.)
As long as the Sox put runners on base and make sure those homers are two- and three-run shots, it's hard to argue the homer dependency will hold them back much.
But when they're facing a tough pitcher, or an extreme sinkerballer, or a road game in a cavernous stadium, or a frigid October playoff match up, it'll be nice to know they can win other ways. (Note: nowhere did I mention the storybook bunt. It's walks, topspin singles and line drive doubles that are the keys, not outs-giving bunts.)