It's one of the enduring mysteries of the American League Central. Why can't the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota (f***in') Twins? Take a look at the stats:
Last ten: Sox 1 - Twins 9
Last 35: Sox 7 - Twins 28
That includes today's win, where Mark Buehrle (who, shockingly, has a winning career record versus the Twins) went eight strong and still had to get bailed out by Alexei "Cuban Missile" Ramirez's ninth-inning RBI single. Jesse Crain (former Twin) vultured the win with a solid 9th.
So, I gotta ask. Is this a style thing? (AJ can't throw anyone out, and the Twins know it) Is it a management thing, and does Ron Gardenhire just have Ozzie's number? Is it just one of baseball's innumerable numerical anomalies? Say that six times fast. And then hope that it is, and that the South Siders will dominate the next fifty matchups.
Anyway, it's frustrating because this Sox team is not that far out of a playoff spot (three or four games, depending on the day), but they can't win against one team they play nineteen times a year, and they aren't a whole lot better against the other three (Tigers, Royals, Indians).
If Konerko and Co. played the NL all year long, they'd be a playoff lock. Once again, they dominated their interleague schedule this year. I'm not going to look it up, but I believe the number stands at twenty straight AL-NL series won. Yeah, playing the Cubs twice a year helps with that, but still.
Unfortunately it seems as though the Sox just can't be a dominant force in their own division. This makes it extremely difficult to gain ground in a playoff push. At this point, I'd almost prefer for them to play against the beastly AL East - it seems like every Red Sox/Yankees/Rays series is at least more entertaining than the beatings regularly handed out by the Twins.
I don't have any answers for this problem. But something's gotta change, and I doubt it's going to involve the Pale Hose changing leagues. Hopefully the win today is the start of something better.
PS - Pauly and Carlos Quentin in the All-Star Game. Good times!
PPS - Sox catching prospect Tyler Flowers is coming up to the majors, since backup catcher Ramon Castro broke his hand today. Hope springs eternal.