Tonight I am headed off to the Cell to see the Sox take on the Orioles. I may be sitting in the best seat I have ever sat in at the Cell thanks to Stub Hub. I will be right up the aisle from the Sox on deck circle. I will be in that seat to see John Danks go up against David Hernandez. John has been pitching better lately, and an article on the Sox web site credits his recent turnaround with kicking his chewing habit. You always see John with something protruding from his mouth. When we were in Minnesota John was directly in front of us during batting practice. He had seeds in his pocket, but he wasn’t acting like he was chewing seeds. No matter what he has done he has pitched better of late. His last win at home was on July 17th. Wait a minute…I was there…and they were playing the Orioles. Could this be deja vu all over again? David Hernandez on the other hand is 4-5 on the season with a 4.20 ERA. He has given up 12 home runs in 64.1 innings pitched. The important fact about Hernandez though is that he has never pitched against the Sox. The Orioles have thrown a lot of new faces at the Sox this year, and this is another one. Can the Sox solve the new pitcher in time to win the game? Hernandez gave up three bombs in his last start so maybe the league is figuring him out.
Last night Jim Thome hit home run #564 to pass Reggie Jackson for sole posession of 12th all time. In the July game that I saw against these two teams Thome hit two home runs (#’s 556 and 557) including a bomb to center for a grand slam. That home run was initially credited at 448 feet, but I have seen estimations of 560+. It was well struck for sure. The picture to the right is great because it shows Jim rounding second after the grand slam. I love the fan over his right shoulder pointing to where that ball landed. That was pretty much what everyone in the stadium was doing. We were all impressed. Maybe Thome can channel some of that magic again tonight and impress us again. They will need all the help that they can get. They are currently sitting at 62-60 on the season. More importantly they are 3.5 games behind Detroit for the Central lead. They have to make a run. They have to win games like last night because the next couple of weeks will be challenging to say the least. This is a fun team to watch, and I hope I can watch them well into October.
I had never seen the Orioles play before July. Now I will have seen them play twice in the same season. If I had any guts at all I would hop a flight to Baltimore next weekend to celebrate my birthday by watching Harold Baines get honored by the Orioles.