Monday, May 14, 2007

Cancer, White Sox take a beating

Lowly against the dun specter of a three-game sweep, our doughty heroes rose, slowly but soon high like Icharus before his fall, wielding pink tinders that lit ablaze that black evil called cancer and the White Sox.

Matching season-highs for hits (15) and runs (11), the Royals snapped a three-game losing streak -- the kind that featured the worst of losses (a 17-3 blowout) and the worser (two of the one-run variety, one after a two-out blown save) -- with the anger of an Edmond Dant├ęs out for plenary retribution. Chicago -- mainly those toady, truckling banshee of announcers -- bore the brunt of the Royals' rage and cowered like miserable caitiffs beaten down to the dirt that spawned its sorry form. So this is how the other half lives.

But the most encouraging sign of the day -- at least until the 8th, when the Royals' offense came alive and scored five -- was the bounce-back performance of Jorge De La Rosa. He gave up six runs on five earned in his last start against Oakland, but on Sunday he looked like the De La Rosa we've almost come to expect: a guy with excellent command and a devastating curve. For the fourth time this season, he went at least seven innings while giving up just one run. A couple years from now, when we consider how Dayton Moore turned the team around -- and I think we're all in agreement that he's doing it a step at a time -- we may just have to point to De La Rosa, who was traded from Milwaukee for Tony Graffanino, as Exhibit A.

All day, the ball went where De La Rosa and catcher John Buck wanted it, with one exception in the 4th, when Joe Crede walked with the bases loaded (though the home plate ump should get an assist for shrinking his strike zone to the size of a square napkin). After the walk, with Chicago seemingly on the verge of breaking the game open, De La Rosa composed himself, struck out Tad Iguchi, then induced a Ryan Sweeney pop-up to preserve a 1-1 tie. The threat over, he cruised through three more innings, allowing just two base runners the rest of the way.

In honor of De La Rosa, I thought this might be appropriate -->

POSTSCRIPT: Happy Mother's Day, mom.

CLARIFICATION: When you're tired, you begin drawing connections every which way, like between White Sox and cancer. Just frills and frivolity, as Jane Austen would say. I posted a picture in "honor" of De La Rosa only because of his name, not because he's a mother. We're clear on that, right?

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