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Sox's smooth move: Everett getting a start
Situation: Like Friday, and again Sunday, what to do with DH Carl Everett?
Ozzie Guillen's decision: Put Everett in right field and sit Jermaine Dye, even though Dye is by far the better fielder and was hitting .429 in his last six starts.
Result: Right on the money. Everett, luckily, had only two fly balls hit his way and both were easy outs. He also drove in the final two runs in the four-run Sox eighth. After that inning, Dye replaced him, hit an insurance homer in the ninth and made one putout. So it worked doubly well for the Sox. Everett got his four at-bats and Dye got most of the day to rest but still contributed.
Situation: Let Carlos Zambrano throw on his usual rest Friday or give him an extra day and start Saturday.
Dusty Baker's decision: Give Zambrano, suffering from tennis elbow, the extra day.
Result: Perfecto. Zambrano was throwing bullets for seven innings, allowing only one hit before leaving with a 1-0 lead. He was throwing almost too hard, hitting a pair of batters and walking three others. Of course, the bullpen blew it, but that's not Zambrano's fault. By throwing "only" 108 pitches, he should be ready to go next time as well.
Situation: Scott Podsednik on first with a leadoff walk and Willie Harris at-bat.
Guillen's decision: "Small ball" would dictate a sacrifice bunt, but Harris was swinging away.
Result: Podsednik finally was picked off first base with two strikes on Harris. Harris then walked, but the rally had been killed. The inning ended with Aaron Rowand striking out and Paul Konerko popping out. It was an uncharacteristic Guillen move, especially with a chance to get to a good pitcherone easily rattledearly in the game with a runner on second base. As seemingly always happens, the Sox saved Guillen, this time with a four-run eighth after Zambrano had departed.
Situation: Cubs leading 1-0, Zambrano finished for the day and a relief pitcher needed.
Baker's decision: Bring in Michael Wuertz for the eighth, with Ryan Dempster ready for the ninth.
Result: Oops. Not that Wuertz was awful, but he couldn't stop the Sox: Two infield hits and a soft liner off Paul Konerko's bat that went for a two-run single that Corey Patterson could have caught. Of course, it's hard to blame Baker for using Wuertz, who had been the closer at Triple-A Iowa. After all, what were his choices? LaTroy Hawkins? When five different relievers have blown exactly half of your club's save chances it's a tough choice on which one to trust. Baker's best choice may have been to bring in Dempster, a former starter, for a two-inning save.