CHICAGO -- Anyone who would have said back in April that the American League Central-leading White Sox would post a big win against Detroit on Sept. 10 behind rookies Jose Quintana and Brian Omogrosso probably worked for the White Sox organization.
Even Omogrosso himself didn't see his Major League possibilities at the time.
"With the April I had this year, I thought I was off the face of baseball earth," said Omogrosso, who posted a 7.15 ERA pitching for Triple-A Charlotte in April. "But coming back and being able to do what I have done this year, I couldn't put myself in a better spot."
Omogrosso faced Miguel Cabrera with a runner on first and two outs in the eighth inning of Monday's 6-1 White Sox victory. The right-hander yielded a double and was replaced by Donnie Veal, who retired Prince Fielder to keep the Tigers from scoring.
Factoring in Monday, Omogrosso has yielded just one run in 5 2/3 innings of work during the September playoff push. It's a great sense of accomplishment for the sixth-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, who was beset by injuries in 2008 and 2009, but has made necessary changes to reach the Majors.
"Just changing my arm slot a little bit," Omogrosso said. "I used to be really long on my back side. Now I've shortened it up, almost taking my arm straight up. It's helping my arm catch up with my body and everything like that. It has kept me much more fluid, throwing strikes and downhill."
Santiago recalls witnessing 9/11 attacks
CHICAGO -- Hector Santiago was a 13-year-old, eighth-grader at Luis Munoz Marin Middle School in Newark, N.J., sitting in Ms. Foster's class on Sept. 11, 2001, when life changed.
When two planes hit the World Trade Center Towers, killing close to 3,000 people, Santiago could see the towers go up in smoke from his classroom, but the emotional reaction of his teacher became more vividly etched in his memory.
"My teacher went crazy because her son worked in the World Trade Center," Santiago said. "She ran out of the classroom when she heard the news, and another teacher grabbed her and said, 'Hey, you are fine.'"
The White Sox took part in Major League Baseball's National Day of Remembrance on Tuesday, paying tribute to first responders. There was a special pregame ceremony honoring the men and women of the United States armed forces and their families, along with a parade for members of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America led by Windell Middlebrooks, the Miller High Life Deliveryman.
Rick Kolomay threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches. The fire chief from Carol Stream, Ill., helped assemble a group of more than 50 firefighters from the Chicago area after witnessing the 9/11 attacks and took "Team Chicago" immediately to New York and began working on the search and rescue operations at the World Trade Center upon their arrival on Sept. 12. They continued to support their FDNY brothers over the ensuing five days.
Santiago still keeps in touch with his eighth-grade teacher, having just talked to her recently. Her son actually fell asleep on the train that day and never made it into work.
"We saw that from our classroom, and that was just crazy," Santiago said. "We had staff come in and said, 'A plane accidentally crashed into the World Trade Center.' We didn't know what was going on, but a few minutes later another one hit.
"That's when they said they were evacuating the schools and we all went home. We didn't know what happened after that until we saw it on the news."
Sept. 25 game time changed to 1:10 p.m. CT
CHICAGO -- The game to be played at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday, Sept. 25 between the White Sox and Indians, originally scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CT, has been rescheduled for 1:10 p.m.The change was made as a result of discussions and an agreement between the White Sox and Indians, after a significant number of White Sox fans reached out to the club with concerns over the original game time's conflict with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur begins at sundown that night and runs through sundown on Wednesday. The Day of Atonement is the holiest day of the year for Jews.
Kevin Youkilis, the White Sox third baseman and a Jewish ballplayer, wouldn't have played if the game was at night based on his reaction when hearing the news.
"I guess that means I can play," Youkilis said. "I really didn't know. I know there was talk that there was something about maybe changing it for the fans on that day. But it's a good thing for the playoff stretch."
Youkilis said that he hasn't played previously on the night before Yom Kippur.
"It's one of those things where I played the night after," Youkilis said. "But other than that, no."
Dunn may try swinging on Wednesday
CHICAGO -- White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn missed his fifth straight game and seventh in the last 10 because of a strained right oblique. Dunn admits that he came back too early from the original injury when he played in the Twins series from Sept. 3-5, but his absence has been made easier by the White Sox winning.
"If we had a one-game lead, I'd be really pressing the issue," Dunn said. "I want to wait until I have no problems as opposed to coming back a day or two early and having this thing do this again and missing significant time.
"It's one of those things where I don't know what else to do other than time and treatment. I think we gave it a lot of time, so hopefully it's ready."
Dunn said that he received a pain-killing injection along with going through daily treatment.
"What we're trying to do is get it to where I can swing, that's the problem," Dunn said. "It's not getting out of bed now, it's not sneezing. I'm not going to pick up a bat today and hopefully tomorrow they'll let me do some stuff."
"We're being cautious with it," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He wanted to play yesterday, too, so I don't necessarily go by what he's saying."
Quintana proud to represent Colombia
CHICAGO -- The winning decision posted by Jose Quintana in Monday night's series opener against Detroit had a little bit of historical significance attached. Quintana's six wins tie him with Angels closer Ernesto Frieri for the most career victories recorded by a native Colombian pitcher.
Sure, that total ranks fairly low, but representing his home country is important to the rookie left-hander.
"It's one of those that I'm actually happy for him, too," said Quintana of Frieri, through translator and White Sox manager of cultural relations Jackson Miranda. "Both of us are having a good season right now and hopefully we can keep it going."
In the biggest game of his Major League career, Quintana showed the poise and guts he has been pitching with since joining the rotation at the end of May. It's a quality picked up on by his teammates, leading captain Paul Konerko to compare Quintana to one of the best big-game pitchers in White Sox history.
"He kind of reminds me of Freddy [Garcia] when Freddy was here," Konerko said. "[Freddy] would go out in the first inning and throw like 50 pitches, shirt is untucked and all over the place and next thing you know you look up in the seventh and he's in there.
"This guy was in A-ball last year. [Monday's] game could have got really sideways early and just when you think he's on his last leg out there, the next thing you know ... . He's just gutsy and everybody just really likes him. He's hardcore."
Third to first
Francisco Liriano is not bothered by the chance to regroup in the bullpen before possibly returning to the starting rotation this weekend at Target Field.
"Sometimes I try to do too much and that's when I get myself into trouble," said Liriano, who gave up two runs on two hits without retiring a batter in Tuesday's 5-3 loss. "So I need to relax, go out there and have fun."
According to Elias, A.J. Pierzynski (age 35) and Carlton Fisk (35 in 1983 and 37 in 1985) are the only catchers in baseball history to hit 25 or more homers in a season at age 35 or older.
The White Sox are 10-for-59 with runners in scoring position over the last six games. Eight of the White Sox nine runs during this series have come via home runs. The White Sox are 4-12 in their last 16 games against the AL Central and are 11-46 when scoring three runs or fewer. Left-hander Donnie Veal has retired all 20 left-handed batters he has faced this season. Gordon Beckham set a career high with his 15th homer on Tuesday night.