The hope for the Chicago White Sox players was they wouldn't have to start talking about tough decisions the organization has to make this winter or the current roster being broken up until late October -- not on the first night of the month.
However, even though the Sox finally won, pounding the Cleveland Indians 11-0, they were eliminated from playoff contention when the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 6-3 to clinch the AL Central championship.
The Sox have no one to blame but themselves, considering that they have lost 10 of their last 13 games, making the 117-day grasp they had on first place this summer feel somewhat meaningless.
That also meant the players will now have to start answering questions about their future, with catcher A.J. Pierzynski starting things off Sunday, discussing his pending free agency, and the attention shifting to pitcher Gavin Floyd on Monday.
Floyd (11-11, 4.47 ERA) was on the disabled list twice this season with a sore right elbow, but he recently felt as if he figured a few things out with his mechanics that would put an end to the elbow problems.
Oddly enough, it wasn't pitching coach Don Cooper who noticed it. It was bench coach Mark Parent, a former catcher, who said Floyd was taking the ball out of his glove sooner, which was getting his arm out sooner and bringing his release point more out in front of his body.
"I've taken some really good strides mechanically," Floyd said. "It's exciting because it's something I've probably struggled with for the last five years."
Floyd might pitch his last game for the Sox in Wednesday's season finale. He's on the fourth year of a contract extension signed in March 2009, and the club holds a $9.5 million option for next season. The Sox have a few young arms in waiting, including Monday's winner, Hector Santiago.
"They haven't approached me about that at all," Floyd said. "I don't know if they're going to pick it up, extend anything or if they don't see me in their future. They probably have a lot of things to think about."