The last four MLB seasons have seen a routine blossoming in the Chicago White Sox clubhouse and on filed play…the South Siders wait for next season while they’re still playing the current season. The 2011 White Sox seem to be no different.
It might just be me, but it feels like the black and white squad struggle after the all-star game every year since the 2005 World Series. The pitching falters, bats don’t swing and the roster is rebuilt. The roster didn’t have any huge changes before the trade deadline but pitchers are throwing lobs to opposing batters while the Sox batters are playing T-ball with all the ground outs they’re hitting. Can something be done to make a run for the playoffs?
Currently the White Sox are 52-57 for third place in the American League Central, which is arguably the weakest division in the MLB. Last night the New York Yankees 18-7 bone stomping of the Sox gave Chicago its fifth straight loss and sets up a four game sweep if the Yankees win tonight at US Cellular. In their last five series, the Sox are 2-3 with loses coming from the Boston Red Sox, Yankees and the Kansas City Royals. The wins are against the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers.
I understand the Red Sox and the Yankees are two of the best teams in the MLB. I understand the Sox just won two series against the teams above them in the division standings, the Indians and the Tigers. Still, there are questions to be asked and answered about the Sox’s struggles.
First, three of the last five loses have been blow outs, bad blowouts.Boston whooped up on the Sox 10-2 on Saturday and then handed the wounded Chicago team to the Yankees for them to win 6-0 Tuesday and the above mentioned 18-7 bone stomping yesterday. Sure, these teams are good, but isn’t Chicago supposed to be a competitive team. ESPN’s Buster Olney thinks so, he picked them to win the division.
Yesterday, Gavin Floyd allowed 10 earned runs in 2.1 innings. Sorry Ozzie Guillen, can’t blame the bullpen for this one.
Tuesday’s game was postponed because of weather after the top of the seventh inning, but lets be honest, it didn’t matter. The Yankees were hitting everything off of 4-9 John Banks as the Yankees had four runs in three innings. He had five strikeouts and one walk, but gave up two home runs.
Only three White Sox pitchers have a winning record: Mark Buehrle 8-5, Philip Humber 8-7 and relief pitcher Jeese Crain 5-3.
The hitting has been okay, I won’t bash anyone except Adam Dunn who has been the biggest disappointment in all of baseball this year. Did he leave his game in Washington? The man has been a home run and RBI monster for most of his professional career, but, not in Chicago. Since he has been a Sox, he has only hit 10 home runs and batted in 38 runs while striking out a team high 138 times…garbage for 93 games of play.
Chicago has a chance to record a winning season and make it to the playoffs. Six games back isn’t a huge deficit now, but it could be if the pitching doesn’t pick up and the big bats, Dunn, don’t make a difference.
I’ve been a little rough on the Sox and they do have a chance to be successful this season so I won’t completely write them off. However, if they don’t decimate the Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Oriels and the Royals during the next three series, I might do the same thing Ozzie’s team tends to do, wait for next season.