The euphoria over the White Sox's nine-game winning streak in May/June has pretty much disappeared now that the Sox have lost their last four series after claiming the rubber game vs. the Mariners on June 3. And, with the disaster that was last night's 12-3 hammering by the Cubs, a fifth straight series loss will become reality if the Sox don't win the remaining two games in the Crosstown Series.
As we know from conventional baseball wisdom, a team never is as good as when they're winning and never as bad as when they're struggling. So, while the downturn is troubling and time will tell what kind of team they are, the South Siders still have a slim 1/2 game lead over the Tribe in the A.L. Central.
Paul Konerko's two-run homer, A.J. Pierzynski's solo shot and Hector Santiago's perfect 2 2/3 innings of relief, albeit in a mopup role, pretty much sums up the Sox highlights from last night's drubbing. Forgive me for not being an objective reporter, but I'll leave it to the Cubs bloggers to regale you with the details of the North Siders' 12 runs, 15 hits and five homers off of Sox pitching.
Speaking of White Sox pitching, with Gavin Floyd and Philip Humber struggling mightily the last thing the Sox wanted to hear is that John Danks' MRI showed a Grade 1 tear in his throwing shoulder. The good news is that surgery won't be required, but it'll be a while before we see him back in action.
I also think it's time for the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce to prepare a welcome basket for Zach Stewart, who coughed up six runs, nine hits and four homers last night in 5 2/3 innings. I know he was put into the spot starter's role to give the other starters a day or two of more rest, but he's been subpar most of this season even in non-pressure situations. Let's give someone else an audition, maybe we'll find another Jose Quintana. And hopefully Stewart can get better at AAA.
Jake Peavy, who was so impressive in last week's pitchers' duel with Lance Lynn of the Cardinals, faces the Cubs tonight in the hopes of getting his teammates back on the winning track.