White Sox Limp into L.A. to Face the Best Team in Baseball

White Sox Limp into L.A. to Face the Best Team in Baseball

White Sox fans are running out of patience with Gavin Floyd.

With the Sox having a chance to win the series against the Cardinals and increase their A.L. Central lead to 2 1/2 games over the Indians, Floyd failed again last night. In just 4 2/3 innings, he gave up five runs, eight hits and walked four in the disappointing 5-3 loss.

While fans like me have had it with Floyd, it seems that the White Sox are sticking with him. Despite his 4-7 record and 5.63 ERA (1-4, 10.38 in his last six starts), Manager Robin Ventura is saying his stuff is there, teammates like Jake Peavy are confident he'll turn it around and Floyd himself says some day he'll look back and laugh.

Maybe so, but the Sox starting staff is no laughing matter right now. With Floyd and Philip Humber 2-4, 5.92) iffy at best every time they take the mound and John Danks still experiencing soreness in his rehab, it leaves us with only three reliable starters at this point in Peavy, Chris Sale and to a lesser degree, Jose Quintana. And something tells me that's not going to be enough to contend over the long haul.

Kenny Williams, it's your move.


First Place Dodgers Represent Huge Challenge

With two straight series losses against a pair of National League teams--the lowly Astros and Cardinals, who are now a couple of games above .500--the White Sox travel to L.A. to face the team with the best record in baseball.

For those not familiar with these Dodgers, here are a few facts and figures:

* L.A. is 16 games over .500 with its 40-24 record, good enough for a four-game lead over the rival Giants in the N.L. West.

* With Matt Kemp, who some call the best player in the game still sidelined, the Dodger offense is bolstered by All-Star Andre Ethier (pictured above). Ethier leads the club in RBIs (55) and runs scored (33), is second in batting average (.291) to catcher A.J. Ellis's .303 and home runs (10) to Kemp's 12.

* The Dodger offense also boasts lightning-fast shortstop Dee Gordon, son of former Sox pitcher Tom,  veteran outfielders Bobby Abreu and Juan Rivera, first baseman James Loney, outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. and Jerry Hairston, Jr., who is hitting .336 in a utility role and .355 at home. At the risk of burying the lead, L.A. also has a third baseman who owns a 2005 World Series ring--former Sox shortstop Juan Uribe.

* The Dodgers have the second best staff earned run average in the major leagues at 3.12, led by the three starters the Sox will face this weekend--Last year's N.L. Cy Young Award and pitching Triple Crown winner Clayton Kershaw (2.65), Chris Capuano (2.87) and Chad Billingsley (3.57). Kershaw will face Sale tonight, it'll be Billingsley vs. Humber tomorrow night and Quintana vs. Capuano (who leads his team in wins with eight) on Sunday.

* Tonight's Kershaw-Sale matchup features two of the game's rising stars although you could say Kershaw has already risen. It'll take a lot to outshine the Peavy-Lynn matchup from  this week, but it certainly has the potential to do so.

* The Dodger closer is Kenley Jansen, who leads the team with 10 saves.

Sox Note of Note: It was a little, too late, but it was good to see Adam Dunn's three-run, sixth inning bomb last night, which gave the Sox some hope at least for a while. It was Dunn's 22nd of the season and it upped his RBI total to 50.



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