As the White Sox's Division Lead Lessens, Questions Remain About a Less-Than-Potent Offense

As the White Sox's Division Lead Lessens, Questions Remain About a Less-Than-Potent Offense

On the surface of last night's tough 4-2  loss to the Tigers, it was a hit batsman and a balk by starter Jake Peavy that accounted for the fact that the White Sox are now a mere half-game ahead of the Detroit in the A.L. Central. The real culprit, however, was NOT Peavy, despite his mistakes. It was the suddenly disappearing Sox offense, which has scored only five runs in the club's last four losses.

For the record, the hit batsman (Quintin Berry) came in the bottom of the third inning with two outs and a man on third and forced Peavy to face the feared middle of the Tigers' lineup. What happened from there was that Miguel Cabrera singled to drive in a run, Prince Fielder did likewise and Delmon Young doubled to drive in the third tally of the inning. The balk occurred in the bottom of the seventh when Jhonny Peralta, after driving a single to left, moved into scoring position and came home on Austin Jackson's two-out single. And that was the Detroit scoring for the evening.

Even with last year's A.L. Cy Young winner MVP Justin Verlander on the mound, the Sox offense with the likes of Kevin Youkilis, Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, Alex Rios and A.J. Pierzynski should be able to do more damage than just a pair of runs and four hits. The meager output included a harmless two singles and a double along with the Alejandro De Aza two-run homer which gave the Sox an early lead in the third.  By the way, those 2-6 hitters in the lineup went 1-17 with no runs scored and no RBIs.

If the Sox are going to remain in contention--and I think we're all convinced that the Tigers are now where all the experts thought they would be--the offense has to consistently come through regardless of who's pitching. If we make an excuse when Verlander's on the mound, why not do the same with Jered Weaver, C.C. Sabathia, Yu Darvish and all the other aces in the American League. It may be comforting to rationalize, but it's not facing the reality that to win the division the Sox offense has to show up and show up big.

A lot bigger than they have since the All-Star break.



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