It's come down to this.
If the White Sox want to maintain their lead in the A.L. Central and don't want to fall into a tie with the Tigers, they have to beat Detroit and last year's MVP/Cy Young winner Justin Verlander tonight in the series finale. The positive for the Sox is that Verlander's opponent is Sox ace Chris Sale, who failed to match Verlander a week ago Sunday in Detroit but will try again for win No. 17 in his first season as a starter.
With 20 games remaining on the schedule, it feels like the Sox are in free fall--the lost series to the Royals, the continuing woes against Detroit as both our starters and relievers failed to step up the last two nights and the inability of the offense to deliver--an offense without home run threat Adam Dunn. And looking ahead, a nine-game road trip to play the Twins, gulp, Royals and red-hot Angels is on the horizon. Then, back home for seven games, including four against the Rays who themselves are fighting for a spot in the postseason.
That's the stark reality and, frankly, the outlook doesn't look good especially in light of the Tigers facing, at least on paper, a much easier schedule. But let's take one day at a time.
A.J. Pierzynski seemed to put it best:
"There are no moral victories any more. It's just about winning and losing. Someone once said 'you play to win the game,' and that's it. There's no such thing as a moral victory. We need to come out and win the game (tonight) and we're right back where we started in this four-game series with four games less on the schedule."
Gavin Floyd: A Personal View
I'll come out and say it directly. I've seen enough of Gavin Floyd.
As a result of last night's loss, he is now 60-60 in a White Sox uniform with only one season (2008) above .500 when he went 17-8 with a 3.84 ERA.
I don't know if it's a matter of inconsistency in his seemingly plus stuff, the fire in his belly or bad luck, but it's clear to me that we need to cut bait with Floyd, who is in the last year of a four-year contract with a club option for 2013. He's just not somebody I want the Sox to go to war with. I know a lot of Sox boosters agree.