White Sox lose another heartbreaker to Royals, get ready for Tiger showdown

White Sox lose another heartbreaker to Royals, get ready for Tiger showdown
Ray Olmedo (66) and his Sox teammates in happier times.

After Friday's loss to the Royals, I posted that it might have been the worst White Sox loss of the year. Never mind, today was worse.

A non-existent offense against a red-hot pitcher in Jeremy Guthrie, a lineup that included a couple of JV performers in Jose Lopez and Ray Olmedo who failed to deliver, a Brett Myers meltdown and a few baserunning blunders sealed our fate in the 2-1, 10-inning defeat.

With Adam Dunn (strained oblique), Kevin Youkilis (paternity leave) and Alexei Ramirez (in the doghouse for arriving late to the ballpark) out of the starting lineup we found ourselves in a position to win a key game with Olmedo at the plate, the tying run on third and the winning run on second in the bottom of the 10th. He not only struck out, he showed he doesn't belong on the same field with Royals closer Greg Holland as he flailed at three pitches. And certainly he's not the guy you want up in a crucial situation in a tight pennant race.

The Sox should have never been in that position after loading the bases in the ninth with one out, but it wasn't in the cards. It looked like a victory with Alex Rios at bat, but he grounded into a double play. That set the stage for the Royals' two-run ninth, scoring both runs off of Myers.

It was also a missed opportunity to pick up a game before the Tigers come to town for a four-game series beginning tomorrow night. Detroit leaves for Chicago on their charter tonight having been swept by the Angels. So, our lead still stands at two.

The teams that played the Royals and Angels this weekend didn't look like playoff contenders. That said, I'm sure the Tigers are licking their chops at the prospect of getting well at the expense of the Sox, a club they've had their way with for a while now. The Sox, on the other hand, have to pick themselves up after two heartbreaking losses this weekend  and demonstrate the same resilience they've displayed all season and turn around their fortunes against Detroit.

It'll be Jose Quintana vs. Rick Porcello on Monday, Jake Peavy vs. Doug Fister on Tuesday, Francisco Liriano or Gavin Floyd vs. Max Scherzer on Wednesday and Chris Sale vs. Justin Verlander on Thursday.

The next four days aren't necessarily do or die, but it's pretty close to it. It's no secret that we're getting to point where the Sox have to step it up or we'll be watching the Tigers in the postseason.

 

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    Art Berke

    Art Berke, a lifelong White Sox fan, has worked at the highest levels of the sports industry with Major League Baseball, ABC Television and Sports Illustrated. He grew up in Northwest Indiana, in the shadow of old Comiskey Park, and proudly proclaims 2005 as the best year of his life. Art offers his glass half-full opinions and observations as he lives and dies with the Sox.

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