The White Sox got shutout 4-0 by the Texas Rangers Monday night...no, this Monday night. Like all shutouts, it seemed eminently possible after the first time Rangers starter Alexi Ogando got through the batting order. White Sox hitters couldn't line up Ogando's 95 mph fastball, so any degree of variation he threw in there made things especially confusing.
Essentially, Ogando took a page out of Bartolo Colon's book, and never stopped throwing the pitch the opposition couldn't handle, especially when it's the only thing you can spot.
That makes it 6 shutouts on the season for the White Sox, which is one
more than the not-exactly-due-a-bronze-statue 2010 offense was submitted
to all season-long, but nothing compared to the 13 the 2009 squad
racked up (I know, crazy right? I totally looked it up).
It's absurd to try to predict how many the shutouts the Sox will record,
because trying to figure out when such a mash-up of pitching skill,
accuracy, endurance, bad luck and hitting incompetence will occur is
less like, say, tracking a lunar eclipse and more like taking bets with
your roommate on what days the lady next door is going to fall down the
I'll say this, it'll happen again. Whether it'll be because the Sox
have already handed shutouts to Colby Lewis, Francisco Liriano, Alexi
Ogando, and David Price, and might face a pitcher this year that has as
many as three different pitches working at once, or because when you
carry half a lineup worth of deadweight, innings start to end in a hurry
if Alexei Ramirez, Paul Konerko, and Carlos Quentin aren't doing
Rios and Dunn have career history on their side, Pierre and Pierzynski
have career history weighing against him, and no one knows what the hell
Beckham has going on, but the feeling that "We gotta get a bat!" is
going to be the subject line of 8 threads on SoxTalk in a month is
getting stronger. At least it won't be Robbie Alomar this time.
If the key to White Sox happiness is lowered expectations; being happy
for Donkey walks, applauding Jesse Crain for getting out of disasters virtually unscathed,
appreciating when Quentin gets deep in a pitch count, and just cheering
wildly whenever Alexei Ramirez is in the camera frame, then certainly
this dud should just get thrown on their tab, and given the old 'Get 'em
tomorrow, boys' treatment.
They scored 29 runs in the last four games, just went through a row of
soft-tossers that I guess slowed their bats down something fierce, and
momentum is meaningless anyway.