Instant Rationalization – You can’t stop the White Sox offense, you can only hope to contain it

Instant Rationalization – You can’t stop the White Sox offense, you can only hope to contain it
Dayav Viciedo and Alex Rios ave fueled an offensive resurgance. (Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune / May 26, 2012)

Remember when the White Sox offense used to be anemic?  When hits were at a premium and strikeouts were about as frequent as rush hour traffic jams on the Kennedy?  It’s getting harder to by the day, as a completely rejuvenated and balanced White Sox hitting attack has been making games very fun to watch, like today’s 14-7 shellacking of the first place Cleveland Indians.

Paul Konerko and Dayan Viciedo, who went a combined 7/9 with five runs and seven RBI, once again led the White Sox.  Even more impressive, the White Sox immediately answered Cleveland’s five-spot in the top of the third with four runs of their own in the bottom half to seize back the lead and momentum.

The Sox needed all 14 runs to maintain a comfortable lead throughout, as Jake Peavy let up seven runs in a very shaky 6 1/3 innings pitched.  It’s very encouraging to see the offense pick up the pitching staff, when for the majority of the season thus far, it has been the opposite.

Key Performers

Paul Konerko – 4/4, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB – What can’t the Captain do?  His average now sits at .396 and has a .473 OBP.  Maybe he should get hit in the face more often.

Dayan Viciedo – 3/5, 2 R, HR, 5 RBI – Tank has gone 15/38 with six homers in his last 10 games, raising his average in that span from .237 to .264.  Warm weather clearly is doing wonders.

Alex Rios – 3/5, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI – Rios has been on a tear as well, going 11/32 in his last nine games, hitting three homers in the last four.

Jason Kipnis – 2/4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI – The Northbrook native had a productive homecoming for the Indians out of the three spot in the lineup.

Turning Point

The White Sox onslaught in the bottom of the third inning to recapture the lead took away all of the momentum Cleveland seized in the top half.  It seems like White Sox teams of the past generally wore down and failed to fight back after giving up a crooked number to the opposition.

The Sox didn’t waste any time reclaiming the lead, as an Adam Dunn double was followed by a Konerko double and Rios single before an out was recorded.   The fight in these 2012 White Sox has definitely been something to admire.

Things Would Be Different If…

…the White Sox offense wasn’t hitting on all cylinders.  There is not a pitcher in baseball who wants to face the White Sox lineup right now.  The emergence of Rios and Viciedo of late have turned the Sox lineup from a two-man show to one with legitimate weapons throughout its entirety.

Unlike as recently as a week ago, there are not very many “automatic outs” in this White Sox lineup anymore, and there’s no doubt that AL pitchers have been put on alert.

Takeaway

White Sox fans have been anxiously hoping that warmer weather would translate to the rebirth of a White Sox offense.  It seems as though fans’ wishes are being granted with the emergence of Rios and Viciedo.  There might not be anybody happier with the resurgent Sox offense than White Sox pitchers.  Sox pitchers have had a very small margin for error this season and for the most part have flourished.

Sunday’s game is very important, as Ventura will probably insert some bench players into the lineup to sweep the Indians. In past years, the White Sox have notoriously dropped Sunday games when they have had chances for sweeps.  A sweep against the Indians could be the turning point of a very successful season.

Overall record: 25-22, 1.5 GB of Cleveland

Filed under: Game Wraps

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