There's a reason that so many have stressed that there is a lot of baseball left--67 games to be precise--after Sunday's loss and sweep completion in Detroit.
It's a truth, and it's also a coping mechanism, and coping mechanisms are assembled in response to disasters. In a single seven-day period, the Sox went 1-6, dropped five games in the AL Central standings, lowered their chances of making the playoffs by approximately 40%, and in one game, started Pedro Hernandez.
They're not done for the year by any means, but they played in such a fashion that a reminder needs to be issued.
On Tuesday, the White Sox touched up Jon Lester and company for seven runs. That's not quit the resume-builder it used to be, but considering that it equaled the amount they scored in the entire Detroit series, it was pretty much the salad days...or salad day, as it were.
White Sox hitters accounted for a .208/.244/.296 batting line for the week in total, which is also known as the level of performance that lost Orlando Hudson his starting job.
The problems are obviously numerous, but a power outage in the heart of the order is certainly a leading cause. A cue shot double down the 1st base line on Tuesday is Konerko's only extra-base hit of a month where he's slugging .286, and Adam Dunn and A.J, Pierzynski didn't make it to 2nd base or farther on a single blow all week.
Since Pierzynski's power this season is unprecedented for his career, there's always the threat it's gone for good.
The performance of staters was rendered mostly irrelevant due to non-existent hitting, which was good, because it was mostly bad.
Jose Quintana worked brilliantly without the comfort of a margin for error, Dylan Axelrod's last gasp as a starter was majestic and haunting, and Philip Humber tragically saved his good start for the sole offensive outburst of the week, and his four-homer trainwreck for Sunday, where the Sox might have pulled one out with a quality effort.
If only all the White Sox problems were as simple as poor timing.
The rotation posted a 5.62 ERA for the week, with huge outliers in the sample in the form of Hernandez and Humber's disaster, but there's encouragement in that Sox starters maintained a shiny 4.65 K/BB ratio...whilst allowing an unreasonable amount of home runs.
Chris Sale and Jake Peavy both showed substantial swing-and-miss capabilities despite getting bled to death. It's not all bad, which is good, because other things are bad.
Since Jesse Crain and Brett Myers are entering the fray as of this coming week, and the Sox offense handed over very few late-game leads, there's not a whole lot of relevant information from last week's pen work.
Matt Thornton had an abysmal week, allowing five runs in an inning and a third, and striking out just one of the nine batters he faced. Increased slider usage aside, the guy doesn't have a big margin for error with command anymore.
Addison Reed is still without a slider, and gave up the disheartening final blow of the Boston series, and Leyson Septimo was a trainwreck in the first high-leverage situation of his career, yet kept his job over Donnie Veal in the wake of it.
Welcome back, Jesse! You'll find plenty of work here, Brett!
The Sox look to cool their heels with three games at home versus the cellar-dwelling Twins, who trot out Francisco Liriano to start things off, before zapping back to members of their rotation more responsible for their dreadful season.
That's a nice reprieve, and the Sox can look forward to many matchups against the Twinkies before the year is out. Unfortunately, they can also count on being sent to Texas this weekend. To recover fully from this week, they will actually at some point need to start playing better.
Filed under: White Sox Week
Tags: A.J. Pierzynski, Adam Dunn, addison reed, AL Central, baseball, boston red sox, brett myers, Chris Sale, Detroit Tigers, donnie veal, dylan axelrod, Francisco Liriano, Gavin Floyd, Jake Peavy, jesse crain, leyson septimo, Matt Thornton, Minnesota Twins, orlando hudson, Paul Konerko, pedro hernandez, philip humber, Texas Rangers, White Sox