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Good Start Gone Bad For The White Sox

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Monday April.29/2013

Any fan of the Chicago White Sox knows that they hit a lot of HR's. HR's are a good thing, obviously. Although when it seems like the ONLY way a team can score, some consider it a problem. I wrote earlier in the season that the Sox had gotten of to a good start, going 4-2. They proceeded to get swept by the Washington Nationals, no shame in that, then have struggled ever since. Heading into last Monday, White Sox starting pitchers had 6 consecutive quality starts, consisting of a 1.63 ERA and a .201 OPP BA. Based on those stats alone, one would think the Sox went 4-2 in that span, maybe 5-1? Nope, 1-5.

Any fan of the Chicago White Sox knows that they hit a lot of HR’s. HR’s are a good thing, obviously. Although when it seems like the ONLY way a team can score, some consider it a problem. I wrote earlier in the season that the Sox had gotten of to a good start, going 4-2. They proceeded to get swept by the Washington Nationals, no shame in that, then have struggled ever since.Heading into last Monday, White Sox starting pitchers had 6 consecutive Quality Starts, consisting of a 1.63 ERA and a .201 OPP BA. Based on those stats alone, one would think the Sox went 4-2 in that span, maybe 5-1? Nope, 1-5.

By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): 

The Club Struggles To String Together hits in 2013 season

Heading into play Monday night, the club has gone 10 – 14 to start this year – and currently sit behind the KC Royals by 4 1/2 Games right now for the AL Central Division Lead.  It doesn’t get easy for the team having to face Darvish and the Rangers on Tuesday night – to kick off a 9 Game Road Trip, where they also visit Kansas City and the New York Mets.

So the White Sox are offensively challenged you ask? Absolutely. In the first game of what turned out to be only a 2 game series with the Minnesota Twins this last week due to cold, Jake Peavy pitched masterfully. But, he took a no-decision in a 2-1 Sox loss.

Game 2 of that series, Gavin Floyd had his best start all season. But, it was all for naught as the Sox offense could only muster 2 Runs, and lost 3-2.

Rewind back a week or so ago when the Sox lost 2 of 3 games in Cleveland. Jose Quintana pitched a gem, throwing 7 scoreless Innings, allowing only one hit, while Striking out 7.

But, the Sox offense was shut down by Justin Masterson, and lost in 10 innings, 1-0. Now, games like this are going to happen throughout a 162 game season.

Adam Dunn has hit 38 + HRs in 8 of the last 9 years.started this season with a different approach and mentality at the plate. He was going to take less pitches, and be more aggressive. As good of an idea as this seemed at the time, Dunn got off to a terrible start. And now, only 24 games in, Dunn appears to have gone back to his old approach. All or nothing, K or HR, take your pick. But this has been Dunn's MO his entire career. The Sox knew what they were getting when they signed him. The big man has a 3 Career Slash of .181/.309/.691 with the Sox - adding 57 HRs and 149 RBI in 1038 AB.

Adam Dunn has hit 38 + HRs in 8 of the last 9 years.started this season with a different approach and mentality at the plate. He was going to take less pitches, and be more aggressive. As good of an idea as this seemed at the time, Dunn got off to a terrible start. And now, only 24 games in, Dunn appears to have gone back to his old approach. All or nothing, K or HR, take your pick. But this has been Dunn’s MO his entire career. The Sox knew what they were getting when they signed him. The big man has a 3 Career Slash of .181/.309/.691 with the Sox – adding 57 HRs and 149 RBI in 1038 AB.

The Sox have managed to score 4+ runs in a game only 6 times this season. It is early, with a long way yet to go. And, the Sox always seem to be a team that hits A LOT of HR’s.

Names like Adam Dunn, Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye, and Carlos Quentin. They hit a lot of HR’s. Remember, HR’s are a good thing. But, a string of 4 hits put together in an Inning is also a good thing.

The Sox started off 2012 with a 12-12 record. So, their 10-14 mark this season isn’t far off that pace. They also managed to win 85 games in 2012. With the exception of John Danks being on the DL for the majority of last season, the Sox as a whole, were pretty healthy.

As of today, and it’s still only April, they’ve already lost Gordon Beckham to a broken hand, Dayan Viciedo to an Oblique Strain, and now Gavin Floyd to an elbow injury.

As a result of those injuries, the Sox have had to plug in the young Connor Gillaspie at 3rd, and move Jeff Keppinger to second to replace Beckham.

Viciedo’s spot in the lineup has been shared by the platoon of Dewayne Wise and Jordan Danks. It has yet to be determined who will replace Gavin Floyd in the Starting Rotation, but it could be young left-hander Hector Santiago.

As if the Sox didn’t rely enough on the HR before, they will now more than ever with Viciedo and Beckham out for extended periods of time. Dunn, Paul Konerko, and Alex Rios will be expected to pick up even more slack.

As if the team's offensive struggles weren't enough, they've also struggled defensively. A strong point of the 2012 team, the combination of Beckham and Alexei Ramirez was one of the best. Now, that combo won't see action together until at least early June. Again it's early. But, the KC Royals are off to a good start (ironically, the Sox took 2 of 3 from KC to start the season) and the Detroit Tigers are now starting to heat up after sweeping the Braves. Sox fans shouldn't panic, as it is only April. But unless the teams starts hitting and playing better defensively, it could be a long season on the South Side of Chicago.

As if the team’s offensive struggles weren’t enough, they’ve also struggled defensively. A strong point of the 2012 team, the combination of Beckham and Alexei Ramirez was one of the best. Now, that combo won’t see action together until at least early June. Again it’s early. But, the KC Royals are off to a good start (ironically, the Sox took 2 of 3 from KC to start the season) and the Detroit Tigers are now starting to heat up after sweeping the Braves. Sox fans shouldn’t panic, as it is only April. But unless the teams starts hitting and playing better defensively, it could be a long season on the South Side of Chicago.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A big thank-you goes out to our ‘White Sox Correspondent’ Brian Madsen for preparing today’s featured article. Brian was born and raised in Chicago Heights, IL, a south suburb of Chicago.  He attended Illinois St. University, majoring in education/teaching. Brian now lives in Joliet, IL with my wife Suzanne two daughters, Abby, 9, and Grace, 3.

He has worked at The Little Guys Home Technology for 12 years as a salesman/system designer/custom integrator. Brian is an avid White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, and Bulls fan.   

 

a brian madsen

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Posted on April 29, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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