The Roller Coaster That Is The Chicago White Sox
Just when everyone was getting all aboard the Chicago Cubs bandwagon heading into the homestretch of the MLB season, the Chicago White Sox have come out of the cellar to win seven straight road games. They beat up on the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox to get back to one game under .500 at 49-50. This streak has been anchored by great starting pitching and the bats, namely, Melky Cabrera and Adam Eaton. While many of you have forgotten they are playing baseball on the South side of Chicago, I am here to tell you the Chicago White Sox pulse is stronger than ever.
While experts look at the White Sox right now, they credit this upswing to beating up on two less than stellar ball clubs. In this seven game stretch they have outscored their opponents 54-19. One more time, 54-19. We are talking about a team that hit in the low .200s all year and looked like they couldn’t hit a rock into the ocean standing on a boat.
Cabrera has had seven straight multi hit games. He’s hitting 19 for his last 40. Carlos Sanchez has raised his average from .160 to .236. Jose Abreu is on a 9 game hitting streak. Tyler Saladino has ignited this lineup in the #2 hole. The Sox had been looking for production all year from the third base spot and it looks like they found it.
Don’t even get me going on the starting pitching. First and foremost the pitching has been there all year. The losses have been on the defense and the offense. Now I may not be a baseball “expert” but I think those two facets of the game could be important when it comes down to winning games. Chris “Cy” Sale has been dominating hitters all year with a 9-5 record and 2.85 era. Jeff Samardzija, who many thought would be dealt, has been pitching lights out of late. In July, he has gone 3-1 posting a 2.27 era. Jose Quintana hasn’t given up more than 4 runs since May 24th. Everytime Q has hit the rubber, he has given a chance for the Sox to win. Throw a young Carlos Rodon, who has elite stuff, but needs to reel in his control with the streaky John Danks, this Sox rotation can butt heads with the best of them. The bullpen has been stellar as well with Zach Duke, Jake Petricka and David Robertson anchoring the end of the ball game.
You may be thinking, “Carney, pump the brakes.” I’ll tell you what, I’m not going to. This White Sox team has a feeling surrounding them that they believe they are destined for big things and I, for one, could not agree more. The White Sox have two important series at home with the Yankees and Rays coming into Chicago. While I’m not sure how long this streak will last, Sox need to beat Boston in the final game of the series and take at least two of three at home from the Rays and the Yankees. That would put them at 4 games above .500. I’m not delusional, the Royals will not be caught in the Central, however, 85 wins could be enough for a team to make the playoffs as the wild card. If the Sox can continue to pitch well, like they have all year, and maintain consistency at the plate, there’s no reason why #Soxtober shouldn’t happen. I’ll say it right now, White Sox, come October, will be there.
To quote the legend, Ken “The Hawk” Harrelson, this team has TWTW (The Will to Win). This, among other reasons, will propel them to October.