Let’s try a little word exercise here to get started…Frustrating? Check. Surprising? Check. Befuddling? Check. Shocking? Check. I would have not bet that back in April, we wayward fans of the Chicago White Sox could have ever predicted the current (sad) state of affairs for our club. It’s now June 5th, and entering a “make or break month” this club has given a whole new definition to the term: “grinding its gears”. The turnaround was scheduled to take place 4 games ago, after a promising road trip that netted 4 wins out of 7, (2 coming at Tampa Bay) and returning home to start a home stand…guess the boys didn’t get the memo.
Although the overall team hitting, and clutch hitting has been a major problem, NOBODY could have seen the starting pitching as being this team’s Achilles heel…check that, try a ruptured Achilles tendon…or maybe the torn hamstring, or its pulled groin….or maybe, well you get my point. Here’s the ugly truth: Our old ace (Mark Buehrle) has been bad to the tune of a 3-6 record. Our new ace (Jake Peavy) has been as bad, if not worse…don’t let his 4-4 record fool you into looking past his 6.23 ERA and 11 (that’s ELEVEN) home runs allowed. That folks is extremely hittable, not stuff of a former Cy Young. Moving on to survey the additional damage of the pitching train wreck…Gavin Floyd, at 2-6 with an ERA of 6.64, has unfortunately been doing his best impression of a combination of Bartolo Colon, Jose Contreras, and Javy Vazquez from recent memory…in short, he’s been an anchor around the necks of an already poor swimmer.
On the plus side, (because I was really starting to get depressed there for a second) is the impressive efforts of our 5th starter (Freddy Garcia), who was a big question mark to all fans as the choice for 5th starter (over young gun Daniel Hudson, sent back to AAA). At 5-3, with a 4.94 ERA, these are numbers that we can certainly live with from our back-end of the rotation, but again unfortunately, they border on the beacon of light in what has otherwise been the fog of a season to this point. And if Freddy is a beacon, I guess that the efforts of John Danks would be the calm of an eye in the middle of a hurricane. Danks has been stellar for the most part, briefly leading the AL in ERA before uncharacteristically being slapped around in his last two starts to inflate his once-stout numbers. At 4-5, and a 3.60 ERA, his record has been mostly tough luck losses, and his efforts have been the only remotely all-star worthy on the entire staff.
Now, at 23-31, and still “early” in the season…the need for this team to get on track has never been more necessary than now. I still don’t question the “if?” it will happen, but one thing that I would definitely like to know is the answers to the “how?” and “when?” that continue to plague this team searching for a spark…or maybe waiting for the other show to drop?