Freddy is Superb, Offense is, Umm, Offensive

Apart from Freddy Garcia’s sixth straight quality start–eight innings of two-run baseball–it was a downer at the Cell today as the Sox could only muster one run and six hits in the 2-1 loss to the last-place Royals. I don’t have to tell you that it’s a familiar scenario, but one that is still mind-boggling with the talent the South Siders have in the lineup.

The tough loss is also another nail in the coffin for the Sox division title hopes as they fall to 6 1/2 games behind the Tigers, who salvaged the series finale this afternoon against the second-place Twins.
The truth is that there are a whole lot more questions than answers regarding the offense as we focus on the final 12 games of 2009 and beyond.
*  What happened to Jermaine Dye in the second half? And will he be back next season?
*  Why hasn’t Alex Rios snapped out of it?
*  With Gordon Beckham’s average now down to .266, is the fatigue of his first big-league season affecting his play?
* Will Carlos Quentin return to his 2008 form next season?
* Will Alexei Ramirez keep improving or have we seen the best of him?
* Will the Paul Konerko era end this season or will he be back at first in 2010.
Note of the day: With Gavin Floyd being held back from his start tomorrow in the first of three against the Twins because of a sore left hip, rookie Daniel Hudson will take the hill. Hudson, who was 14-5 at four minor league stops in ’09, will undoubtedly be a candidate for a roster spot next season–perhaps as the fifth starter.

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