The quote in the headline came in an e-mail last night from good friend and loyal reader Stu Wade after Phil Humber‘s virtuoso performance at Yankee Stadium.
Humber’s 2-0, seven inning shutout, in which he no-hit the feared Bronx Bombers for 6 1/3 innings and ultimately gave up only a single to Alex Rodriguez, was undoubtedly “a thing of beauty.”
For all the happiness it provided to beleaguered Sox fans, it was more a sense of relief. We finally won and we actually scored, though it took a grand total of 23 innings to accomplish the latter. And, believe it or not, we recorded a save (Sergio Santos).
Let’s face it, after losing 10 of 11 and getting whitewashed for two games plus, the prospect of coming to Yankee Stadium for a four-game series didn’t exactly inspire confidence. But the fact Humber and friends were able to win last night takes a little pressure off the club to tackle the remaining three games in the series.
Not that there are any guarantees, and the offense is still a far cry from where we want it to be, but winning Game 1 is always a good thing.
As A.J. Pierzynski said after the game, “It’s a start.”
I’m certainly not giving up after 21 games, but the truth is that the White Sox are currently unwatchable.
That happens when you can’t hit, field or, for the most part, pitch. It reached a new low today as the Sox now occupy the basement in the A.L. Central as a result of the 9-0 beating at the hands of the Tigers. They are also tied for the worst record in baseball.
With all the offseason moves and high expectations, the Sox performance so far is inexplicable. They are simply not this bad. Or are they? Perhaps Gordon Beckham isn’t as good as we thought, words can’t describle how awful Adam Dunn has been and Alex Rios has been dreadful. We all know that we don’t have a closer, but the fact we’ve lost eight of the last nine we haven’t needed one. Especially since we usually get behind big early.
The problem here is that there’s really very little Kenny Williams can do. The pieces are in place. And Ozzie‘s hands are pretty much tied. He can make a lineup change here and there, but the 25 we have pretty much represents the team we’re going to stay with. We just have to wait it out and hope things get better.
Unfortunately there is no rest for the weary. We face the 3-0 Max Scherzer tomorrow in the finale of the Tiger series and then it’s on to New York to face the Yankees for four. And we all know how successful we are at Yankee Stadium.
Aaugh! is right.
While White Sox fans are angry and frustrated over the 8-12 start and the fact the South Siders couldn’t continue the momentum from Thursday’s win in Tampa last night in Motown, the players are taking the slump in stride.
On one hand, their calm reaction is maddening as we fans are so hungry for some semblance of success. On the other hand, it shows the distinct difference between athletes and fans. We panic, they don’t. And that’s a good thing in a 162-game season.
Paul Konerko, who is off to a good start with a .329 BA, five homers and 16 RBI, and Mark Buehrle, who is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA, were asked by the media if the Sox should have a sense of urgency.
“Never,” said the Sox captain. “Because a sense of urgency makes you play worse. You’re playing with urgency, that means tension. Tension will never lead to good things. So of course we want to play better and have better results, but you just have to know you’re going about it right.”
Buehrle added, “We have plenty of time. Twenty games in, it’s way too early to be worrying about that. I think we’re fine. If we get to the All-Star break and are struggling, you might think about it.”
Got it, guys. Now go out and win some games.
Finally. In a matter of 24 hours, the White Sox have gone from this…
Before we head to Detroit and face the likes of Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, let’s celebrate last night as the seven-game losing streak is now a bad memory:
–Nine runs, 10 hits and no errors
–A solid six-inning performance by Gavin Floyd and scoreless innings by Will Ohman,
Sergio Santos and Jeff Gray
–The ageless Omar Vizquel‘s two hits and two RBIs
—Paul Konerko‘s 3 for 5 with a pair of RBIs
—Juan Pierre‘s 2 for 4 with three runs scored
—Carlos Quentin‘s two-RBI double
—Adam Dunn even had a hit and RBI
—A.J. Pierzynski‘s two RBIs
After a menu of pitchers like Weaver, Haren, Price, Shields and Davis, next up is Verlander.
It is what it is.
Is he angry about the horrible start?
Is he blaming Ozzie?
Is he on his cell trying to shake up the roster?
Is he tearful?
Is he blaming himself for the Jake Peavy deal?
Is he experiencing guilt over disappointing his Commander in Chief?
Let’s hope that whatever our GM is feeling these days it will just be a bad memory as soon as the Sox turn things around.
A common sight these days in SoxWorld: Adam Dunn striking out. Three more K’s in
tonight’s 2-1 loss to the Rays gives him a total of 17 in 37 at bats with a .162 batting average. Enough said.
Trust me, I’m trying.
In all my years of being a White Sox fan, believe me, I’ve been here before. But it never gets any easier and when you’re in the throes of this kind of losing streak it seems like it’s never going to end.
I’m a firm believer in hitting being contagious, both positively and negatively, and the Sox are currently making my point. It seems that everyone’s in a slump. And facing Jerod Weaver, Dan Haren and David Price hasn’t helped.
All we can do is drag out the old cliches–It’s Baseball, It’s a long season, It’s early–wait it out and hope we turn it around before the Tribe clinches the A.L. Central.
More Bad News: If the loss to the Rays and the five-game losing streak aren’t bad enough, the Sox suffered another huge blow last night. Jake Peavy, making a rehab start for Birmingham, left the game with “discomfort” after throwing just 15 pitches. This was supposed to be his second to last minor league start before joining the Sox at the end of April. Now, it’s anyone’s guess when he’ll return to the majors.
It was a 4-6 homestand filled with blown saves, errors and lack of clutch hitting against the Rays, A’s and Angels. As the White Sox head to Tampa Bay, Detroit and New York for 11 games in 11 days we can only hope that the quality of play will improve.
The euphoria we felt after the Sox pummeled the Indians in the first two games of the season has been replaced with frustration and bewilderment. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. By the way, how’s the Tribe doing these days?
Perhaps the worst part of all of this is that the club brass, after loading up with payroll in the offseason, was counting on a quick start so the fans would start believing and proceed to fill the sets at the Cell. You have to wonder if the Sox faithful will continue to believe if the South Siders continue to reel.
I know, I know, it’s a long season. We’re only a game under .500 and gave a better effort today against a tough customer in Dan Haren. But it’s not only the won-lost record and the four-game losing streak that bothers me, it’s the way we’re playing. Sure, things could turn around in a heartbeat and these early season woes will just be a bad memory. But when? And we all know that the next three series will be anything but easy.
Take a close look, because you probably will never again see a Yankee logo in this blog–at least in a positive light. But if you’re a reader of Art of the Pale Hose you know that all the members of the 2005 World Champions have lifetime immunity with my White Sox posse and me.
So, despite never having rooted for the Bronx Bombers–even for a single game–I owe it to Big Game Freddy to give him his due. This afternoon in The Bronx he threw six shutout innings, allowing just two hits, as he was the winning pitcher in the Yanks’ victory over the defending A.L. champion Rangers. It was his first win for the Yanks and the 134th of his outstanding 13-year major league career against just 87 losses.