In the last White Sox Scorecard, we talked about the White Sox’ road to the Playoffs. Given the close AL Central and AL Wild Card races, the White Sox have every chance to arrive at the playoffs if they can execute over the next six weeks. Let’s see how things are going so far. This Scorecard reviews the Sox play from August 19th to August 28th. The action during that time span looks like the following:
- The White Sox went 2-7 with a postponed game against Cleveland.
- The Twins went 4-6.
- The Guardians went 4-4 with a postponed game against the White Sox.
The good news is that nobody really killed it during the current time frame which saves the White Sox a little bit as they did the worst. Nonetheless, they fell to five games behind the Guardians for first place in the division and fell to three games behind the Twins for second place. The only good news from this stretch of games is that they beat Cleveland once and Baltimore once, pretty good teams. But getting swept (three games) at home by the fourth place, 59-67, Diamondbacks was an opportunity wasted. Dropping one game to Kansas City was far from helpful.
Looking even further, the opportunity was really wasted. The Twins dropped three games to Texas and were swept by Houston. There was a real opportunity to gain ground and the White Sox couldn’t execute. While the Twins swept San Francisco, the White Sox were swept by Arizona.
Cleveland performed the best of anyone, though they still dropped three to Seattle, one to the White sox, but then swept the Padres in two games in San Diego. Again, some opportunities, but not able to execute.
What Went Right, What Went Wrong
We need some runs. The run production remains anemic at best. In this stretch, the White Sox scored two runs four times, three runs twice, four runs once, and five runs twice. In their win against Cleveland, they scored two runs. In one of their losses against Arizona, they scored five runs. On average, the White Sox scored 3.1 runs a game during this stretch against their season average which is 4.1. A full run a game less. The Dodgers lead the league in runs scored with five runs a game and the Tigers are last in the league with 3.3 runs a game. The White Sox average in the current stretch of games would place them last in average runs scored per game in the MLB.
The White Sox remain one of the best in the league in batting average with Jose Abreu, Luis Robert, Tim Anderson, and Eloy Jimenez all batting above .300 and Andrew Vaughn hitting .291. The White Sox are fourth in the MLB in batting average behind the Rockies, Blue Jays, and Dodgers. Like the Rockies, these hits don’t turn into runs. The White Sox are 21st in RBI’s and they are 28th in homeruns, only beating out Cleveland and the Tigers (both AL Central by the way). Nonetheless, Cleveland is winning, able to average just slightly more runs and RBI’s then the White Sox – Cleveland is 18th in Runs and RBI’s while the White Sox are 21st in both categories. Abreu and Vaughn are tied for the team lead in home runs at 14. I think Aaron Judge had 14 home runs in May.
Cease had a tough game against Baltimore last week, giving up 4 runs in 5.1 innings. He rebounded with an 8 inning, 2 run game against Baltimore. In fact, he gave up only two hits. Unfortunately, both of those hits left the ballpark and the White Sox only scored two runs in the loss. Cueto has been a great surprise this year and pitched 8.2 inning against Cleveland giving up 0 runs but got crushed by Arizona to the tune of 7 runs in in 5 innings. Michael Kopech left after 19 pitches when he re-aggravated his knee and is out until at least September 7. Lance Lynn was effective in this stretch throwing 11.2 innings and giving up 2 earned runs. Giolito only pitched once in this stretch, giving up 1 earned in 5.1 innings against Baltimore. The outing before that, he gave up 7 to Houston in three innings.
What about the Wildcard
The White Sox dropped to six games back in the Wild Card race, behind Tampa Bay, Seattle, Toronto, Baltimore, and Minnesota. The Cubs play Toronto this week and could help their Southside neighbors. During this stretch:
- Toronto went 5-4.
- Baltimore went 6-3.
- Tampa Bay went 7-3.
- Seattle went 5-4.
Clearly some teams are competing heavily for the Wild Card spot. All of the non-AL Central teams are playing over .500.
With where the White Sox sit, they are now going to have to play way over .500 ball in the next several stretches. By falling farther behind, the hole just keeps getting bigger. It doesn’t help to have Kopech on the injured list, Tim Anderson out until late September, Jimenez another couple of days, and Robert out another couple of days. By no means are the White Sox dead in the water, plenty of time and life left to play.