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White Sox Mon Jun 03 2013

White Sox Botch Chance to Improve on Run

Sox_200.pngHey, remember when the White Sox were at .500? How quickly things fall apart. It was Memorial Day, the scent of charcoal was in the air, and the Sox were prepping for a four game set against their North Side rivals. Then, the club was going to travel out to beautiful Oakland and face the A's in a weekend series. It was going to be a fun ride.

One week later, the Sox sit at 24-30, losing all six games (one was rained out). So much for the Crosstown Classic, and so much for making a run at the lead in the American League Central.

It's one thing to be a subpar team. That's understandable in a way, especially with the injuries and middling expectations coming into the season. But it's another thing to be a subpar team that makes avoidable mental lapses and fielding errors, allows the other team's worst to beat them. That's just a Molotov cocktail of disaster.

A breakdown off all the miscues that doomed the team:

• On Monday, Starlin Castro stole second, and no one covered the bag. He later scored.
• During the same game, Ryan Sweeney swung and missed at a Nate Jones pitch, and watched the ball roll to the backstop. He eventually ran to first, and Tyler Flowers threw the ball away.
• Dioner Navarro had a three home run game against them on Wednesday. That's half of his total home runs for 2013. He has 47 in his career.
• Thursday, an infield pop-up landed as Flowers, Jake Peavy and Conor Gillaspie watched the ball drop. Three batters later, pitcher Travis Wood clubbed a grand slam.
• Same day, down five runs in the seventh with a man on, Alejandro De Aza is thrown out by a mile at second, trying to stretch a clear single into a double.
• Bartolo Colon, at age 40, pitched a complete-game five-hit shutout against them Friday.
• Saturday, they got Yoenis Cespedes in a rundown and needed four throws to get him caught (two throws is usually too many).
• Later that day, bases loaded in the tenth, Hector Santiago walked in the winning run. Batter Josh Reddick dropped his hands on the 3-1 pitch, having no intentions of swinging at the inside fastball.
• Chris Sale went six innings on Sunday, only allowing one run. But that was too much, as the Sox were shut out.
• In the bottom of the eighth with the score 1-0 Oakland, Jordan Danks bobbled a Jed Lowrie single to center, and Coco Crisp scored from first base without a throw.
• Altogether this week, De Aza and Dayan Viciedo misplayed numerous fly balls on the warning track, allowing extra bases each time.
• The defense just looked out of whack. On Friday, Alex Rios had a slow roller single hit to him in right, and he still flubbed it off his glove. The batter stayed at first and the play was moot, but it was just an odd thing to see.
• The Sox drew nine walks to 52 strikeouts over the six games.
• This is just listing actual errors and miscues, not taking into consideration all the pop-ups the Sox hit or all the batters the bullpen walked.

If this continues (and there's a really good chance it will because the Sox have been doing these things all year), then this will be a tough team to watch. The series later this month against the Mariners, Astros, Twins and Royals will probably be absolute slogs. For the Sox, Memorial Day is long gone.

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Josh / June 4, 2013 11:15 AM

Isn't this a reflection of coaching? Anyone can have a slump, a pitcher can have a bad outing. But consistently sloppy play, fielding errors, an approach at the plate that undervalues walks, this is the responsibility of the manager. The idea of hiring Robin Ventura was cute, but we might need to make a change.

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