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Wednesday, June 19

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White Sox Thu Jun 27 2013

White Sox Season Over With Three Months Left

Sox_200.pngHey, remember when I wrote that the White Sox couldn't be counted out just yet? You can, uh, ignore that now. Not a good call by me.

The Sox season, as far as competing for a respectable record in 2013, is over. Of course, this doesn't come as a surprise. The team hasn't been above .500 since April 9. But in trying to capture something, even just a semblance of success, the team has gone 3-5 since leaving Houston last Monday.

It's not just that the team is losing. It's that the Sox are failing in some of the most spectacular ways possible. Jordan Danks was picked off second base to end a one-run game. Chicago was swept by a Twins team I've heard described as "The Astros with Joe Mauer." Alexei Ramirez booted a grounder in the eighth inning against Kansas City that allowed the tying and go-ahead runs to score.

Then there was this Mets series. Now, the Sox won the opener. A 5-4 victory. Ramirez got the game-winning walk-off hit and the crowd went wild. But the Sox should have never been in that position - tied in the ninth - in the first place. With two outs in the top of the last inning, Addison Reed induced a picture-perfect game-ending pop-up. It was a mile-high, sure, but it multiple Sox infielders had a shot at it, including the catcher. Yet it dropped in because Gordon Beckham dove for it. The tying run scored. Chris Sale's marvelous 13-strikeout game was ruined.

This is Little League stuff, JV stuff. This play should not be happening at a big league level. Yet for the Sox, these kinds of miscues have been going on all year - it's not just a funk, it is who they are. And worse yet for the Sox, they haven't had the overall team talent to overcome repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot.

Then, on Wednesday, the Sox were shutout. Mets' pitcher Shaun Marcum, who came into the game 0-9 with a 5.76 ERA, pitched eight innings. He only allowed four hits. Five Sox hitters with three at-bats saw 10 pitches or less. The offense has been bad all year (28th in OBP, 27th in slugging) and it killed them in the second game.

It doesn't get any easier any time soon. Chicago has a three game set against Cleveland to finish June, and July features Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Kansas City and Cleveland, and two series against Detroit. Their easiest opponent is Philadelphia, and that's on the road. The Sox are 32-43 now; they could easily be 20 games under .500 by the trade deadline.

Going forward, expect "seller" trades, and expect guys you never heard of getting spot starts. But that's a topic for another time. Focusing on right now, this is a team that has some talented players, but suffered key injuries, couldn't hit and cost themselves several games with fielding and baserunning mistakes. They always did just enough to give fans hope (Tuesday's game is a great example of that). No more. Let's put to bed the 2013 White Sox season. Before they pull me back in again.

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