Can we get off this roller coaster yet? That’s enough loops, dips, dives and what have you for one season…but that’s just me. The 2012 campaign for the Chicago White Sox has proved to be very straining on not just them, but on the fan base as well. From going to the lowest of lows over last weekend following a sweep by the Detroit Tigers, the Sox were able to win the series against the Minnesota Twins earlier this week, despite getting shellacked in one of those games. And somehow, through it all, the White Sox are still a game ahead of the Tigers in the American League Central.
How that can be possible is beyond me. Honestly, right now it feels like neither team wants to lead this division. The Sox keep giving the Tigers chances to take that first place lead, but the Tigers seem to be insisting, “No it’s all right, you keep it.” But then the Sox just want to be nice it would seem, and return the favor. When will the selflessness end? If you’re thinking it’ll be this weekend against the Royals, think again. It doesn’t help that the Sox are 4-8 against the Royals this year. But even if the Sox do take two out of three, it means nothing because next week opens a four-game set against the Tigers.
The series against the Royals is simply a non-factor. It’ll be a great confidence-booster if they can win the series, but it all comes back to staying one step ahead of the Tigers. If the Sox can’t do that next week, then the team is done. This weekend’s series against Kansas City will be nothing more but a warm up. With any luck, the Sox are hopefully now more capable of handling a “warm-up” than earlier in the year.
Game 1 (Monday, 7:10 p.m. CST)
Francisco Liriano (5-11, 5.11 ERA) vs. Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.48 ERA)
Game 2 (Tuesday, 3:05 p.m. CST)
Chris Sale (15-6, 2.93 ERA) vs. Bruce Chen (10-11, 5.28 ERA)
Game 3 (Wednesday, 1:10 p.m. CST)
To Be Determined vs. Jeremy Guthrie (7-12, 5.34 ERA)
Alex Rios: Now hitting .298 this season, Rios’ displays of power earlier this week show he’s going to be one player ready for the home stretch.
Salvador Perez : The Sox better not be sleeping on the base paths this year. The catcher has already picked off four runners on the season.
The Bullpen: Everybody inside there needs to step it up. Something tells me Robin Ventura might go with his starters as long as possible for this series.
Jarrod Dyson: He’s decided to play the rest of the season, despite being hampered by a sprained muscle, and only expects to pinch run. If the Sox get to see some rookies in his place, then by all means.
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