Following Friday night’s postponement, the Chicago White Sox had a chance to get back to .500 with two games against the Minnesota Twins. However, instead of getting back in the win column the Sox lost both games to their divisional foe, and are now four games under .500. The offense continues to be a problem, as the Sox were only able to score four runs against one of the weaker pitching staffs in the American League. Starters Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd both had fine outings, but had no margin for error with the lack of offense. The White Sox are now 0-2 on their current 9-game home-stand, and have now lost 9 of their last 12 games.
Here’s how the home-stand started:
Saturday, April 20th – Twins 2 White Sox 1 (10 innings)
Alejandro De Aza led off the game with a home run, his fourth of the year, to give the White Sox an early lead. But, that was the only offense on the day. The Sox would record just four hits the rest of the game, with Paul Konerko being responsible for two of the four singles. In addition, the Sox struggled to make contact by striking out 13 times. The White Sox offense simply needs to be better, because this was a game they should have won.
Jake Peavy was on the hill and had a great game. Peavy went seven strong innings, giving up one run, on six hits, four walks, and nine strikeouts. With four walks and nine punch-outs, Peavy’s pitch count rose rather quickly and he threw 117 pitches on the afternoon. Peavy battled a bit at times, but his fastball had a lot of life and late movement on it that he was able to be successful enough to get a victory. Obviously, that wouldn’t be the case with no run support. Peavy’s now owns a season ERA of 3.20 and a 1.14 WHIP. The right-hander is well on his way to having another fine season. The bullpen would combine to pitch the final three innings, with Hector Santiago ultimately giving up the winning run that was aided by an Alexei Ramirez throwing error. The bullpen did walk four batters and didn’t record a strikeout, but the lack of offense was the real problem in this game.
Sunday, April 21st – Twins 5 White Sox 3
The White Sox had another rough time on Sunday, resulting in another loss. The Sox had just five hits once again, with Alejandro De Aza accounting for two hits and two runs scored. Adam Dunn finally broke out of a 0-for-31 slump with a solo home run. Jeff Keppinger is now in the midst of a 0-for-24 slide of his own, but did pick up two RBIs by making contact in two situations with a runner on third base with less than two outs. Both Dunn and Keppinger need to get things going, because right now they are automatic outs.
Gavin Floyd took the ball on Sunday, and had a solid outing. The righty pitched six innings, giving up just one run, on three hits, three walks, and six strikeouts. Floyd cruised through the first five innings before running into a little trouble in the sixth. In all, Floyd did his part to pick up the win, but he was failed by the offense and his bullpen. Matt Lindstrom came on to pitch the seventh inning and coughed up a 2-1 lead. Lindstrom gave up three runs in his 0.2 innings of work. That would be enough for the Twins to defeat the White Sox on consecutive days. The bullpen struggled over the weekend, but they have been great all year and still have a 2.22 ERA.
Record: 7-11, Last place in AL Central (3.5 games back)
Up Next: The White Sox will welcome their division rival Cleveland Indians (7-10) for three game series to start the week.
Monday, April 22nd at 7:10pm CT: Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 4.70 ERA) vs. Justin Masterson (3-1, 1.67 ERA)
Tuesday, April 23rd at 7:10pm CT: Jose Quintana (1-0, 2.55 ERA) vs. Zach McAllister (1-2, 3.12 ERA)
Wednesday, April 24th at 1:10pm CT: Chris Sale (1-2, 4.50 ERA) vs. Corey Kluber (1-0, 1.80 ERA)
Prediction: The White Sox desperately need a series win against the Indians. If Justin Masterson pitches like he did the last time we saw him, then the Sox may be in for another long night. Tuesday and Wednesday are more favorable matchups for the Sox, so hopefully they can pick up a win or two. With the way the Sox are playing it is hard to pick them to win a series. Indians win two of three.
Follow me on Twitter @etichel07