Thursday, August 20, 2009

Going For The Gold?

Where are the White Sox going? More importantly, when are they going? As in, when are they going to gel and win this easy division?

On paper, the White Sox should be running away with the division. As is the case, what looks good on paper, rarely translates to on the field success. The numbers even look good, but the downfall of the 2009 team will be the defense.

I was simply flabbergasted to find out that the Sox went 0-49 to start the season, while trailing in the ninth, before finally winning in the ninth. 0-49?! That sounds like Washington Nationals territory. The lack of clutch hitting in the ninth isn't the culprit here, it's the defense.

When you give a team four or five outs in an inning, more times than not it will come back to bite you in the butt. The same goes for leadoff walks. Mix in leadoff walks and poor defense, in the same inning and you have a calamity waiting to happen.

That's not to say that the defense hasn't gotten better. It has, but an upgrade from poor to fair isn't that much of a difference. It puts an unbearable strain on the pitching staff and that will cause poor pitching performances.

Do I still think that the Sox can win? Sure. They have the luxury of being in one of the worst divisions. I'm not counting on Peavy this year. I'm counting on Rios and Pena and Garcia. Those are the players that are trying to help at the Major League level right now. Could Peavy be a help this year? He sure could, but until he is here, Jake Peavy is not on my radar.

The Sox are the underachieving team in an enviable position. If they can start just achieving, not overachieving, they will win this thing. When the playoffs start, you throw the regular season out the window. In order to do that, you have to get there first. This team is certainly capable of doing that. Will they?

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