OK, this is getting a lot like last year. I feel like I wrote this blog over and over again during the early part of the 2010 season. It is only April, but this kind of start isn’t good and I don’t think another 20-5 run is in the offing. The National League is coming up in May and June again, but if the White Sox have to rely on that to dig themselves out of this hole, there really isn’t much hope for a playoff run. Again.
If you watched the past road trip for the Sox, it was like déjà vu; poor play in Tampa Bay, a sweep in Detroit and a glimmer of hope in New York. Well, that’s not exactly true, the starting pitching is a glimmer as well along with Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko, but that’s about it. I’m not about to get all crazy over Brent Lillibridge. Those catches to end the second game in New York were amazing. He is going to have a story to tell his grand kids about. How he made two of the best catches of his life on two of the best players he ever played against, Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez. But the way some folks were reacting on Twitter and talk radio the next day you’d think it was the final game of the World Series, or the game that pushed them into first place. People were saying how that ending could be the moment that turns the White Sox season around. I hate to agree with such a worn out piece of baseball wisdom, but momentum is tomorrow’s starting pitcher. Mark Buehrle pitched well enough, (see hope!) but the offense still struggled and watching Mariano Rivera was just confirmation that he’s in the Hall of Fame the minute he becomes eligible.
The piece of the pitching that should be a concern is Dontrelle Jackson. His last three starts have gotten progressively worse, with the last start against New York being just brutal, including the ultimate in bad pitching walking the bases loaded. All of the talk is that when Jake Peavy comes back he’ll be taking Phil Humber’s place, but maybe they should think about replacing Edwin Jackson.
I said if the White Sox came back with 5 wins on this 11 game trip that would be ok. Instead they could only scrounge up three and that wouldn’t have happened with the magic of Brent Lillibridge. Maybe the little elfin outfielder has a few more magic tricks before this season is completely lost.