CHICAGO – “Detroit is coming.”
Peavy’s statement had the feeling of a pronouncement. Detroit is coming.
The Detroit Tigers were expected to burst from the gates and runaway with the American League Central from the start of the season. But even as they’ve struggled over the first few months, few had written them off. There’s been an assumption the Tigers would get it together just as they did in June last season and still be the team to beat in the AL Central.
And as Peavy noted on Tuesday, the Tigers appear as if they’re on their way. They’ve won seven of their last nine games and have moved within a game off .500.
And the Tigers’ rise couldn’t come at a worse time for the White Sox as their momentum has them moving in just the opposite direction. With Tuesday’s loss, the White Sox have lost 10 of their last 14 games and are guaranteed their fifth consecutive losing series regardless of Wednesday’s result.
It may be too early for the White Sox to panic about their recent struggles, being overtaken by the Cleveland Indians for first place in the division or even the Tigers just yet, but there has to be some concern.
“I don’t think by any means this team has lost any confidence,” Peavy said. “We’ve shown we can play with anybody on any given day. The bottom line is we’ve just kind of been a little too streaky. We’ve been really good for a little while and not so good. Even when our not-so-good stretches, look at how easy we could have won that (game Tuesday) if we scratch a few runs across.”
The close losses are the ones that make any team sick to its stomach, and that’s been a prevalent feeling for the White Sox as of late.
There was Tuesday’s one-run loss. There was a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. There was another one-run loss to the Dodgers on Friday. There was a two-run loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday and another one-run defeat to them on Wednesday. The White Sox also endured a two-run loss to the Houston Astros on a June 10 and a two-run, extra-inning loss to the Seattle Mariners on June 2.
In June, the White Sox have lost 11 games, and seven of them have been decided by one or two runs. They’re 7-10 in one-run games this season. By comparison, the Indians are 12-2.
“It’s not like we’re playing terrible baseball,” Peavy said. “We’re just not doing what we have to do if we’re going to get it done.”
There is no one reason for the White Sox’s recent struggles. Their offense has abandoned them in some games, their pitching in others. On Tuesday, it was their offense and an error by third baseman Orlando Hudson which led to an unearned run in the second inning.
Hudson, who also made the game’s final out, accepted the blame.
“I (messed) it up,” Hudson said. “I lost the game for the man; that’s it. The man threw a hell of a game; I lost it for him. Point blank. Case closed. We lost. My bad. That’s it.”
That may not be it for the White Sox, but as everyone is well aware, Detroit is coming.