CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox are not concerned with how it looks, only that the desired result is achieved.
If that sounds a lot like the “Winning Ugly" season of 1983, well that’s only fitting since the White Sox wore those old red, white and blue jerseys to honor the former American League West champs for the first of 13 home Sunday games this season.
It’s not lost on the current club that despite winning their first two home series, there are plenty of areas for improvement. The pessimist can call it unfulfilled potential. The optimists look at it as a good sign moving forward.
“I think we have a chance to be a pretty good ballclub, especially if we clean up some things,” catcher Tyler Flowers said. “I think the offense will get going a little more than it has and our pitching has been quality so far.”
The White Sox pulled off a victory Sunday when their ace starter wasn’t firing on all cylinders, the defense continued to show cracks and the offense once again failed to manufacture run opportunities, leaning on the long ball instead.
It still led to a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners, although it took 10 innings to finish it off when Dayan Viciedo crushed a mammoth game-ending home run to left field. The White Sox won two of three games in each of the first two series and head out on a challenging three-city road trip with some momentum.
“I think we are all confident,” Sox starter Chris Sale said. “We are all feeling good about this. Any time you can start at home and get off on the right foot with two series wins, you can’t really ask for much more than that. I think the momentum is going to carry into this road trip. It’s a long one but we are all prepared for it. Just by the way we are playing and preparing.”
The White Sox now head off to Washington D.C. for three games this week, followed by three over the weekend at Cleveland and four next week at Toronto. All three teams are legitimate contenders in their separate divisions.
“I don’t look at any road trip where you think it’s easy,” manager Robin Ventura said. “We’re going to be playing tough teams all the time. I don’t look at it as we have to keep our head above water (on the trip). Washington is a tough team. We haven’t seen them at all really. You know they’re a good team. They made the playoffs last year. We’re going to have to clean some things up to be able to stay in those.”
Gordon Beckham made the White Sox’s seventh error in six games this season on a wild throw to first base, while the home-run-or-nothing offense has been well documented thus far. As for Sale, even when delivering less than his best, he’s still better than most.
“Obviously I started out of the gate a little rough, giving up two in the first on a home run, Sale said. “But that’s the beautiful thing about this team. Not only do we work hard for ourselves but we work hard for each other. We are here to do our job but also pick each other up. I think that happened throughout the entire game, people picking each other up.”