Paul Konerko sees better days ahead


CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox and their captain, Paul Konerko, seem to be on the same path toward improvement.

The Sox have won four of their last six games and Konerko had his best game in almost a month on Saturday, going 3-for-5 in Anaheim.

“I thought we had a pretty good week,” Konerko said before Mondays game against the Boston Red Sox. “We have been playing pretty good ball, the defense has kind of tightened up a little bit and we have been playing some clean games. We definitely have looked better in this last week than we have all year.”

But Konerko has not looked very good in the last three weeks. He entered this series hitting .200 (11-for-85) over his last 21 games. In that time frame he has just one home run and six RBIs.

“The team is starting to play better and I am just trying to contribute,” Konerko said. “If personally it is not going well, and you are not getting the results you want and the team isn’t doing well it is kind of a double whammy. So for me, the better the team can go and you can kind of chip in here. You feel like if you are not doing much, you can at least throw something in to help in a winning fashion.”

Konerko, at age 37, has had to adjust in a first base and DH rotation with Adam Dunn. His professionalism won’t allow him to use that as an excuse for a slow start.

“If you would have dropped me into this new situation eight or 10 years ago it would have been kind of weird,” he said. “I knew this year I was going to DH more. No worries, I just have to stay sharp and I feel I have the hang of being a DH. I just need to stay sharp in the field. You want to make sure you are sharp for your pitcher and you are there for the defense. That kind of stuff can get away from you.”

Konerko senses his batting stroke coming into sync.

“The last couple of days I have felt better,” he said. “I had a few hits the other day. There are a lot of moments when you think you are close and think you got it . That has to line up with someone not catching the ball, the wind not knocking the ball down. Those little moments where those things can kind of turn it for you, that has not happened. I also know that if you want to be good in this league consistently, if you go up there for 10 at-bats you have to be good in 10 of them. That means you are dialed in and have something going on and I am working on the consistency of that.”

Konerko has had one important stat working for him this season. He is hitting .323 with runners in scoring position, contributing two home runs and 14 RBIs in the clutch.