Monday, August 13, 2012
Streaking/Slumping: A.J. powering on
A.J. Pierzynski continued on his career-season pace while Adam Dunn suffered a power outage.
1. A.J. Pierzynski, C: He added to his career season by batting .435 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs over the past seven days. He hit his 23rd home run on Sunday, matching Carlton Fisk (1987) for the third-most homers in a season by a White Sox catcher. Batting .299 with 67 RBIs heading into Monday's game, Pierzynski already has surpassed his career high in homers (18 in 2005) and should easily eclipse his best RBI season of 77 in 2004. He even stood out on the basepaths Sunday when he scored from first on a groundout to shortstop. If nothing else, the soon-to-be free agent Pierzynski has driven up his price this winter.
2. Chris Sale, P: He continued to boost his Cy Young stock over the past week, posting two wins and a 2.45 ERA in two starts. Sale struck out 18 in 14 2/3 innings over that span and earned his 14th win of the season on Sunday. Any concerns about his velocity have been calmed after his past two starts with manager Robin Ventura noting after Sunday's game that Sale was throwing harder than in recent outings. Sale has enjoyed pitching at U.S. Cellular Field where he is 7-2 with a 1.80 ERA this season.
1. Adam Dunn, DH/1B: With Paul Konerko out of the lineup due to a concussion, the White Sox need Dunn to pick up some of the slack. But he enters Monday's game batting just .130 with 11 strikeouts in 23 at-bats over the past seven days. The immediate road ahead doesn't look promising for Dunn, who is batting .091 with 11 strikeouts in 22 at-bats against the Toronto Blue Jays, who take on the Sox for a three-game series beginning Monday. But things get more optimistic for the Sox slugger this weekend when they face the Royals. Dunn is batting .290 with 4 home runs and 6 RBIs against Kansas City this season.
2. Matt Thornton, RP: He lost his eighth game of the season on Saturday when he gave up a solo home run to Johnny Gomes and singles to Yoenis Cespedes and Chris Carter. Brett Myers relieved him and allowed a single, scoring Cespedes. Thornton helped turn a 7-6 White Sox lead into a 9-7 loss. He has a 7.84 ERA over his last 12 appearances with opponents batting .341 against him. Thornton has struggled in the second half with a 2.89 ERA before the All-Star break and a 7.15 ERA after.