Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Win can't hide some rough numbers
By Doug Padilla
The numbers, especially on offense, have been brutal for the Chicago White Sox, and seven runs over 16 innings to end an eight-game losing streak Wednesday won't change that.
Other than notching their first victory in more than a week with the 7-5 triumph over the Seattle Mariners, what also was of note was the fact that the White Sox failed to score for the first 13 innings and were nearly shut out for the fourth time since May 27. Their own bullpen and the Mariners' futility helped to prevent that.
The White Sox averaged just 1.75 runs per game during their losing streak, scoring more than three runs in a game just once when they got four runners to cross the plate Tuesday.
Depending on how you look at it, it's either easy or extremely difficult to assign blame for what has gone wrong. The easiest way is to assign blame to every single White Sox player who had a bat in his hand over the past week and a half. The hard way is to figure out who is most at fault.
Instead, it’s probably best to present the recent numbers for all of the White Sox regulars. Here they are in all their glory (consider yourself warned):
Alejandro De Aza: The leadoff man is actually batting .297 during the past nine games, while posting a .324 on-base percentage and .323 slugging percentage during the eight games of the losing streak. He actually extended his hitting streak to seven games Wednesday, while his two runs in extra innings were one fewer than he scored during his previous eight games.
Alexei Ramirez: Before going 2-for-8 Wednesday with both hits in extra innings, Ramirez was batting .242 during the eight-game losing streak with a .242 on-base percentage and a .273 slugging percentage. He had only two runs and one extra-base hit during the losing streak from the No. 2 hole, and also struck out three times Wednesday.
Alex Rios: Of his four hits Wednesday, two drove in runs in extra innings. Things hadn't been going so well before Wednesday, though. During the eight-game losing streak, Rios went .154/.214/.231 and had scored only two runs with two extra-base hits.
Adam Dunn: Eight trips to the plate Wednesday failed to yield a hit, but Dunn did walk four times, all in extra innings, including three times on intentional passes. He needed 13 games to record his previous four walks. Dunn was out of action for a day during the eight-game losing streak, going .217/.240/.391 with eight strikeouts in the seven defeats in which he did participate. He scored only one run during the streak, and that came on his own home run Tuesday.
Paul Konerko: The veteran slugger, who appears to be more hobbled than he is letting on, played in six games during the eight-game losing streak going .211/.250/.316. Since hitting his most recent home run May 22, Konerko has just two extra-base hits and appeared to get some bat speed back before regressing over the past week. He was 1-for-6 on Wednesday as the designated hitter.
Dayan Viciedo: Nobody has struggled more of late than Viciedo, who was lifted for a pinch hitter in the 10th inning. During the losing streak, Viciedo went .080/.080/.120, while playing in seven of the games. In the 16 games from the time Viciedo returned from the disabled list to the time the losing streak started, he was hitting .333/.415/.500, but all of that is a memory now.
Jeff Keppinger: Along with De Aza, Keppinger has actually hit a little of late, which is interesting since Gordon Beckham's return was supposed to eat into his playing time. Keppinger played in six games during the losing streak, going a Keppinger-like .364/.364/.364. Walks and extra-base hits are obviously non-existent. Over his past 15 games, he has a .345 batting average (19-for-55). Over his last 32 games, he has a .272 average (34-for-125).
Beckham: After going 1-for-7 in his first two games back from the disabled list, Beckham went 4-for-7 in Wednesday's victory. Maybe he just needed 10 at-bats or so to get his legs under him, because all four of his hits Wednesday came from the ninth inning or beyond. He scored the go-ahead run in the 16th.
Tyler Flowers: The only position player or relief pitcher who didn't play Wednesday was Flowers. A full day of rest wasn't such a bad thing. Flowers missed a few recent games because of a back injury, and when he returned, the losing streak began. He went .182/.217/.273 during the streak, while his eight strikeouts were double his hit total in that stretch.
Conor Gillaspie: One of the few consistent hitters for the White Sox this season, things weren’t going so well for Gillaspie during the losing streak. The left-handed hitter went .130/.231/.130 while playing in seven of the eight games in the streak. He came on to pinch hit for Viciedo in the 10th inning, but never came to the plate when he was hit for after the Mariners changed pitchers.
(For comparison purposes, all 15 American League teams were a combined .256/.321/.413 this season heading into play Wednesday.)