Remember when the Chicago White Sox had just won their eighth game in their last 11 games and seemed like a club heading to the All-Star break on arguably their highest note all season?
Well, that spark hasn’t lasted long.
Only way to describe downtown Cleveland right now: LeBron-ergized.
— Dan Hayes (@DanHayesCSN) July 12, 2014
Of course, as the entire world learned in the early afternoon hours on Friday, LeBron James officially announced his plans to return to Cleveland after four years with the Miami Heat.
Feeding off the buzz surrounding Cleveland after James announced he was “coming home”, the Indians answered every White Sox run (literally).
The White Sox scored in the second, fourth and fifth innings on Friday. Each time the White Sox snagged a lead (2-0 in the second, 3-2 in the fourth and 4-3 in the fifth), Cleveland answered.
Friday was yet another rough outing for Hector Noesi. In 4 2/3 innings of work, Noesi gave up six earned runs on seven hits, walked four and struck out four on 88 pitches (50 strikes). Noesi only threw 15 first-pitch strikes to the 24 hitters he faced.
White Sox this season: - 86 more pitcher walks than batter walks - 152 more batter strikeouts than pitcher strikeouts
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) July 12, 2014
Another befuddling stat from Friday’s loss for the White Sox came from the offense. All but two hitters in the lineup logged a hit, but the Good Guys struck out 11 times total. Through 94 games, the White Sox have struck out 817 times. Only Miami and Houston (coincidentally, the teams with the top two overall picks in this year’s draft) have logged more.
The question from the beginning of the season still is relevant: Who are the Chicago White Sox?
The Sox haven’t been over .500 since June 4th. Sure, the South Siders are a rebuilding bunch; that part is clear. But what’s their identity? Outside of Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, the starting pitching is lackluster. The bullpen might be the worst in baseball due to inconsistency and injuries. Conor Gillaspie and Jose Abreu have been stellar offensively, but that’s it.
Nobody’s expecting the Sox to make a deep playoff run anytime soon, but our friends at Southside Showdown made a valid point heading towards the MLB Trade Deadline:
Should the #WhiteSox be buyers or sellers as trade deadline nears? They are 6.5 out of the 2nd Wild Card spot before Saturday's game.
— Southside Showdown (@SoxShowdown) July 12, 2014
As crazy as that sounds, the White Sox aren’t out of serious playoff contention at this point of year, unlike last year. The thing that hurts the Sox is their lack of inconsistency in all aspects of the game.
The White Sox are one of those teams that can go from boiling-lava hot to Mr. Softee Ice Cream-cold in a heartbeat.
I guess the Sox aren’t completely unsolvable.
Of course, they could throw us all off again and win their last two games heading to the All-Star break.