Chicago White Sox: What can they learn from the Mariners series?

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

The Chicago White Sox just won a road series this season against the Seattle Mariners, 2-1. They won the first two games on Monday and Tuesday by a margin of six runs in each game. On Wednesday afternoon, they lost their first and only game of the series by a final score of 8-4.

The Sox are 3-4 to start the season on the road having had zero games at home so far. While there are many positives to take from the first seven games of the season, fans are already starting to see some holes in their game.

The Chicago White Sox could learn a lot from their recent Mariners series.

Hitting is one thing, home runs are another.

Let’s get this straight, it’s not the production of runs that’s the problem here as the Sox are ranked sixth in the MLB in runs per game averaging 6.33 per game.

The problem here is the way that they are producing their runs which have tended to be home runs. This season, 18 of 42 runs scored came from home runs. This is not a lot but it was a struggle the Sox had last season as they recorded 1.6 home runs per game last season and a 4.2 home run percentage, both of which were ranked fourth in the MLB.

Since the Sox tend to rely on the home run often, they have continuously left runners on base. They rank 23rd in that category this season, leaving 16 total on base per game this season. This is something the White Sox needs to work on because it’s costing them some serious run totals.

On the positive side, Jose Abreu hit his second grand slam of the season in the second game. Yermin Mercedes holds a.567 batting average after seven games.

The defense wins games and the defense has lost games.

The White Sox totaled three errors in this series. Averaging one per game this season, the Sox are ranked 25th in the MLB in errors per game. Their defense needs some work.

Notable errors came from Carlos Rodon in the first game on an attempted pick-off. Yasmani Grandal and Adam Eaton capped off the last two in the final game of the series.

This season, the Sox have produced 0.5 double plays per game which ranks 25th in the MLB. Last season, they were much better as they ranked 13th in the league. They produced 0.67 double plays per game.

Injuries are also a huge factor in this problem. Billy Hamilton and Tim Anderson were both injured coming out of this series. The problem in the left-field continues. Andrew Vaughn was able to cover some ground in the series but Hamilton seemed like the better fit.

Relief pitching needs a wake-up call along with Kopech and Crochet. 

Out of this series, the only issue came with relief pitching. Between starters Lucas Giolito, Carlos Rodon, and Dallas Keuchel, none of them recorded a loss. Giolito and Rodon both recorded wins. Rodon started off the series with two hits allowed, no runs, three walks, and nine strikeouts in five innings pitched. He is certainly stepping up to his once questionable role as the fifth pitcher in the starting lineup.

Giolito pitched a fine game in the next one. He allowed four hits, three runs, one walk, and 10 strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched. Keuchel allowed similar offensive production as Giolito, allowing four hits, three runs, and walked three batters, and struck out three.

All three starters in this series fought well and kept the Mariners to reasonable offense. It was enough for the Sox to take advantage of the bats in the first two games of the series. Relief pitching was the problem. Evan Marshall has now struggled in his first three appearances this season. Against the Mariners in the second game, he gave up three late hits and one run. His ERA stands currently at 9.82 runs.

The biggest struggle came from Matt Foster in the final game of the series. Foster blew a two-run lead in the back half of the game, giving up five hits and five runs. He struck out and walked one of each. Foster’s ERA is a sky-high 27 this season.

Related Story. There is no reason to be worried about the White Sox. light

The White Sox will play their home-opening series versus the Kansas City Royals on Apr. 8 in hopes of finding a groove at home. There is no reason to hit the panic button yet since the Sox have not been able to reach their home turf yet.