Saturday, May 28, 2022

Free Fall: Observations As The White Sox Losing Streak Hits Seven


The White Sox ended their road trip from hell with yet another loss. Tim Anderson and Danny Mendick each homered but it wasn’t enough as the South Siders would cough up a late lead and eventually lose in extra innings 6-4. With the loss, the White Sox now move into third place in the American League Central standings. Here are three observations from another dreadful day at the ballpark. 

When Tim Goes The Offense Goes

The White Sox offense has been dreadful during this seven-game losing streak. They have eclipsed three runs just once and are averaging just 2.14 runs per game during that stretch. 

As a team they rank 23rd in the MLB in batting average (.214), 25th in hits (105), 26th in runs scored (50), and 29th in OBP (.266). That is simply not good enough for an offense that was projected to be a strength of the team. 

The White Sox scored four runs on Sunday and Tim Anderson is a major reason why. He hit a home run on the first pitch of the game to open the scoring. He then singled in the top of the third, stole second base, and then scored on an Andrew Vaughn RBI single. 

This seems to be a reoccurring theme for the White Sox. When Tim Anderson is hitting well the rest of the offense follows suit. He is the tone-setter at the top of the lineup. Unfortunately, he has not been playing well over this seven-game stretch. He is batting just .222 with four strikeouts and a .370 slugging percentage. Hence one of the reason’s why the White Sox have an offense as dangerous as a water pistol at the moment. 

Bullpen Falters After Being Taxed Once Again

Liam Hendriks severed up a 469-foot bomb to Byron Buxton that landed in the second deck for a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th. The White Sox All-Star closer now has an ERA of 6.14. Hendriks was pitching on back-to-back days.

The usually reliable Kendall Graveman also looked shakey in his eighth appearance of the year. He walked three and had to do a high wire act to escape the inning. 

But it was Aaron Bummer who stole the show out of the bullpen. He entered the game in the seventh inning and allowed two walks, and a home run to cough up the White Sox lead. While Bummer has been horrendous this season the bullpen as a whole has been pretty solid. 

Part of the reason cracks is beginning to show is because they are constantly being asked to cover at least four innings a game as a unit. 

White Sox starters need to go deeper into games. A White Sox starting pitcher has yet to make it through the sixth inning. In total, the White Sox have gotten 62.1 innings out of their starters leaving the bullpen to eat up 67.2. That means 53 percent of the innings pitched this season have been from a member of the bullpen. 

That is a recipe for tired arms in September and October if this trend continues. The starters need to go deeper.

Giolito Looks Sharp In Return

One of the only positive takeaways from Sunday was that Lucas Giolito looked good in his return to the mound. The White Sox ace has been out since Opening Day. He struck out nine in four innings and only allowed one run. He was limited to just 76 pitches as a precaution after returning from an abdominal strain. 

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