The Chicago White Sox won their eighth consecutive game yesterday, with a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. The win came on a day when Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko were 1-10 and struck out a combined five times.
Adam Dunn is currently in a 1-14 slump in his last four games, but the White Sox won all of those games. It is a given that Dunn will strike out a lot, but his power numbers are about normal for him. He only hit 11 home runs in 2011, but has already hit 16 in less than a third of the 2012 season.
Dayan Viciedo has taken up some of the slack, having hit .425 in his last ten games. He also has hit four home runs and driven in 13 runs in his last seven games. Viciedo started slow this season, with a .206 batting average in April, but has rebounded to hit .351 in May.
Paul Konerko has hit .447 in his last ten games, while Alex Rios has hit .342 in his last 10 games. Alexei Ramirez has hit .297 in his last ten games. He was 2-18 in the first five games of that stretch, but has been 9-19 in the last five games.
Robin Ventura the White Sox manager made an excellent choice, in adding Chris Sale to the starting rotation. He was briefly sent back to the bullpen, but looks like he is in the starting rotation to stay. Sale and Derek Lowe have allowed the fewest home runs (3) of any pitchers with at least six wins in the AL.
Sale and Jake Peavy have a combined 12-3 record this season. Peavy has a $22 million option for the 2013 season. It looked like a no-brainer that the White Sox would decline that option, during the coming postseason, but now Peavy is making that decision more difficult for the White Sox. If he wins 20 games he will make that decision even more difficult.
While Sale and Peavy have a combined 12-3 record in 2012, the other six starters have a combined 10-12 record. Jose Quintana is the only other White Sox starter with a winning record with a 1-0 record.
The other three starters in the rotation, Gavin Floyd, Phillip Humber and John Danks are 12th, 13th and 14th among all 15 White Sox pitchers this season. Floyd has posted a 5.02 ERA while Humber has an ERA of 5.37 and Danks has an ERA of 5.70.
Floyd has allowed 21 runs and 28 hits in his last 14.2 innings, while Humber hit a wall after his perfect game, by allowing 20 runs and 21 hits over the next three starts. It took 38 days after the perfect game, to win another start.
Danks is currently on the disabled list, but hadn’t pitched well, when he was healthy. He has only won twice since April 11.
The White Sox offense has scored the fourth most runs in the AL, while the pitchers have allowed the third least runs. The White Sox are second in opponent’s batting average at .232, with only the Los Angeles Angels better allowing opponents a .231 average.
Even though three starters have ERA’s over 5.00, the Sox still have allowed the third least runs in the AL, so that tells me the White Sox should compete all season long for the AL Central title.