• HaroldHecuba: Mike Mussina is EASTERN EUROPEAN, not Italian....

I made an effort to watch all three White Sox – Cubs games this past weekend, thinking that we (ChiSox) would have a chance to keep those pesky Twins at bay – and of course, show our cross-town rivals a thing or two.

Like I said in the WTN for the Cubs, boy was I being prophetic. Nary a word of trash-talk comes out of my fingers and the Sox spiral into some kind of bizarre, home-run allowing, non-moving-RISP, dribbler-down-the-line-for-a-double-play-hitting team.

I hate to admit it, but series like these prove the White Sox are at the top because the other teams aren’t winning. Much like the Twins winning the division for a while early in the decade, Ozzie’s Sox have been good enough to stay on top, but that won’t be true for long, as those pesky Twins are inching ever-so closer. And don’t look now, but the Tigers might make a run for it in the AL Central.

During those annoying in-game interviews, Joe Morgan asked Ozzie for one wish; Ozzie’s response: My hitters to get hot.

The Sox offense sputtered all weekend, producing a couple of home runs and some run-scoring singles, but not enough to counter the slugfest that was the Cubs’ line up. Aramis Ramirez? Are you serious? In fact, the Sox had the lead in the first two games but the bullpen just couldn’t hold on. And last night, Ryan Dempster won his ninth home-game in a row.

I hated the Octavio Dotel signing before the season began, and I hate it even more now. He gave up two consecutive home runs on Friday that got the Cubs back in the game. With his two blown saves, 3.31 ERA (second-highest in the Sox pen), and three losses, it’s plenty to skew perception towards the negative.

It’s still early, and the Cubbies still have to play three more in the South Side next weekend, so we’ll just save the condolences for then.

Now for the linkage:

[Baseball Musings] The let-down in stats: The White Sox had allowed 54 home runs before the seires. They allowed nine during those three games.

[Baseball Think Factory] Asking your top RBI producer to bunt with two runners on and nobody out? Well that or hit into a double play.

[Newsday’s Baseball Insider] Kevin Davidoff’s sticking to his preseason prediction and thinks the Mets are more likely than the Yankees to make the playoffs.

[The LoHud Yankees Blog] “Prepare yourself for the return of Sir Sidney Ponson.”

[Palm Beach Post] M.C. Hammer may have gotten Jack McKeon fired.

8 Responses to “Thoughts and links: Second City let-down edition”

  1. I don’t watch the Sox closely enough to know this, but does he alternate between the stretch and windup? Or might I suggest ‘intangibles’, the catch-all that stat-heads persistently deny?

  2. Dotel was looking like a pleasant surprise, but after this weekend I may have to change my misinformed outlook. Thought it pains me to say it the Cubs are, sadly, the real thing and the Sox, sadly, are not. Nice to see A.J. Pierzynski actually throw a runner out at 2nd for once though.

  3. I know! Kinda got pumped after that one… but ugh… Dotel…

  4. Coley Ward says:

    I’m as pissed at Dotel as anyone, seeing as I just added him to my fantasy team last week. But let’s not get carried away. If you don’t want him, we’ll take his 3.31 ERA on the Phillies anyday.

  5. melissa says:

    “Aramis Ramirez? Are you serious?”
    Alejandro, Were you somehow shocked at the outburst by the Ram? When he gets hot he hits home runs in bunches regardless of what kind of pitches he’s thrown. Sox fans shouldn’t be ready to give up on Dotel because two very good hitters took him deep. Prior to this weekend the Sox had won all but 2 games that they led after the 6th inning, the bullpen has been very good. The Cubs are 32-8 at home this season, I believe the Sox are the 7th team that they have swept at Wrigley. The Cubs have continually come from behind to win games at home this season. Don’t be shocked that the Sox were outscored 22-11 in the series. The Cubs are better than the teams in the AL Central and the Sox should be fine when they go back to playing them. The Sox are the best team in their division, they just aren’t as good as the Cubs. The Sox showed that their biggest weakness may be the inability to move runners over and score them without hitting home runs. The Cubs out slugged the Sox but they also moved runners over, got walks and moved runners first to third, unlike the South Siders. The Cubs have won 8 of the last 9 between the 2 teams so maybe the Sox can do a little catching up next weekend. Just to be on the safe side don’t hold your breath.

  6. Nick Kapur says:

    The Cubs are the best team in baseball right now, hands down. Like Melissa says, the Sox have an okay team for their division. But they just ran into a buzzsaw and got beat by a team that is flat-out better than them. There is not too much shame in that.

  7. “The Sox are the best team in their division, they just aren’t as good as the Cubs. The Sox showed that their biggest weakness may be the inability to move runners over and score them without hitting home runs.”

    —-

    Wow, talk about boldness. But you’re right, and that’s a big glaring weakness. Now that the Twins and Tigers are starting to win, it might not be long before the Sox are bumped out of first place.

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