Wednesday, May 04, 2005

White Sox 5, Royals 4

Tadahito Iguchi hit his first home run of his major league career and Carl Everett drove home the tying and winning runs in the Sox’ 5-4 win against the Royals on Tuesday.

First of all, is there a worse team in baseball than the Royals?







Runs Scored


Runs Allowed


If not for Pittsburgh and Colorado, it would be a pretty clear case.

But, these are the games the Sox have to win. Much noise has been made about how the Sox have to beat the Twins if they’re going to win the AL Central. But how about beating the Tigers and Royals?

Lets go back to 2003, when the Sox finished four games behind the Twins:









Now, the Royals were having a surprising season, winning 83 games when most people thought they’d lose 90 going into the year. And the Twins did out-do the Sox by a game.

But only a .579 winning percentage against the Tigers? The 119-loss Tigers that had two in five of their last six to avoid baseball history’s top spot for modern futility?

The Tigers had a .421 winning percentage against the White Sox …. And a .245 winning percentage against everyone else. That’s three games the Sox gave back. Those wins could have made their last series with the Royals that season meaningful.

The larger point is, you have to beat the best teams in the league to prove you can play with them in the post season. But you don’t get to the postseason unless you can clean up against the lousy teams. Which the Sox didn’t do that year.


What hot start?:
Paul Konerko went 0-for-3 and is in danger of his batting average slipping below .200. With his prolific homer output early this season, it’s not like he’s having a stretch as bad as his first half in 2003. But maybe we’re getting to the point where we can think about it.

Konerko’s a good player, but the Sox should be leery of signing him to a big-money, long-term deal.

Can still hit:
While most groaned at the acquisition of Carl Everett when Sox GM Kenny Williams picked him up for the second straight year, it hasn’t worked out badly for the team.

Everett’s .819 OPS is second on the team behind Iguchi’s .833 mark. That’s not great, but think about where the Sox would be without his bat. He’s also shown signs of heating up, with five of his seven walks on the season coming in just the last week. That mean’s he’s not slipping into any hacktasticaly bad habits.

My opinion is that the Sox still overpaid for him by giving up two pitching prospect (though marginal ones) and still taking on all of his salary. But not only has he helped them out so far this year, but his ability to play the outfield will give the Sox some flexibility when Frank Thomas comes back.

Scott Posednik’s on-base percentage dipped back to .352 after a 1-for-4 evening without any walks. The hit loomed large, however, as he scored the tying run. Not that that’s an excuse for his .619 OPS.

On Deck:
Freddy Garcia (2-1, 2,83) against Runelvys Hernandez (1-3, 5.06) and the Royals. Here’s to winning ugly against the bad teams.

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