I really didn’t think the White Sox would be this good and while other bloggers have been predicting a mid-season collapse, I have news for them and for Sox fans: it’s not going to happen. This team will win the Central because of their strong pitching staff.
Now, that’s not to downplay their offense, which is 4th in the league in runs scored, but that second-best 3.44 ERA is what will carry this team into the postseason. The offense has been this good as recently as 2006 when
they were 3rd in runs and 1st in home runs – and they did win 90 games – but that only got them third place. The reason they didn’t win more games is because their pitching staff’s ERA was an abysmal 4.61, tenth in the league.
Compare that to the 2005 team’s 3.61 and you see why the team was unable to defend its title. That World Series winning team was just ninth in runs but still won 99 games and then watched its pitching staff dominate the playoffs. The 2008 team seems to be a hybrid of the ’05 and ’06 teams, but as long as the pitching remains strong (and I think it will) this team will coast into the playoffs.
I’ll let someone else wax poetic about the aging sluggers Dye and Thome, or the tough Swisher, or the surprising Quentin, because I know this team’s success is because of Danks, Floyd, Contreras, Buehrle, Vazquez, and a terrific bullpen. I would love to talk trash on this team but how could I back it up? I thought the Royals would be better than the Sox but clearly they are not, and after being swept and outscored 21-11 in their previous three-game series earlier in the year it’s not even competitive.
So Sox fans, enjoy the ride because it feels like 2005 all over again.
Jeff Parker keeps Royals fans’ hope alive on life support at Royally Speaking.