The great thing about this stretch of White Sox baseball is that every victory is this cathartic festival as a painful losing streak is violently snapped, and it corpse is dragged through the city center.
Everything about the offense yesterday was so undeniably different in the way the lineup went through at-bats against Jeremy Guthrie that one can’t help but wonder if the Earth itself rocked into a different axis and everything has changed now. Dayan Viciedo might be a slugger again, Alejandro De Aza might be an All-Star, frozen pizzas are healthy, etc.
One claim that actually seemed worth pursuing rather than being the desperate fantasy of a tortured fanbase, is the notion that Paul Konerko is heating up, as the kids say. I isolated his month of June and found some blessed mediocrity along with mid-.700 OPS. But, when I made the starting point even more arbitrary–Konerko’s first multi-hit game of the month on June 8–I found a dazzling line of .364/.440/.545 since that point.
Obviously, a lot of that hot streak is batting average and we get nervous when someone’s success is based on the fits and starts of batting average. Paul Konerko is historically a power hitter and won’t seem right until he starts hitting for power again. However, what’s interesting about this stretch is that Konerko has struck out just three times in his last 50 plate appearances. Sky-high batting averages are somewhat more legit with a 6% strikeout rate. It’s not a signifiant sample of a new approach, but significant samples of the White Sox doing good things are hard to find.
White Sox Lineup
Jose Quintana, SP
Starting to get just a liiiiiittle agitated with Q. Only one of his last five outings has been quality and he hasn’t displayed his sharpest form since his no-hitter bid against Boston on May 21. The fastball has still been sitting 91-92 mph this month, but the command is off and opponents are slugging .500 against him.
In his last start, with the aid of Hector Gimenez, Quintana harkened back to the frozen molasses pace of his early days, and labored heavily through the continued absence of any kind of swing-and-miss secondary pitch. He never has an effective slider consistently, but it’s been a prolonged absence.
Kansas City Royals Lineup
Wade Davis, SP
Davis keeps dotting his season with enough trainwreck starts to keep his ERA hideous and discussion of his migration to the bullpen on topic. He sports a 2.04 ERA for his month of June, but that includes three unearned tallies. Control, home runs; both are capable of jumping up and biting him on a bad day. That he’s more than capable of annihilating this White Sox lineup on a good day goes without saying.
Where to Watch: CSN at 1pm CT
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