Where has this Chicago White Sox team been all season? The “Good Guys” have won six straight games and are going for another road series win, this time against the Boston Red Sox, as they’ve won the first two of four played at Fenway Park.
Entering Wednesday, the White Sox have put themselves back into the mix of things in the AL Wild Card race, being 3.5 games back of the second Wild Card spot with a 48-50 overall record.
Currently, teams in front of the White Sox in that race are the three leaders for the two spots in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Houston Astros and the Minnesota Twins. Also in front of the Sox are the Baltimore Orioles (-2.0), Tampa Bay Rays (-2.5) and the Toronto Blue Jays (-3.0).
To be honest, after the way the Sox played against the Blue Jays and the St. Louis Cardinals after the All-Star break, I didn’t see this type of winning coming, even if it is against teams with sub .500 records this season.
It doesn’t matter if the White Sox are beating teams with winning or losing records right now, the calendar is about to move to August, so any win is a good win right now.
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What I do like about this current streak of winning is the White Sox are going for one of the two coveted Wild Card spots, which would be their first postseason appearance since the ’08 season, the last time the White Sox won the AL Central title.
This wining streak has allowed the White Sox to keep Jeff Samardzija off the trade block, which since they are so close to a spot in the postseason I understand, especially after how poorly the team has played in the two previous seasons and in parts of this season as well.
This month, the White Sox are currently 15-8, so keeping Samardzija in the rotation does give this team a good chance at winning more games, if he continues to pitch like he has been lately and doesn’t regress to his early season form.
In ’15, Samardzija is 8-5 with a 3.94 ERA in 21 starts. In 148.1 innings, the “Shark” has 111 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.18.
The past three starts by Samardzija (7-17 vs. KC, 7-23 at Cleveland, 7-28 at Boston), he’s 2-1 with nine earned runs and four walks. He’s struck out three in each of those games and has gone no fewer than seven innings in each of those starts.
The past seven games, Samardzija is 4-1 with a 2.67 ERA (seven starts, 54 innings). In those starts, he’s struck out 34 batters while allowing 16 earned runs and 11 walks.
Jul 28, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera (53) rounds second base on his was to third after hitting a triple during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Another player who has been a huge part of this turnaround in the standings has been Melky Cabrera in the past seven games. In those games, Cabrera (31 at-bats) has 16 hits (seven doubles, one triple, two home runs), eight runs, 11 RBIs and has struck out just seven times.
That is the Cabrera we’ve all wanted to see this season (.516 batting average, .531 on-base percentage in those aforementioned games), and let’s all hope that consistency continues for him, because he must produce at a very high level if the White Sox want to return to the postseason.
Also, Jose Abreu is batting .444 in the past seven games with 12 hits, two doubles and two home runs. Abreu also has nine RBIs in that span, along with a .516 on-base percentage.
So to answer my initial question about this ball club … no, the winning isn’t too late, but they must keep this consistency through the final two months of the regular season, or it will become yet another tough finish for the “Good Guys” in ’15.