Chicago White Sox: Why Not Us?
By Ian Acosta
I don’t think after the first three and a half months of watching the Chicago White Sox, anyone would think this team would be in the position they are in right now. And yet, here they are. Continuing their strong play before the All-Star break, the White Sox have been winning behind a revitalized and potent offense.
In their 17 second-half games they are 9-8 but that does not tell the whole story. In their last 10 games, they are 7-3 and that spans a seven game road winning streak that included a four game sweep of the Cleveland Indians and three of four against the Boston Red Sox.
This team is hot right now and their offense is the reason. In their last 11 games they’ve scored 73 runs which equates to a scorching 6.63 runs per game. The White Sox now sit just 3.5 games behind the Minnesota Twins for the second AL Wild Card spot.
How has this team turned it around so quickly?
One player quickly comes to mind, Melky Cabrera.
Cabrera has been stirring the drink a lot lately going for a .483 average in his last 7 games with 14 hits and eight RBIs. During the Red Sox series he seemed to be hitting everything in sight. He has consistently been driving in the guys in front of him at the top of the order and putting himself in scoring position for the guys behind him.
Speaking of the guys in front of him, how about Tyler Saladino and Adam Eaton?
Although his hitting is starting to cool off with his average dropping to a modest .244, Saladino’s steady hand at third has been a welcome presence in the wake of Conor Gillaspie’s demotion. Outside of his two-error game against the Red Sox, he’s been perfect and just seems to make all the right reads on the ball. From his diving stops, to when he makes his own hops on the ball, (which I love) he seems to be doing everything right.
As for “Spanky,” Eaton just seems to always be on base. According to the White Sox Twitter account, Eaton has been on base in every game since the All-Star and has scored a run in 10 straight games. I don’t know what more you can ask out of your leadoff guy. He’s hitting, walking, getting on base, scoring, and playing his usual solid defense. Eaton and Cabrera have been the catalysts for this offense lately and I think they can keep it up and lead the White Sox up the standings.
I don’t want the offense to take up this post. It is just a welcome sight to see after waiting all year for this type of explosion. The fans and players knew what this offense can do and it is finally, FINALLY, coming to fruition. If they continue to hit like this the White Sox can compete with anyone down the stretch.
Lastly I want to talk a little about the defense.
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It just seems like they snag everything that comes their way as of latey. In this series against the New York Yankees for example, Eaton had a diving grab, Cabrera followed that up with one of his own today, and not to be outdone was Avisail Garcia’s home run robbing catch in last night’s game. As for the infield, Saladino has been steady as I mentioned, Carlos Sanchez continues to his stellar defense at second base, Jose Abreu looks far more comfortable as a first baseman this year and there has been a resurgence of Alexei Ramirez.
Ever since his talk with manager Robin Ventura, Ramirez has seemed to revert to his 2014 form in which he hit .273 and displayed Gold Glove caliber defense.
This team has been fun to watch since the break and you can see it with the players too. They know what they can accomplish and they’re starting to finally convince the fans of the same. This solid run of hitting, pitching and defense can put them right in the thick of conversation come October. There is so much parity right now, the White Sox have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
I’m finally confident about this team and other fans should be also.
As pitcher Carlos Rodon asked, “Why not us?”
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