White Sox News

Winning ugly just seems like the South Side way

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Apr 20, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera (left), right fielder Adam Eaton (center) and center fielder Austin Jackson (10) celebrate their win against the Los Angeles Angels at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 20, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera (left), right fielder Adam Eaton (center) and center fielder Austin Jackson (10) celebrate their win against the Los Angeles Angels at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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The White Sox completed a three game sweep of the Texas Rangers this afternoon with a 4-1 victory. The Offense did just the necessary amount of work this afternoon to support a quality start by Mat Latos by scoring four runs on eight hits, and five walks. The day previous the White Sox cashed in on a late inning rally, and a clutch game winning hit in the bottom of the 11th inning to earn the victory. On Friday they scored five runs, while starter Jose Quintana threw seven scoreless innings en route to a victory.

The story line that we saw this weekend tells you a few things. Obviously the White Sox have excellent starting pitching, and an even more impressive bullpen. This weekend also tells you that the White Sox offense is not quite where we would like it to be, or where even they would like it to be… but it’s good enough to get the job done.

Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Good enough to have the White Sox sitting in sole possession of first place in the American League Central division on April 23. Good enough to have the White Sox sitting atop the entire American League on April 23.

Would we like to see the bats heat up a bit more? Sure we would. Will they heat up a little more? Past numbers will tell you that they will do just that.

So why worry about the fact that The White Sox have three every day players hitting under .200? White Sox fans need to disregard those numbers, and get on board with this team. I’ve been saying it since March in spring training, and the players have been saying it as well… This team has what it takes to win. They have more than talent, they have grit, they have heart, they have resiliency, and they have determination. All of the things that the south side is comprised of, so doesn’t it just seem so fitting that this is the way that the White Sox play ball?

I was born, and raised for much of my childhood in the Bridgeport neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, surrounding U.S. Cellular Field to the west. I played my first little league at Armour Square Park, just a few feet from the parking lot that is home to the monument marking where home plate stood in the original Comiskey Park.

Growing up I was taught that those characteristics invaluable, and unteachable as well. You either had it or you didn’t, and most of us south sider’s like to think that we have it. We also like to attribute it to our neighborhood.

The White Sox have always been the “Winning Ugly” team in Chicago, with the “Lovable Losers” calling the north side of the city home, the White Sox have been culturally relegated to the second team in the city. That’s never stopped us from loving them, it’s also never stopped them from winning.

Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

While the offense is still struggling to come around, the White Sox have shown dominant pitching, defense, and determination, with just the right amount of timely hitting to defy the odds makers, the analysts, and even some of us fans so far.

The White Sox have a team ERA of 2.35, second in Major League Baseball this year to compliment their .202 opponent batting average which is tops across all of baseball. Last season the White Sox were 14th among baseball in ERA (3.98), and 22nd in opponent batting average (.260). The White Sox have a .985 DER (Defensive Efficiency Rating), good for 12th across the major leagues, compared to the 2015 White Sox who ranked 28th in baseball in DER.

This White Sox team is different than years past, and while it’s still hard to get on board with a team that ranks near the bottom third of the league in hitting, it’s time to get excited people. It really is, time to get excited, and get back out to the ballpark and get behind this bunch of guys that channel the same qualities that we as south sider’s pride ourselves on day in and day out.

The White Sox aren’t the “prettiest” team in baseball, in a day in age where people feed off of gaudy offensive numbers for excitement… But they certainly are the grittiest bunch in baseball, and that’s good enough for me to get excited for.

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