White Sox Offense Struggling Against Elite Pitching
White Sox offense has scored just one run over their last three games. South Siders offense ranks in bottom half of MLB.
The Chicago White Sox were shutout for the second consecutive game on Saturday against the Cleveland Indians. The Sox have failed to score a run in their last 23 innings dating back to the fourth inning against the New York Yankees on Wednesday.
With the Sox rebuilding, stretches of futility are to be expected from a team with a younger lineup than in season’s past. However, offensive struggles haven’t been anything new for the Sox over the past three seasons. Currently, the Sox rank 29th in MLB in total offense with just 49 runs scored so far this season.
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The Sox finished 2016 ranked 20th in total offense, and in 2015 the South Siders ranked 28th in MLB. Offensive woes haven’t gone away for a franchise that has struggled to keep the attention of its fans. The Sox offense hasn’t done well against elite pitching this season, and their last three games have shown they can’t score against top tier pitchers.
On Wednesday, Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka shut down the Sox offense after the team had won its previous game in New York scoring four runs. Tanaka pitched seven innings allowing just one earned run and recorded six strikeouts. Tanaka isn’t the elite pitcher he once was, but he sure looked like an ace against the Sox this past Wednesday.
Corey Kluber, the 2014 Cy Young Award winner was able to rebound from a mediocre start to the season and shutout the Sox on Friday. Kluber pitched a complete game shutout against the struggling Sox as he recorded nine strikeouts and allowed just three hits. On Saturday, the Indians once again held the Sox to three hits and no runs.
Carlos Carrasco pitched eight shutout innings against the Sox on Saturday and recorded eight strikeouts. The Sox were no match for Carrasco as they never made a threat against the starting pitcher, and the Indians were able to jump out to an early lead on Satruday in the first inning.
The Sox have also struggled this season against Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander and Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana. Verlander recorded 10 strikeouts in just 6.1 innings pitched against the Sox on Opening Day. Sanatana meanwhile, is 2-0 with 12 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched against the Sox. He hasn’t given up an earned run to the South Siders this season.
Although the Sox offense has struggled against elite pitchers this season, the lineup just hasn’t been consistent enough to score three or more runs during each game. The Sox offense will most likely continue to struggle without a true designated hitter and without more production from Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier.
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The Sox will have to endure more lackluster efforts from their offense this season until the team is able to promote some of its young players from Triple-A Charlotte. With the Sox rebuilding, this season shouldn’t have any high expectations from fans, but progress should be made towards a successful future.