It’s not just the Chicago White Sox offense that has been struggling of late as the pitching has not been very good either.
The pitching staff, which was thought to be a strength of this team at the beginning of the season, has been average at best and needs to be better if the White Sox hope to make a run at getting into the postseason.
For the year, the White Sox staff has floated around an earned run average of 4.00 with its current total sitting at 4.04 which is 11th in the American League.
The staff ranks ninth in the league in batting average (.245) and is fourth in both most earned runs and most runs allowed behind Kansas City, Boston, and Oakland.
Since winning five in a row earlier this month, the White Sox have gone 2-8 over their last 10 games, including the 21-5 drubbing by the Houston Astros which saw infielder Josh Harrison step to the mound.
During that 10-game stretch, the pitching staff has recorded one shutout but has allowed three or more runs in each of the other nine games. In the games where they gave up more than three runs, the White Sox conceded four runs, five runs twice, six, seven, and 21 runs.
The Chicago White Sox pitching has been solid all year but bad in recent weeks.
If you were to be told the White Sox’s two best starters by the end of August would be Dylan Cease and Johnny Cueto, you might have thought the person who told you that was suffering from Tony La Russa’s managerial brain cramps. They are the only two starters with ERAs under 3.0.
Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, and Michael Kopech have all dealt with injuries but have not pitched with the same consistent effectiveness that they produced last year. Lynn has performed well over the last 15 days by posting a 2.04 ERA over three starts, which dropped his total ERA to 5.0.
Though Lynn has pitched better of late, the same can’t be said for Giolito and Kopech who have ERA’s of 7.71 and 10.50 respectively over the same period. During this time period, hitters have had success versus the pair, batting .308 against Giolito and .273 against Kopech.
The bullpen has not been as reliable as needed of late either. Reynaldo Lopez (5.06 ERA), Jake Diekman (6.75), and Joe Kelly (19.29) have each been scored upon by the opposition in their 17 combined appearances and have not served well as the bridges to closer Liam Hendriks.
Speaking of Hendriks, while he has gone three for four in save opportunities, it was the one that got away that was disturbing.
The two-out, 0-2 count homer he gave up to Baltimore’s Kyle Stowers in the bottom of the ninth inning was not something you see every day from Hendriks yet seemed to be symbolic of what has been going on with the White Sox this year.
Former Orioles manager Earl Weaver once said “Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher”. The White Sox really need to get some momentum going from their starting pitchers (as well as its offense) if they hope to play ball into October.