Inconsistency plagues Chicago White Sox playoff hopes

Boston Red Sox v Chicago White Sox
Boston Red Sox v Chicago White Sox / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

Despite how bad things were for the Chicago White Sox last season, fans of the team this year probably wish they would play like they did in 2022.

Through 77 games this year, the team has posted a 32-45 record. At the same time last season, the club was 38-39.

Following their 3-1 loss on Friday night to the Boston Red Sox, the White Sox dropped to seven games out of first place behind the Minnesota Twins who are atop the American League Central Division at 39-38.

Just let that sink in for a minute.

The White Sox would be one game out of first place right now if they only played as they did one year ago.

The bar has not been set really high for the Central Division and that is why teams within it can play in the ballpark of .500 and still be in the race.

The Chicago White Sox are not consistent enough to be a playoff team.

Getting the White Sox to find consistency between their offense, defense, and pitching has been a major problem and a main reason why they can't put a run together and overtake the division.

White Sox pitchers, led by starter Luca Giolito's season-high 10 strikeouts, combined to whiff 17 hitters on Friday yet still managed to lose the game 3-1.

Errors by Elvis Andrus and Tim Anderson, along with an inability to come up with hits in key moments, contributed to the team losing for the ninth time in its last 12 games.

Lance Lynn is scheduled to start on Saturday for the first time since striking out a franchise-record 16 batters in a 5-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

If you combine Lynn's previous performance with what White Sox pitchers did on Friday, they struck out 33 of a potential 54 hitters over two games, yet were outscored 8-2 in losing both.

When the pitching is good, the offense and defense fail. When the offense does show up, the pitching falls apart.

What separates the good teams from the rest is their ability to play at a high level consistently in each phase of the game. The pitching, hitting, and defense come together on a regular enough basis to put them out ahead of the competition and in a position to win a title.

The ability to do that somehow eludes the White Sox and has put them in the hole they find themselves in.

Things looked to have been trending upward at the beginning of June when the team opened the month winning five games in a row.

The pitching was solid to start and continued that way through most of the month as the staff put together a Major League-best 2.39 earned run average before heading into their series with the Texas Rangers on June 19th.

The problem during that period was the offense didn't keep up its end of the bargain as the team posted a 9-10 record for the month going into Saturday's game with the Red Sox.

For whatever reason, the White Sox can't seem to find a groove and get everything to mesh together at the same time.

Fingers can be pointed in many directions as to reasons why the dysfunction exists. Everyone from ownership on down shares responsibility for the team being as disappointing as it has been.

The reality is the team has underperformed to the point it finds itself in the position of having to make hard choices as to the future of the team as the season progresses toward the trade deadline.

Whether the White Sox become buyers or sellers remains to be seen. It's anybody's guess as to whether or not the team will opt to move on from the likes of Lucas Giolito, Yasmani Grandahl, Tim Anderson, and Liam Hendriks.

However, if there is one area the team is consistent in it is its ability to create questions to which there seem to be no definitive answers.

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