The White Sox have scored 39 runs this season. 39 runs in 12 games. Currently, that ranks 13th in the AL in R/G, ahead of only the Angels, who've still scored more runs than the Sox.
I'm not one of the horde -- you know who you are -- that routinely calls for the head of Greg Walker every time the Sox have a dismal day at the plate, but watching the game against Cleveland on Saturday I couldn't help but notice the stark difference between the two clubs approach at the plate. The Cleveland right-handers were just waiting for John Danks to leave a pitch up and out over the outer half of the plate, driving the ball into right field. They might have had more opposite field hits in that game than the Sox have had in the last week. I don't think the Sox had a single opposite field hit in the game. Checked. Podsednik had a bloop double down the left field line.
I still think the role of the pitching coach is overstated by many -- It's ultimately the players who go to the plate with bat in-hand -- but when so many players have such a poor approach at the plate for such an extended period of time, it's time to start thinking about a change. The thought was in the back of my mind this weekend, which led to the posting of numbers you won't find on Greg Walker's resume, and now it's moved up the ladder of concerns about this team. I'll give Walk until May before I join the screaming horde wielding pitchforks and torches, but I've got one foot on the bandwagon.
Maybe surgery would have been the right call
Perhaps the most punchless member of the Sox offense, even moreso than Grinderstad, is Joe Crede, who has yet to have a single extra-base hit this season. Crede has hit .167/.240/.202 since September 3rd of last year which just happened to be 4 days before he took a 4-game break to rest his ailing back. The pop-gun hitting Jason Tyner, a career .272/.308/.316 hitter, had as many extra-base hits on Tuesday night as Crede has had since the beginning of September.
Despite all the pop-ups early this season, I wasn't worried about Crede until the last few games. Crede's biggest strength as a hitter, outside of his power, is his ability to put the bat on the ball, and lately he hasn't even been able to do that. He's struck out 8 times in his last 23 at-bats while walking exactly ZERO times. To put that in perspective, he didn't reach his 8th strikeout last season until May 13th (33 starts and 122 at-bats into the season). Not coincidently, he was batting .320/.363/.566 at the time.
The Cubs take a lot of flack for putting up with the constant injuries to Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. But I can almost understand keeping around players who, in the rare instance of good health, have the ability to put up dazzling numbers.
What I fail to understand is why a this organization doesn't take a similar amount of heat for bringing back a below average left fielder that has now had similar but reportedly unrelated groin injuries for 4 straight seasons. There's really no reason to own a Ferrari, as Herm Schneider has called him, if it spends part of every summer in the shop and needs to be kept below 40MPH.
The only thing I have to say about the game tonight
Whose farking idea was it to call for an 0-2 fastball to Sammy Sosa? Anyone who has seen Sammy since 2003 knows he'd be toast against MacDougal's slider. Sosa saw two sliders, and predictably looked terrible.
Anyone who has listened to Sammy Sosa speak, ever, knows there's not much going on upstairs. You can't try to out-think a guy who has just one thought; "Samme hit the ball far, Samme do it all for da fans." In poker, you can't bluff an idiot. In baseball, you can't try to fool one by grooving an 0-2 fastball. Lesson learned?