We've already had a couple of tongue in cheek entries titled "Worst Game of the Season" and "The Day the White Sox Lost the Central," but if ever there was a time for hyperbolic headlines, this is it.
Everything that could go wrong did go wrong in Tuesday's double header. Paul Konerko might be lost for the season. Javier Vazquez pitched just well enough to lose, and just long enough to make a Lance Broadway start on Saturday a distinct possibility. Clayton Richard still doesn't have a second or third major league pitch, and doesn't belong on the mound starting games for a playoff contender. The Sox drop two games in a single day, scoring just 3 runs in the process. Oh, and The Twins win to pick up a game and a half in the standings. It would have been difficult for the South Side to have a worse day overall.
Sox fans have experienced a broad range of emotions in the last 5 days. From Q!s season ending injury and surgery, to a solid win against the Angels, a marathon affair on Saturday followed by a blown lead on Sunday, I was actually feeling pretty good about the Sox chances.
The White Sox had been in first or within a half game of first every day since May 16th. The Twins weren't exactly playing good baseball the last two weeks. I figured the Sox didn't exactly have to play their best baseball down the stretch to make the playoffs, slightly over .500 figured to be enough. Even my favorite postseason odds simulation was finally starting to run in the Sox favor. ELO had the Sox making the playoffs 70% of the time before Tuesday's series of unfortunate events.
I should know better than to get my hopes up. Every time I've written about feeling good about the Sox this season, they go in the tank for an extended period of time. No more positivity from me, I promise.
Recapping the Nightcap
I don't think there's much to say other than the Sox got their collective butts kicked by a better team right now. Actually, dantesox' comment, and the discussion that followed, about Brian Little and the Blue Jays being the best team in baseball right now, received a lot of play on Blue Jays sites the last couple of days. They certainly have a better pitching staff than the Sox, and now with Quentin and Konerko on the shelf their offense looks to come out on top as well. The Jays have really taken it to the Sox this year, winning all 6 meetings and holding the Sox to 3 or less in every game.
The Sox had 1 hit with runners in scoring position Tuesday (across two games), upping their season total to 3 in 6 games against the Blue Jays. 3 hits with runners in scoring position in 6 games against the Jays. Think about that. The Jays had that in the 5th inning.
There is something about dome teams from the AL East that makes the White Sox bats go flaccid. The Sox didn't manage a 2-out hit w/RISP against the Rays until their 10th meeting this season, and remember it was last season in Toronto where there Sox upped their 1-for-60-something streak against opponents bullpens.