David Richard-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
After the Detroit Tigers won the AL Central on Monday, the Sox are left to pursue individual achievements.
The White Sox have hit two grand slams over the last three days. That's good!
Rey Olmedo was there to greet the slammer both times. That's bad!
Monday night offered a free clinic in bittersweetness. When the White Sox finally figured out how to really capitalize on a bases-loaded situation, it just didn't matter. Two days after Orlando Hudson hit one with the Sox trailing by 10, Dayan Viciedo absolutely unloaded on Scott Maine for a slam of his own ... to turn a 7-0 lead into an 11-0 lead.
The White Sox went 8-for-15 with runners in scoring position, which is just, man.
And then you had Hector Santiago, who allowed just a hit and a walk over seven innings, striking out 10 and hitting 96 after the 100-pitch mark. In the process, he showed everybody why Robin Ventura pushed Jake Peavy back a day to start him against Cleveland last week.
Really, you couldn't draw up a better end to this story than celebrating a double-digit victory in front of 194 people at Progressive Field in vain.
So the Sox are left to play out the string, where individual glory trumps all. Last year, Mark Buehrle provided the silver lining by reaching 200 innings for the 11th consecutive season (and he made it 12 with Miami on Friday).
This year will likely lack that feel-good moment, but here's a look at some unfinished business for players of note:
Dunn ended a streak of four straight hitless games with a 2-for-4 night, which will keep his average above .200 unless he finds a way to go 0-for-17 over the final two games.
He's still on the verge of standing out for the wrong reason. If he strikes out four times over the final two games, he'll set the MLB record, currently held by Mark Reynolds. And while he's a lock to lead the league in walk, he's also a lock to set the record for the lowest OBP by a guy who led his league in walks.
On the plus side, he's four RBI away from 100, which would be the seventh time he's reached that milestone.
Rios already set personal bests for home runs (25) and RBI (91), and he'll finish the season with a .300 average as long as he avoids going 0-for-10 over the final two games.
Last year, Konerko went 1-for-2 to raise his average to .300 on Sept. 25. He also took a Luis Mendoza fastball to the elbow, and so Ozzie Guillen and Don Cooper had him sit the final three games to lock it in.
With two games left, Konerko needs to raise his average one more point for his fifth .300 season of his career. This one will feel a tad flimsy, though -- in his four .300 seasons, he averaged 108 RBI. This year, he has driven in the same amount of runs as Alexei Ramirez (73). Viciedo passed him with his slam.
A win against Cleveland tonight lifts his record to .500, which seems like the least the Sox can do for all Peavy gave him -- a team-high 211 innings, a team-best (for now) 1.12 WHIP, and a 3.37 ERA. If he strikes out seven batters, he overtakes Chris Sale (192 strikeouts) for the team lead.
A win in the finale would give Floyd his first winning record since he went 17-8 for the 2008 Sox. He still leads the league with 14 HBPs, although Justin Masterson is one behind, and he starts tonight.