I'd love to start this recap by saying things can't get much worse, that this is as low as we're going to feel this season, but I can't. The Palehose Six has sprung too many leaks to be saved.
Bobby Jenks was sent back to Chicago with a rather vague hip injury.
Mark Buehrle was sent back to Chicago with a back issue.
- Jermaine Dye threw out his back carrying the team in the last days of August.
- Jim Thome, even with 2 HR in 3 games, isn't healthy.
- Paul Konerko has 4 hits, and, painfully, 3 inning-killing double plays in the last week.
For the second straight night, the Sox got a great pitching performance from their starter, but were unable to touch Boston's 9th or 10th best starter. This is how things go when you're in a slump. When the pitching is performing well, the offense is nowhere to be found; when the offense is pounding out 10 runs a game, the starters can't get through 5 innings and the relievers are just throwing gasoline on the fire. I know I'm tired of losing to pitchers with first names that had them on the wrong end of many a shcool yard playground beating. Runelvys, Julian, Kason. Are you serious?
Guess who has an ERA of 3.00 in his last 45 innings pitched? What if I said that ERA corresponded with a change in mechanics, and a more careful handling by Ozzie?
Vazquez hasn't gotten the recognition for his recent turnaround because the Sox haven't been very effective at turning his outings into victories. They've managed just 24 runs in those 7 outings, or just 3.4 runs per game. Vazquez benefited from the best run support in the American League in the first half, when he seemed to give up 5 runs every outing and couldn't make it out of the 6th inning. Now that he's turned into a good pitcher, the Sox offense can't even muster a league-average output.
Things just aren't going our way.
Update [2006-9-6 1:4:48 by The Cheat]: After emailing me with the spreadsheet -- I made the charts on my computer, but couldn't bring myself to make such a depressing post -- ChiSox Daily went ahead and did the dirty work for us. The conclusion is pretty simple: The pitching has sucked. Surprise.