By Benjy Lipsman in News on Sep 16, 2005 5:47PM
With the fears of an epic choke bubbling to the forefront of most White Sox fans minds lately, manager Ozzie Guillen pulled no punches when he blasted his team following yesterday's loss,
'There's no doubt about it, we really flat-out stink,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said. ''I look at this game and I don't say I'm mad, but it's not the same thing I had been watching all year long. It's crazy.
''Baserunning, bad pitching. If I named what I was disappointed about, we might be here all week...
The Sox have lost 6 of 7 this week, including 2 of 3 to the lowly Kansas City Royals. After beginning September with 7 victories they've dropped to 8-7 for the month. Add that to the 7-game losing streak in August and the Sox clearly seem to have lost that mojo of late.
Their offense hasn't been able to consistently score runs since Scott Podsednik went onto the DL in August. While they've been better since his return, the inconsistancy lead Guillen to juggle the lineup recently, moving Paul Konerko to the 3rd spot.
Even when the offense has scored, the pitching has been subpar. Their hot start was in large part the result of excellent pitching. But the Big three has all tailed off. Mark Buehrle was 10-3 with a 2.58 ERA at the All Star Break. Since then? 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA. Jon Garland before the Break, 13-3 with a 3.38 ERA. Since, 4-5 with a 3.73 ERA. And Freddy Garcia? 8-3 with a 3.53 at the Break, 4-5 with a 4.63 ERA since. Are these guys getting tired, or are they simply coming back to earth? Maybe the 6-man rotation wouldn't be such a bad idea. And with Marte's recent problems and Hermanson's bad back, the bullpen may not be in much better shape.
Of course, when they first stumpled a bit in August fans weren't too worried about making the playoffs. The Sox were up about 15 games on Cleveland. But all the sudden, the Tribe are only 4 1/2 games back. Eek! With 2 weeks left in the season, there's still time for something real bad to happen. Especially since the Sox still play Cleveland 6 times and Minnesota 7 more times. We gloated when the Cubs imploded last year, but should we fear the same fate for our team now?