Good luck trying to figure out how the Sox will fare in the playoffs originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
DETROIT – Trying to understand how the Chicago White Sox will get away with the playoffs?
The White Sox themselves, for a long time a powerful and confident group, have a hard time predicting how things will turn out once the calendar moves to October. Their .500 game since the All-Star hiatus has featured championship-level highs and breathtaking lows, a weak group of division rivals unable to do much to consistently test a team that will face off against the best of. the American League with its current season. line.
And those of us who have watched them more closely have no idea either, with the White Sox’s inconsistent play showing a team able to beat anyone one night and a team unable to put together a lot of fight, which whatever the adversary, another.
The White Sox were set to feast on under-500 competitions in September – six straight games against Oakland and Boston aside, in which they went 3-3 – after a tough streak in August. But after losing their second straight game in Detroit on Tuesday afternoon, they are 8-10 this month, with wins in just two of their last seven games as they hit the threshold of their first. AL Central title in 13 years.
What does this mean for October, however?
“You never know what to expect,” White Sox starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel said Tuesday. “It’s kind of like, ‘Hey, flip a coin (to find out) what’s going to happen.’ Are we going to come out really strong, like we know we can? Or are we going to go out and not put the three phases of the game together? I don’t know. I would like to say that I saw a lot, but I know that I haven’t seen it all. When that moment comes, I know we’ll do our best, but I’d like to see the three phases together. “
“I don’t know. I’m not really a fortune teller so I can’t really tell you how it’s going in the playoffs,” White Sox wide receiver Yasmani Grandal told Maddie Lee of NBC Sports Chicago. Sunday. “The only thing about the playoffs is you just want to take it, you want a chance to be the last team in the game. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Keuchel and Grandal are two of the White Sox’s most experienced players in the playoffs. And they wonder what’s going to happen.
For the very longest time, it seemed like what got the White Sox to this point would be their greatest strength in the playoffs. The starting pitcher has been downright dominant for so long, and it looked like Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Carlos Rodón and Dylan Cease could be the most menacing rotation in baseball.
But now Rodón is in enough pain in his shoulder to have the White Sox concerned about his immediate future, the team is working to prepare him for a final regular season start that can update them on his status for October. Considering that when he was on the mound he pitched like a Cy Young caliber pitcher, that’s a big deal – and potentially a big hole in the White Sox ‘rotation.
Meanwhile, Keuchel’s struggles continue. Even in his last two efforts, in which he scored 11 innings and allowed five runs, he was forced to dissect efforts lost, if not by himself personally, by the team. A month ago it looked like he would be the odd man of the playoff rotation, but Rodón’s shoulder pain brings back the possibility that Keuchel could see the playoff action again. It wouldn’t inspire a ton of confidence in fans who saw him post a horrific 5.18 ERA.
But the rotation still seems capable of delivering. It’s the bullpen and offense that should put more stress on the White Sox’s chances in October.
Craig Kimbrel failed to shake his bumpy transition from the north side to the south side and has a lousy 5.68 ERA in a White Sox uniform. On Monday alone, he gave up the green light in another flawed outing. As good as Aaron Bummer was in a second-half resurgence, he faced two hitters on Tuesday and neither retired, dropping a two-run single and not finishing. the seventh round only through a withdrawal on the paths of the base.
The biggest inconsistencies, however, have come offensively, where the White Sox have apparently written the script of how a game unfolds: When they score four or more points, they’re 71-16. When they score three points or less, they are 14-50.
It might seem perfectly logical, not to surprise, but it is that the races and the victories did not come in droves. Sometimes it almost seems like the White Sox alternate between an offensive juggernaut, with all of their big boppers on display, and a calm, mystified group, wondering how such a collection of hitters can appear so empty over and over again.
And they sometimes seem to swing wildly between the two extremes every night. We know the White Sox are capable of fighting just about any opponent. But then they show us days like Tuesday when they failed 13 against the Tigers, and we are the mystified.
None of this sounds like a good recipe for winning a playoff series, of course. But all the pieces are still there.
As Keuchel said, he would like to see the three phases of the game – hitting, throwing and defense – come together. White Sox can at least say they have three phases, which is best to miss one or more of them entirely.
But they’re running out of time to establish consistency before reaching the playoffs. If they can’t then you guess how they’re going to come up, playoff time will be as good as Keuchel’s, as good as Grandal’s.
“Until the playoffs start I’m not going to stay, we’re screwed at all,” Keuchel said. “It’s just one of those things where a thing or two isn’t going our way.”