The White Sox are “on a mission,” acting manager Miguel Cairo, but is turning this disappointing season all the way around impossible?
Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images
It was only April 24. It really didn’t seem like that big a deal.
But the White Sox had just lost six straight games on a miserable swing through Cleveland and Minnesota, and their losing streak stood at seven overall. Clearly, such an early-season slog hadn’t been anticipated and would not stand — not with the talent on this Sox team, not with its World Series aspirations.
So, how to fix things?
“Hit the reset button,” was pitcher Lucas Giolito’s idea.
That worked so well, the Sox returned to Guaranteed Rate Field and had a losing homestand against the hard-to-lose-to Royals and Angels.
“We still very much believe in this team’s talent,” general manager Rick Hahn said late that same month. “We believe in this team’s upside and are confident over time that that talent will prevail and take us to the level that we aspire to be at.”
It would become, of course, a Sox theme for the 2022 season — “believing” in the invisible as they went days, weeks and months without displaying anything resembling good baseball or embodying anything resembling a good baseball team.
“They get frustrated when they don’t play as good as they should,” manager Tony La Russa said as the Sox had fallen off from an encouraging 4-1 start to a somewhat unsettling 6-10 about 10% of the way through the season. “But the heart and guts are intact.”
Heart? Guts? As it turns out, those are perfect words to describe the first-place Guardians — the youngest team in baseball — who led the Sox by four games as the teams opened a three-game series on the South Side. The baby-faced Guardians clearly are the last ones to know they’re not supposed to win this thing and never were. They haven’t had a five-game division lead at any point, yet they’ve answered one little uprising after another from the Sox and the Twins without in any way, shape or form appearing to be a team in serious danger of fizzling down the stretch.
The Sox aren’t out of it. If they sweep the Guardians, they’ll be only a game back. If they follow that by sweeping the lowly Tigers, they’ll finally have put together the kind of homestand they’ve been alluding to for five months. If, if. Does anybody really want to bet on these “ifs”? I don’t, either. Has everybody had enough of them? I have, too.
“As long as we play good baseball,” reliever Kendall Graveman said Tuesday, “I like our chances.”
But that’s what they’ve all said, over and over.
“To a man and to a woman,” Hahn said on June 7, “we feel good about what the next several months hold for us, potentially.”
The Sox promptly lost four of their next six to fall four games under .500.
After the Sox went into the All-Star break an embarrassing and hard-to-figure 19-25, La Russa boldly …read more
Source:: Chicago Sun Times
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