The White Sox were one extremely well-timed Alex Rios home run away from extending their winning streak to 12 games, as well as making the entire South Side change its pants.
Nevertheless, Sunday’s loss didn’t prevent the Sox from posting a baseball-best 15-3 record in interleague play, and making up seven games in the standings in 14 days in the process.
Not a bad consolation prize, eh?
Now, they just have to remedy this divide:
- vs. AL: 24-32
- vs. NL: 15-3
Obviously a win’s a win, but when Ozzie Guillen and the White Sox emphasized how ready he was to play National League baseball, and then they go on and perform way better against National League opponents, that just might suggest that they’re in the wrong league.
But there is one key difference, and that’s Carlos Quentin.
It’s hard to succeed in the American League without power from the corner outfield and designated hitter positions. The Sox haven’t gotten anything from any of the three. Here’s how they stack up in the AL in terms of OPS:
- RF: .788 (11th)
- LF: .627 (last)
- DH: .657 (ninth)
But one of those positions may have been solved over the past two weeks if Carlos Quentin has truly figured it out. Sox right fielders had a .743 OPS before the Sox left Detroit, but interleague play transformed from CQ into TCQ, and he raised his own OPS by 100 points over 14 days.
And then there’s Dayan Viciedo, who could get an opportunity to start against something named Anthony Lerew. It’s a lefty, and Viciedo can hit ’em.
Better yet — the Sox couldn’t pick a better opponent to face right out of the chute than the Kansas City Royals, who just snapped an eight-game homerless drought of their own courtesy of a Wilson Betemit solo shot on Sunday. Yes, Betemit is getting playing time.
The pieces are there for a graceful transition back into American League play, and they’ll have to take advantage of it, as July opens with a seven-game stretch against the AL West’s best: Texas and Los Angeles.
Erick Threets is on the 25-man roster, but not the way most people would like. He’s taking Bobby Jenks’ roster spot as Jenks attends to a family matter, and it sounds like something involving his wife:
“Obviously when something’s wrong with your family, you have to be worried about it, but I think they’re going to wait for another test,” Guillen said. “It’s not that bad. Bobby has four kids, and they’re by themselves with his mother-in-law and father-in-law.
“Those kids need someone to look up to when their mother is not there. Hopefully we’ll see him in Kansas City. Not because we need him, but because everything is fine, besides we need him. I think it’s more important for the family to be in a good place.”
Jenks is on the Major League Bereavement/Family Medical Emergency List for at least the next two days, which isn’t that much time. But given that three lefties currently reside in the White Sox bullpen, I’m guessing a head-to-head comparison with Randy Williams is in the cards. Williams once again faltered on Sunday, and now it’s Threets’ turn. Hopefully the White Sox offense can provide a low-to-mid-leverage situation so he can actually pitch.
Best of luck to the Jenkses.
Is there a rulebook expert in the house? I got a great email from a gentleman named Randy asking about the interference play:
In the batter’s interference call during Beckham’s AB today, I don’t understand under what rule plate ump Gary Darling called the runner out. This same call has been made twice against the Sox this season.
According to rule 6.06 (g), the batter is out but the runner should be returned to first.
That is the only rule that apparently applies and since it has happened to the Sox twice, I would hope Ozzie or someone in the Sox dugout has read the rule book and lodged a protest, not that it would have been upheld.
There isn’t a 6.06(g), but I’m guessing he meant 6.06 (c):
(c) He interferes with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any other movement that hinders the catcher’s play at home base. EXCEPTION: Batter is not out if any runner attempting to advance is put out, or if runner trying to score is called out for batter’s interference.
Rule 6.06(c) Comment: If the batter interferes with the catcher, the plate umpire shall call “interference.” The batter is out and the ball dead. No player may advance on such interference (offensive interference) and all runners must return to the last base that was, in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference.
And I read the baserunners section and didn’t get any additional enlightenment there. Anybody know why Ramirez was out?
Minor league roundup:
- Buffalo 6, Charlotte 3
- Tyler Flowers went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Brent Morel singled and struck out over four ABs.
- Buck Coats had three hits (including a double) and two RBI.
- Jhonny Nunez gave up a three-run homer in his inning of work.
- Jeff Marquez was solid: 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K.
- Chattanooga 9, Birmingham 5
- Christian Marrero went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a strikeout.
- C.J. Retherford walked once in five trips to the plate.
- Winston-Salem 13, Salem 6
- Brandon Short went 2-for-4 with a double, walk and strikeout.
- Eduardo Escobar went 2-for-5 with a triple and two RBI.
- Jon Gilmore had three singles over five at-bats.
- Justin Greene homered, walked and was hit by a pitch in four PAs.
- Santos Rodriguez struggled, allowing a hit and two walks in an inning of work. He struck out two.
- Terry Doyle allowed three earned runs on seven hits and a walk over six innings, fanning three.
- Augusta 17, Kannapolis 14
- Miguel Gonzalez went 3-for-5 with a walk and an RBI.
- Brady Shoemaker had two hits (including a homer), two walks and two strikeouts.
- Nick Ciolli went 3-for-6 with two doubles and two strikeouts.
- Andre Rienzo: 1 2/3 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HR.
- Princeton 7, Bristol 1
- Ryan Buch allowed one run (solo homer) on three hits and a walk over six innings, striking out five.
- Jose Martinez went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
- Tyler Saladino went 1-for-4 with the lone RBI, but was caught stealing.
- Rangel Ravelo went 0-for-3 with a walk and a K.
- Helena 10, Great Falls 1
- David Holmberg was as bad in his second start as he was good in his first: 3 1/3 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.
- Juan Silverio went 2-for-4 with a K.