Tuesday, September 6, 2011

31

It was déjà vu all over again.
Last year on September 14, 2010, the White Sox trailed the Twins in the Central Division by 6.0 games and Minnesota was in Chicago to play three at the Cell. Instead of sweeping the Twins, the Sox got swept and the race was effectively over. In fact, the Pale (Very Pale) Hose went on to lose five more games in a row to allow Minnesota to clinch the division shortly after the sweep.
This year on September 2, 2011, the Sox trailed the Tigers by 6.0 games and were in Detroit to play three at Comerica Park. Instead of sweeping the Tigers, the Sox got swept and the race – in my view – is effectively over. (Detroit’s Magic Number over the Sox is just 15.) At least the Sox didn’t totally go in the tank like they did last year. Yesterday, they took both ends of a day-night doubleheader from Minnesota to remain on life support.
The way they lost to the Tigers was almost as disturbing as the fact that they lost. On Friday, the Sox couldn’t hit and couldn’t pitch and came away with an 8-1 loss to show for it. By Saturday, they’d mastered the hitting part, but the pitching continued to stink. After being ahead 8-1, the (Not So) Good Guys’ pitchers melted down, leading to the largest lead surrendered of the season and a 9-8 loss. Dispirited from that travesty, the Sox proceeded to rack up their largest margin of defeat on Sunday, 18-2.
It’s not worth writing about the details of any of these games, so I’ll answer a question that charter Update subscriber Les Reiter asked. Prompted by Adam Dunn’s historically bad batting average and high strikeout total, Les wants to know if any player’s average was lower than his strikeout total with a qualifying number of at bats. (I’ll resist the smart ass answer of even one strikeout would be higher than the hitter’s average since it would have to less than 1.000.) It was just last year that Mark Reynolds struck out 211 times while batting a meager .198. (Rob Deer came close in 1991, by hitting .179 and striking out 175 times.) Let’s hope Adam doesn’t add that to his resume. Go Sox!

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