Peavy… your start wasn’t bad, but we’ve seen better

For the second straight day in the second city in as many days, the White Sox bullpen had the night off as the starting pitcher went the full nine and kept the opposing team off the scoreboard. Granted they were the Mariners and A’s, not exactly powerhouses, but they are still technically big league teams.

Normally when a former Cy Young Award winner is making a comeback after years of injuries and shows his own dominant form, it is the best pitching news a team can get.

Usually a 3 hit shutout on 107 pitches would be the pitching highlight of the week, if not the month.

But sorry, Jake Peavy. You weren’t even the best pitcher of the past 2 days. It’s tough to follow up a perfect game.

Is Peavy close to his 2007 form? He’s 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA and averaging more than 7 innings a start.
Is Phillip Humber going to have a good year? Well he’s made 2 starts this year and one was pefect.

The other starters, John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Chris Sale, are all talented.
Is this White Sox team a potential contender?

They are tied with division favorite Tigers for first right now. And the best way for teams to catch people by surprise is to have pitching depth.

And maybe the team is a little more relaxed without the Ozzie Guillen circus.

It would help if they played the A’s and Mariners all year.

Gavin Floyd… you are pitching tonight.
Let’s just say if the White Sox go to the bullpen or you let up a single run, we won’t be impressed.

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Has anyone else noticed the White Sox?

I picked the White Sox at the beginning of the season, yet here they are as a sub .500 team after the All Star Break.

They have fallen to third place and there are some rumblings that they might be trading some of their expensive pieces (possibly Edwin Jackson whose shutout yesterday made his value go up.)

So all is lost in the South Side, right?

Not so fast.

They are trailing the Tigers and the first place Indians.
They beat the Tigers at home each of the last 2 games and are off to a quick 3-0 lead today.

And the Indians are up and down and can fall into a slump at any time.
The White Sox can hit…
They have a bunch of arms in their bullpen.

And there is talent in their rotation. Philip Humber, Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd, Jake Peavy and John Danks all have talent. They just haven’t as a group pitched to their ability. (The depth of their starting staff is what made me pick them back in March.)

Let’s say the starting staff has a solid August and September.
Let’s say the Indians come back to Earth (they can’t play the Orioles EVERY weekend) and the Tigers return to the pack.

None of those scenarios are outlandish.

Guess what?
Even sub .500… even with the disappointing pitching staff…
The White Sox are only 4 back in the standings and 5 back of the Indians in the loss column.

In 2 and a half months, they can make up some ground.

Don’t be fooled with the .489 winning percentage.
They are contending.

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Hey White Sox! How about a little urgency?

On July 20th, the White Sox took a 3 1/2 game lead in the A.L. Central. They had the arms, the bullpen and the lunatic manager to keep them steady.

They also could have used another bat, but that’s nit picking.

They had a 5 game winning streak not long after that but it looked like they were going to be locking horns with the Twins all year for the Central (especially with the collapse of the Tigers.)

Well in less than a month, they have dropped 7 1/2 games in the standings as they sit 4 games back of the Twins, including an extra inning loss on a Jim Thome homer… the same Jim Thome who sunk the Twins in a 2008 one game playoff as a member of the White Sox.

Let’s get going White Sox!

I made it clear that I am rooting for you and I would like to see more October games in the South Side.

But for general baseball fans, a tight pennant race is good for the game. Two teams going back and forth right until the last day makes the last weekend super cool and frankly it will be only time that baseball attention will turn to the AL Central this year.

Win today and it will be a 3 game deficit.

Lose? And you are looking at 5 games back and a chance for 6 back if the Twins complete the sweep.

And let’s face it… the Twins will get WALLOPED by the Rangers, Rays or Yankees in the playoffs. So basically if the Twins run away with it, there will be no reason to pay attention to the AL Central until 2011.

So let’s go White Sox.

Floyd vs. Liriano tonight. Put it on the boaaaaaaaaard. YES!

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