Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 16, 2003
BASEBALL: Not Enough Hurt To Go Around

The White Sox have spent the season wallowing in mediocrity in a weak division. Quietly, though, Frank Thomas is back: back to walking a ton, back to the big power numbers, and closing in on .300 (he's currently at .279/.566/.438). And as I've previously noted, D'Angelo Jimenez is having a great year; Esteban Loaiza is 7-1 with a 2.05 ERA; and Damaso Marte is having another fine year out of the bullpen, with 4 saves, a 1.80 ERA and a 17-6 K/BB ratio, and looks likely to wind up wresting the closer's job from Billy Koch for the balance of the season.

What's not working? On the pitching side, as usual, the back of the Chicago rotation is a horror show of inexperienced and overmatched starters; Jon Garland and Josh Stewart have been deplorable. But Mark Buerhle, despite a respectable ERA, has also been alarmingly ineffective: Buehrle has allowed an unearned run per 9 innings, and his peripheral stats are ugly - 58.1 IP, 63 hits, 8 HR, 21 BB, just 25 K. Buehrle just isn't fooling anyone.

On the offensive side: impatience. Behind Thomas and Jimenez, nobody's averaging a walk per 10 plate appearances. Carlos Lee, who drew 75 walks last year, has regressed to just 7, leaving him with a paltry .295 OBP; Joe Crede's been twice as impatient and, along with Paul Konerko, hasn't done anything with the bat.

Up, and down; down, and up. With tonight's victory, they're 20-20. The Sox aren't out of anything, not in mid-May in a weak division. But they're treading water.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 1:05 AM | Baseball 2002-03 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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