There must be something in the water here (or maybe the problem is there's not something in the water here) because just two days after ranting about a team I don't like, I feel compelled to rant about another team I don't like. I'm not a hater, really...it's just that so far I've been seriously underwhelmed by the "best team in baseball". They're very good, definitely, but not .656 good. The Red Sox, playing worse baseball than they should be right now , have taken two of three games facing their 1-2-3 starters. I know, small sample size, but I just don't see much there. The Other Sox hit lots of big home runs, and their pitching is very impressive. But that's about it.
Their vaunted Small Ball hasn't helped them much, as 11 of their 13 runs this series were "by way of the long ball". Of those two non-long-ball (short ball?) runs, one was by back-to-back doubles, so 12 of 13 runs were from slugging. Admittedly, the 13th run was from a Posednik steal (combined with a Mirabelli error); but by then the White Sox were up by 7. Meanwhile, in yesterday's game, they got caught stealing twice -- outs they really couldn't afford to give up. [Watch them score 17 off small ball tactics today.]
The White Sox are a ridiculous 31-7 against AL Central teams. Against the AL East and West, they are a mediocre 20-20; and that includes 6 against the D-Rays. Their pitching even doesn't look so good against those teams -- ERA of 4.40. (Interestingly, against the AL East and West, Minnesota is 22-15, with a 3.13 ERA.) I've left out Interleague, because that's a joke: the AL Central got to play the Worst Division in Baseball, the NL West -- in which the division-leading San Diego Padres are two games above .500.
Which is all well and good -- this is a natural consequence of the unbalanced schedule, and interleague. It's just all the hype about it that I can't stand. Ozzie Guillen seems like a bona fide jerk (X, I saw some interviews and totally agree)...the media is fawning over them this year...and then the TV announcers. Oh man. They make the YES men seem like impartial, insightful baseball people. Truly painful to listen to. "He gone!" -- ugh.
So like I said a few days ago, I'd still be happy to leave an away series against the Team With the Best Record in Baseball with a 2-2 split. But man, a win today would be awfully nice. Contreras was astoundingly awful against the Red Sox when he was with the Yankees...but in his one start against them as a White Soxck, gave up "only" 4 runs in 6 innings, which is amazingly low given his 13.50 career ERA against Boston. Apparently he just can't pitch Big Games. Hopefully, with the series split on the line, and with what the media will say if Chicago drops 3 of 4, he'll see this as a Big Game...