August was one of worst months in White Sox history

August was one of worst months in White Sox history
September 1, 2014, 9:00 pm
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Their postseason chances were highly unlikely, but the White Sox at least entered August within striking distance of a wild-card spot.

Fresh off winning two of three games in Motown, the White Sox trailed the Detroit Tigers by seven games in the American League Central race and — even though five teams were ahead of them — sat 6 1/ 2 back of the Toronto Blue Jays, who at the time was the second wild-card team.

But those chances have long since evaporated.

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In between, the White Sox endured the seventh-worst month in club history in terms of run differential, one worse than anything they endured in the 99-loss campaign of 2013. With a minus-65 run differential, the White Sox, who went 9-19 in August 2014, posted their worst month on that front since May 1948.

A number of factors contributed to a long August, one in which the team scored at least 50 runs or fewer than its opponents for only the 21st time in a club history that dates back to 1901.

— First was the stretch from Aug. 3-7 in which the White Sox were blown out three times in five games. On Aug. 3, the White Sox bullpen surrendered 15 runs over four innings at U.S. Cellular Field in a 16-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins. Two days later at home, Adam Dunn pitched for the first time in his career in a 16-0 loss to the Texas Rangers. Two days after that, Seattle crushed the visiting White Sox 13-3. Aside from those three, the White Sox were outscored 122-96 in 25 August games.

— The team’s pitching staff allowed 284 hits in 248 1/3 innings with its 10.29 hits per nine innings up more than one from its previous worst month this season (9.28 in June).

— The 34 home runs surrendered by White Sox pitchers is six more than the previous high yielded (28 in 249 innings in May). White Sox pitchers allowed 19 homers in March/April, 23 in June and 21 in July.

— Opposing batters had a .807 OPS against the White Sox in August, which is 60 points higher than the previous high in the opening month of the season.

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— The starting rotation had a 4.80 ERA in August while the bullpen finished with a 6.61 ERA.

— Though the team’s error rate in August is below its season average, the 17 fielding miscues added up to 19 unearned runs, the most allowed by White Sox pitchers in any month this season. The previous high was 13 unearned runs allowed in June.

— Lastly, an offense that only had leadoff man Adam Eaton for 14 games — including two shortened by injury — and two home runs from Jose Abreu, scored 3.64 runs per game, its lowest average of the season.

— The White Sox were outscored 5.96 to 3.64 in August.

Ten worst run-differential months in club history

1 May 1948 minus-93 6-20
2 June 1934 minus-90 7-24
3 June 1931 minus-80 6-21
4 September 1933 minus-73 6-15
5 May 1921 minus-69 13-17
6 August 1932 minus-67 6-23
7 August 2014 minus-65 9-19
8 June 1949 minus-64 8-22
9 (tied) July 1947 minus-60 10-21
9 (tied) August 2007 minus-60 9-20