Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Posted: 7:57 p.m. Updated: 9:38 p.m.
By Brett Ballantini
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.In the category of wheezing offense, the Chicago White Sox accept their nomination with a shrug.
It was a second straight ineffectual effort by the Pale Hose offense, traipsing gently through the start of their 11-game road trip with bats so soft youd swear they were made of Wiffle.
After David Price checked the Chisox with a four-hit gem on Monday night, James Shields matched those four and raised with a 2-1, complete-game win. At this pace, earmark a no-hitter for Wade Davis tomorrow night. John Danks fastened on a brave face in the loss, going seven innings and allowing just two runs, putting up five strikeouts against zero walks.
Tip your hat to Shields, Danks said. I made a couple of mistakes Id like to have back, but seven innings, two runs, Ill take our chances.
Danks teammates did more than toss laurels at the opposing hurler.
Danks did well, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. Its a shame when you waste good pitching.
In a game like tonight, tip your cap to Danks, Paul Konerko said. He threw great. Its tough to keep putting up zeroes and getting outs when youre not seeing a lot out of your own team, so you have to hand it to Johnny there.
Two triples, one from Ben Zobrist in the first and the other from Sean Rodriguez in the fifth, were the foundation of into Tampas run-scoring innings. With zeroes weighting the White Sox down, Shields needed no more support..
The White Sox, wearing their road grays, did not have a white flag to wavebut such pomp is unnecessary when the teams hardest-hit ball came on a Gordon Beckham 300-hopper up the middlein the first inning.
The White Sox are hitting .205 over their past 10 games and have scored just 12 runs during their current, six-game losing streak.
Adam Dunn has become the poster boy for Chicagos starvation at the dish, going 2-23 with 14 strikeouts since his appendectomy. But blame, there is too much to spread.
Maybe they are trying to do too much, Guillen opined. That doesnt help. But when youre struggling, back off a little bit, relax and start to enjoy the game. We arent enjoying it right now, and that isnt a good way to play.
Danks, who spend the postgame of his previous start repeating the mantra we will win these games after a blown save erased a win for him, found a new one: We will hit.
We have seen all these guys hit, he said. These guys will score runs over the course of the year.
One of those guys, Konerko, is as professorial as youll find on a baseball diamond. He couldnt offer a guaranteed solution to Chicagos offensive problems, but he was clear on what the team couldnt do.
A little skid of a few games, its hard to do but you have to crumple up these games and throw them out as quick as you can, come back tomorrow and be ready to play, he proffered. Otherwise thats how six turns into seven losses, seven turns into eight. Just like hitting or pitching or anything else, its a game of next.
As much as it sucks not to play well, the only thing I know for sure is that if you keep thinking about it, youll continue to be bad. Other than that, there are no answers. Itll be OK when its OK. There are no guarantees. You can come out tomorrow and play as hard as you can and do everything right, but that guarantees nothing.
Just three weeks into the season, thats what the 7-10 White Sox are reduced to: No guarantees of a productive offense, a closer who can bar the door, or any end in sight to an early, dastardly losing streak.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.