Chicago White Sox: Robin Ventura and the Race for October
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The Chicago White Sox are in the thick of it now.
The Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers reported Wednesday that among the AL Central Division leaders and wild-card contenders (going into Wednesday’s action) the 13-11 record the White Sox own is fourth-best since the All-Star break, behind the Detroit Tigers (16-8), Oakland A’s (16-8) and Baltimore Orioles (14-11) in the dash to October.
With these four teams within 1.5 games of each other, the White Sox need to ramp up their performances in tight ballgames. The good news is, they appear to be turning the corner.
Each of the last 10 games the Sox have played has been decided by three runs or fewer and, according to Christian Corona from MLB.com, the Sox are 6-4 in those contests. That is a trend in the right direction.
To take it a step further, manager Robin Ventura seems to think that the team has a mindset conducive to winning because of the pitching staff and normally reliable defense. Ventura told Corona that the Sox “have good pitching so we are usually in games, the way the offense is going or not. So that’s one of the things that happens when you got guys that pitch well and play defense. They just have a feeling they’re going to win a game, and that’s more important whether it’s close or not. They just feel they’re going to win.”
What is the secret to the success this year for the White Sox?
Even with a mercurial offense, the Sox seem to always be one swing of the bat away from a victory when trailing late in ballgames. Against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday the Sox entered the bottom of the eighth inning trailing 5-2. Not too long ago, that ensured a loss.
Lately, however, the Sox seem to come from behind more often than not and that bodes well for the final eight weeks of the regular season.
Maintaining their winning attitude is going to be important. Rogers also noted in Wednesday’s Tribune that “the White Sox will play 21 of their last 52 games against the teams positioned to knock them out of a playoff spot.”
This team believes in their ability and each other.
As Hawk would say, ”Don’t stop now boys.”
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