Chicago White Sox: Will the Next 13 Games Determine Everything?
The Chicago White Sox return home for a series against the New York Yankees Monday evening to begin a stretch of 13 games that may well decide their postseason chances.
Following a three-game sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals, the first time that it has happened since 2003, the White Sox now have some serious work to do if they intend on putting some distance between themselves and the Detroit Tigers.
As play begins Monday, the Sox are 1.5 games ahead of the equally scuffling Tigers but missed an opportunity to increase their lead in the division.
During the next 13 games, the White Sox will face the Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles and the Tigers and will need to put the disaster in K.C. behind them. Those teams are a combined 35 games over .500, and three of them have winning records.
While the Yankees constitute a substantial portion of that number, the Sox may have to face Felix Hernandez, the recent author of a perfect game, and a Baltimore team that just took two games from the Tigers at Comerica Park.
They have bounced back before.
Team captain Paul Konerko knows this. He was quoted in the Chicago Tribune saying that the series with the Royals is over and that "we have to be right back out there against the Yankees, so we can’t think about this one or this weekend too much or it will get worse.” Well put, Paulie.
Is it still too early to say the Sox are in a must win?
To open the series with the Yankees, the White Sox are sending out a pitcher that has had recent success pitching at U.S. Cellular Field, Gavin Floyd.
Floyd has a 2.78 ERA and is 3-0 in his last five home starts. While he is not getting cocky, he knows that he needs to continue his recent run to get the Sox back on the right track.
Most importantly, Floyd cannot fall behind the Yankees hitters. Floyd is least effective when he is not throwing strikes, and the Yankees lineup is built to take advantage of hitter’s counts.
The next 13 games may, in fact, determine the White Sox's chances to play in the postseason. But then again, isn’t that the way it should be?
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