Chicago White Sox: The Struggles Continue

Joseph MoroniContributor IMay 11, 2009

CHICAGO - APRIL 29:  Jermaine Dye #23 of the Chicago White Sox bats against the Seattle Mariners during the game on April 29, 2009 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The Texas Rangers have always seemed to have a problem with the White Sox batters. It seems every year in every series the two teams play against each other, White Sox players get hit.

This year has been no different.

So, after two White Sox batters were hit by Texas pitching in the first two games of the series over the weekend, Chicago closer Bobby Jenks decided enough was enough.

With two outs in the top of the ninth inning and the White Sox winning the game 3-2, Jenks through a 95 mph pitch behind Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler.

When asked about the pitch, Jenks had this to say: “I meant to. I knew I wasn’t going to hit him, but I had to send a message to the Rangers.”

This season, the Rangers are not the only team that has been throwing at the White Sox. The Kansas City Royals, particularly starting pitcher Zach Grienke, have come right out and said they intentionally threw at Carlos Quentin.

While the White Sox were able to win that game Saturday night against the Rangers, it was back to their old struggles on Sunday. The Sox eeked out two hits against Rangers pitcher Vicente Padilla, a pitcher notoriously for throwing at White Sox hitters.

Chicago's offensive struggles are very similar to that of last year’s team. Jim Thome is hitting below .200, as are Alexei Ramirez and Brent Lillibridge. 

The White Sox have now lost six of their last eight games and find themselves two games below .500 and three games behind the division leaders, the Detroit Tigers.

Hitting has not been the only problem for the White Sox so far this season. The starting pitching has struggled over the last two weeks. Gavin Floyd and John Danks both pitched their worst games of their careers a few weeks ago.

Danks looked like he was getting back to his old self on Saturday night and Floyd still has a chance to show us whether or not he can return to form tonight, as the White Sox face off against the Indians in Cleveland.

Mark Buerhle has been solid posting a record of 5-0 with an ERA under three.

The back end of the rotation is where we see the real trouble. José Contreras is now 0-5 with an ERA close to nine, while Bartolo Colon has been on and off with a few wins and a few losses.

If the White Sox want to get back into the race, the hitting needs to improve and they have to do something to get the pitching staff back in order.

It was announced Sunday that Contreras may be sent down to the minors and second-year pitcher Clayton Richard will get the start in his place on Wednesday.

Many fans are wondering why the White Sox do not at least try to look somewhere else for a quality starting pitcher.

Some may disagree with the name that I want to throw into the mix, but why not see if Pedro Martinez can be an option as a backup plan if Richard or Lance Broadway cannot do the job?

Maybe there is a reason Martinez has not been signed by anybody yet, but if the White Sox are willing to take a chance on an aging Ken Griffey, Jr. like they did last year, why not go out and take a chance on a pitcher who has been dominant in the past and who is better than José Contreras right now?

The White Sox opened up a very important road trip last night against Cleveland.

The Indians are currently in last place and are struggling—much like the White Sox—so maybe that is just what this team needs: a few games against the team that is struggling as bad as they are to get their head on straight.