White Sox Notes: Solid Pitching Keeps Sox in Contention

Steve JankowskiAnalyst IMay 8, 2008

Despite a sub-.500 record and the lowest batting average in the American League, the Chicago White Sox are only one game out of first place in the AL Central.

Pitching is the reason the Sox are even in the conversation in what has become a mediocre division.

As of the writing of this article, the team is batting a collective .233 with an on-base percentage of .319, good for 10th in the 14-team American League.  They rank eighth in the AL in runs scored.

With such feeble offense, the only way to win is with stellar pitching and defense, and the White Sox have gotten plenty of outstanding pitching. 

The pitching staff ranks third in the three major team pitching categories in the AL.  They have a team ERA of 3.70, a team WHIP of 1.28, and opponents' OPS of .675.

Their opponents are hitting .247 against them, fifth in the American League.

The situation the Sox are in can be looked at in a couple different ways.  The optimist would say that Sox pitching has been excellent; just wait until the offense gets it in gear. However, the pessimist would say that the lack of offensive production is holding the team back.

Both arguments are plausible, and the stats back up both sides of the argument.

Good thing the Sox offense doesn't have to face their own pitching staff.  Gavin Floyd might have already thrown two or three no-hitters this year. 

In fact, the Sox look like baseball's version of the Chicago Bears: no offense, but they can keep the opposition off the scoreboard.  At least the Sox don't have a Rex Grossman to ruin things for them.

All joking aside, all manager Ozzie Guillen can do is hold out hope that his offense finds its groove while the pitching continues to dominate opposing offenses.  He better hope it happens before one AL Central team gets hot and runs away with the division.