August stretch crucial for inconsistent White Sox.

Joseph MoroniContributor IAugust 10, 2009

Two weeks ago, White Sox general manager Ken Williams shocked the baseball world by trading for Cy Young winner and All-Star Jake Peavy. The deal was shocking because the White Sox had previously attempted to make a similar deal earlier in the year, but Peavy turned it down. It was also shocking because Peavy has been  on the DL since early June with an ankle injury. However in true Ken Williams fasion he pulled the trigger under the radar and has potentially made the White Sox a contender. The only problem is that this deal has put a lot of pressure on the team to stay within striking distance of the Detroit Tigers until at least the end of this month, when Jake is expected to return. The White Sox started out this important stretch of games by going 5-2 against the New York Yankees, and the Los Angeles Angels. But they stumbled against Cleveland this weekend and suddenly find themselves three games back of the Tigers. Things get worse for the White Sox as they travel out wet this week to play at Seattle( Aug 10-12)  and at Oakland (Aug  15-17), two places that the White Sox have always had trouble playing in. If the White Sox can take two out of three in both cities they should be in good shape as the Tigers are heading to Boston to face the Red Sox. The fun doesn’t stop there for the Sox, after coming home to face the Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles, the White Sox head out east  to play at Boston and at New York. If the White Sox want to stay in the race they have to win pretty much every series until the Boston series. This is not exactly an impossible dream, Seattle is a pretty good team, but the White Sox have the right guys going to the mound in Gavin Floyd, and John Danks in the first two games of the series. Oakland is not very good at all, aside from their young pitching that destroyed the White Sox earlier in the year. The White Sox have a real opportunity to play well in Oakland this year. When it comes to Kansas City and Baltimore, the White Sox simply have to play better against these inferior teams for once. It seems that the White Sox play a lot better and with a lot more urgency when they are playing bigger name teams. the return of Jake Peavy will definitely help the White Sox become a better team, but the next three or four weeks of baseball will determine if that will happen this year or next season. My predictions for the coming weeks is that the White Sox will go 4-2 out west, 5-1  on the homestand,2-2 against the Red Sox, and 1-2 against the Yankees. That puts the White Sox at 11-7 for the remainder of the month. this should keep them in the race long enough to allow Peavy to make a difference for this year’s team.