Going into the 2010 season, the White Sox starting staff of Mark Buehrle, Jake Peavy, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, and Freddy Garcia was thought to be a top-three pitching staff in all of baseball.
So far, however, the starting staff has simply been awful, sporting ERAs of 3.27, 4.82, 4.93, 5.62, and 5.64 in 377.1 innings pitched, while the offense has taken most of the blame for the 28-34 record.
Over the last five games, of which the White Sox won four, we may have seen a sudden awakening to the starting five.
It started with Garcia, who has been the second most consistent pitcher in the Sox rotation this season. Garcia went seven innings in a 15-3 win over the Detroit Tigers, allowing three earned runs, while striking out four, and walking just one.
Danks followed that outing with seven shutout innings, striking out four, walking four, and giving up just one hit in a 3-0 win over the Tigers.
Peavy then followed that outing with a seven-inning, five-strikeout performance against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley. He gave up two earned runs on one walk and six hits in a 10-5 win.
It was then Buehrle's turn to shine. He went 6.2 shutout innings, striking out seven, walking none, and giving up eight hits in a 2-1 win over the Cubs.
Floyd pitched a complete game in the series finale against the Cubs. He went eight strong, striking out nine, walking three, and giving up three hits in a 1-0 loss. Floyd had the unfortunate honor of getting the White Sox offense on one of its extremely useless nights, which was bound to happen after scoring 30 runs in the previous four games.
With an offense and a defense like the White Sox have, starting pitching is a must. On any day, the offense can give you nothing and the defense will give you three errors, while most likely never getting to a ball they shouldn't.
In order for the White Sox to have any chance to compete, the starting staff has to put everything on their shoulders.
Then again, their shoulders should be pretty rested because they've taken more than a third of the season off.
At seven-and-a-half games back of the Minnesota Twins and five games back of the Detroit Tigers, let me be the first to welcome the starting five of the White Sox to the 2010 season; so nice of you to show up.