The Hits Just Keep on Not Comin': Who's to Blame for the White Sox Slow Start?

Chris MurphyAnalyst IApril 28, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 07: Paul Konerko #14 of the Chicago White Sox (R) talks about the stadium to teammate Adam Dunn #32 before the home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays at U.S. Cellular Field on April 7, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Rays 5-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

"All In" is the Chicago White Sox motto for the 2011 season. Sitting dead last in the weak American League Central at 10-15 and having lost 11 of the team's last 14 games, perhaps the team should change that to "All In Too Deep."

Once again, I apologize for the leading headline question, which has a simple answer.

But I need reads, which will hopefully lead to popularity, which will hopefully lead to not writing for free for a website that lives and dies off slideshows with the titles "Top Ten WAGS."

Oh, what journalism has become.

I digress.

Simply put, the answer is everyone.

For now, you can't blame the pitching, but through the first 12 games, when the pitching staff allowed more than five runs per game, you certainly could. Still, the offense was able to bail out the pitching and defense and escape with a 7-5 record.

You can blame Matt Thornton, Chris Sale and Jesse Crain for not performing. You can blame manager Ozzie Guillen for some reason feeling Thornton would be better served getting his first save as a full-time closer coming into the ninth with runners on rather than starting the inning.

You can also blame Guillen for ever using Tony Pena and GM Kenny Williams for ever trading for Pena, basically forcing Guillen to use another one of his trade/multi-year mistakes in the bullpen.

Then the offense and pitching decided to swap, as did the finger-pointing. 

In the 13 games since, the White Sox have scored more than three runs once. They have scored 27 runs in that period, but that includes a nine-run game, meaning in 12 of those games the team has scored a total 18 runs.

Gordon Beckham has three hits and one walk in 37 at-bats in the period.

Adam Dunn has six hits, seven walks, 20 strikeouts and one home run in 42 at-bats during the team slump.

Alexei Ramirez has nine hits and three walks in 45 at-bats during the offensive drought.

Alex Rios, who has shown no signs of hitting all season, has four hits and five walks in 40 at-bats during the offensive boycott. Keep in mind, he has just 15 hits and 10 walks in 92 at-bats all season, so this could be considered one of his good streaks.

The four-headed monster of ground outs and strikeouts has combined for eight RBI in these 13 games. Carlos Quentin has six RBI and Paul Konerko has seven during that stretch.

Yes, pitching and defense wins championships, but having no hitting can lose championships.

It is one thing to lose to Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, James Shields, David Price and Justin Verlander, but scoring one run off Tyler Chatwood and giving him his first career win, scoring one run on Wade Davis, getting shut out by Brad Penny and Max Scherzer and scoring one run off Bartolo Colon is a completely different ballgame.

You can argue all these pitchers have or at one time had potential, but when you have the fifth-highest payroll and $36 million invested in the middle of your lineup in Rios, Dunn and Konerko, you had better learn to hit good pitching.

What kind of pitching did the White Sox plan to face in the playoffs when they were supposed to run away with AL Central?

Even more frustrating is the fact the pitching and defense have shown up right as the hitting disappeared. White Sox pitching has allowed just over four runs a game, which includes two, nine-run duds. If you take away those two losses, White Sox pitching has given up 3.27 runs per game in 11 of those 13 games and the team went 3-8 during that stretch. 

The team also has four errors in those 13 games, as opposed to the 13 errors the team had in the previous 12 games.

We've seen what the White Sox can do in each aspect of the game, but if it doesn't come together, it's useless.

You can't win a division in April, but you can certainly lose it. Continue this inconsistency and Guillen, Williams and many White Sox employees could be "All In" the unemployment line.