Chicago White Sox: Jake Peavy, Offense Sputter as Kansas City Royals Take Series

Derek CooleyCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 19:  Starting pitcher Jake Peavy #44 of the Chicago White Sox is visited on the mound by catcher Tyler Flowers #17 during the 6th inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals on July 19, 2011 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Something needs to be done to light a fire under the Chicago White Sox. Nothing seems to be working, and the team continues to leave fans in limbo. A good series to start the second half of the season in Detroit is immediately followed by one that was utterly despicable.

Mark Buehrle stepped up and threw quality innings to get the White Sox a 5-2 victory on Monday night's series opener in Kansas City. Two of those runs were scored on ground outs.  

Jake Peavy pitched six innings on Tuesday, giving up three runs...but he let Matt Treanor get the best of him on multiple occasions. A ground ball pitch turned into a fastball in the wheel house, and Treanor slapped a two-RBI single in the sixth that proved to be the game winner.

On Wednesday evening, John Danks pitched seven scoreless innings coming off the DL. Apparently his performance wasn't good enough to get him a win, as the White Sox dropped the rubber match to the Royals 2-1 in 11 innings.

What can you really take from a frustrating series against the last place team in the AL Central? Nothing good. When you score three runs in 20 innings with the likes of Danny Duffy and Bruce Chen starting the latter two games of the series, you start to lose hope. In the rubber match, Chen only threw 83 pitches in eight innings. That amazes me.

My focus of concern is obviously on the offense, but starting pitcher Jake Peavy as well. Here is something Peavy said to the Chicago Sun-Times after the 4-2 loss Tuesday night:

“Things are not normal for me,’’ Peavy said. “I expect this winter to regroup and have a normal offseason, get strong and find out what I can offer. At my age [30] and the way I’m going to work, I’m excited to get back to where I once was. As of now, I’m just trying to piece it together post-surgery and contribute to this team. The only thing I care about is winning a ballgame.’’

Yes, the doctors said Jake's recovery period would be 12 to 18 months, so it's completely understandable that he finds himself struggling through starts. But to already be talking about your offseason regimen when you still find yourself in the rotation of a team that somehow only remains four and a half games back in the AL Central. Peavy also went on to say that he thought his stuff was "good enough" to get a win, but it's difficult when your offense only scores two runs.

Jake, here's the thing. I don't care how much pain you are in and how many runs were given to you. One, you were given a two-run lead and failed to keep Matt Treanor at bay. Two, the White Sox created a six-man rotation to suite YOUR needs to stay in the rotation. If you can't pitch effectively, and it doesn't look like you can, then either shelf it for the rest of the season or move to the bullpen. The White Sox have five other quality starters that can man the rotation.

This is what I would do. Ever since Jake's appearance out of the bullpen in relief for an injured John Danks, he has been pretty awful. His performance that June evening against the Washington Nationals was nothing short of dominant. In four scoreless relief innings, Peavy struck out seven batters. It's simple, move Peavy to the bullpen.

Another stat that backs up this theory is Peavy's performance against batters after he has thrown 75 pitches. Batters are hitting over .400 against Peavy this year after the 75-pitch mark. That's not on-base percentage...that's not slugging percentage...that's batting average!

The White Sox need to man up, score more runs, take more pitches, and stop making guys like Bruce Chen look like Cy Young candidates! Oh yeah...and beat last place teams. Gut check time on the south side.