Even after losing two out of three before the break, the White Sox still found themselves comfortably positioned for the playoffs as they were six games ahead of the Yankees in the wild card race. All they had to do was win one game in NY and leave the city with a five game lead.
Unfortunately, they picked a bad time to stop hitting the ball with runners on-base, as they consistently failed to to take advantage of scoring opportunities. The result was a three game sweep.
The Sox still have the league's second best record but now the Red Sox are only two games back and the Yankees two-and-a-half back. The Blue Jays and Twins are also now back in the picture. The Sox are now just another bad week from finding themselves out of the wild card lead.
I'm not worried - yet. Take look at these pitching numbers. I take comfort in these numbers because I know there is no way the starters will continue to pitch this bad. Once the pitching returns so will the wins.
Despite losing the last two series against the Red Sox and Yankees I'm not convinced either one is a better team. It will be hard for the White Sox to catch the Tigers but I don't think they will get passed by Boston or New York in the standings.
Finally, the toughest part of this weekend was watching Cliff Politte pitch his final game for the White Sox. Politte seems like a real nice guy and a likeable teammate. The poor guy just couldn''t get anyone out this year. As the Yankees scored four runs off him on Saturday, I knew it was the end of the road for Cliff Politte, and I'm sure he knew it too. Baseball players make a lot of money and are certainly fortunate to make a living playing a game. Yet I still find it incredibly sad when a player is forced out before they are ready to give it up. Actually, I didn't feel too bad for Sammy Sosa, but you know what I mean.
Anyway, here's to Cliff Politte, right handed set-up man for the 2005 World Series Champions Chicago White Sox (7-1, 2.00 ERA, 67.3 IP, 57K, .936 WHIP).