Chi-Sox Have Ups and Downs in First Home Stand of 2019

The White Sox have been off to a rocky start, partially due to the competition they’ve faced.

Photo courtesy of South Side Sox

At first glance, the White Sox hosted two high-powered teams for their first home stand of the season. In those six games, they only won one, their first game against the Mariners. Despite now being on a five-game skid, the Sox have done some things well along the way.

Giving the fans what they want

Entering their first homestand of the season, the Chicago White Sox owned a 2-3 record but could’ve easily been 5-0. With such a great start from the pitching rotation and offense, the fans were eager to pack Guaranteed Rate Field. Impending weather delayed their opener until April 5 but it turned out the wait would be worth it.

In a span of two innings, the White Sox led the Mariner’s 6-1. Seattle entered the game being the hottest team in the league with a record of 7-1. As quick as the the White Sox were on the bright side of life, Seattle mounted a seven-run rally, including three homers to take an 8-6 lead.

Not to be denied, the White Sox had the last punch with one run scoring from a hit-by-pitch, followed by two more off a single by Yoan Moncada. Tim Anderson sealed the win with a solo shot in the eighth and Alex Colome pitched a perfect ninth to get the save.

Sliding backwards

Since that game, the White Sox have only mustered 14 runs in four games against the Mariners and Rays combined. They were put in early holes every game as a result of mediocre starting pitching. Within the first three innings of their most recent five games, opponents have scored 20 runs.

The best overall game the White Sox have played since their home opening win, was a 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay on April 8. Carlos Rodon made it just over four innings, allowing five walks, four runs but did strike out nine. After he exited, the bullpen gave up one more run but the offense, despite generating nine hits, was unable to score more than once. The lone run came off the bat of Jose Rondon for a solo dinger.

Starting pitchers haven’t made it past the fourth inning, putting a lot more stress on their bullpen to perform. While the North Side Chicago Cubs have had their bullpen struggles, the White Sox have done alright.

Alex Colome: five innings, six strikeouts, two saves, 3.60 ERA

Manny Banuelos: 7.1 innings pitched, eight strikeouts, 3.68 ERA

Nate Jones: five innings, eight strikeouts, 5.40 ERA

Evaluating the competition

Up to this point in the season, the White Sox have played four series against varied teams in terms of power ranking. They kicked off the year with a pair of away series at Kansas City and then Cleveland. Those two teams combined currently have a record of 9-13, not good to say the least. The two wins by the Royals over the White Sox are their only two of the season to this point, now having lost nine straight.

Despite coming home, the path didn’t get any easier by hosting the Mariners and Rays, with current combined records of 22-5 and leading their respective divisions. Seattle has only lost both games by a combined three runs to the White Sox and Red Sox. Tampa Bay has been dominant on the mound and their offense has also been on fire recently.

Power hitters stepping up

While the record may not indicate it, the White Sox have gotten some consistent production from some of their power hitters. Moncada and Jose Abreu have hit three homers apiece and Anderson has hit a pair himself. Here’s a look at their production at the plate through 11 games.

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