For the first time in almost a month, the White Sox share first place in the American League Central with the Detroit Tigers. Now with the most optimism a White Sox fan with ulcers from the stresses of watching his team can muster, believes: The Chicago White Sox will win the AL Central.
How is it possible that a team that can’t hit the weight of Alexei Ramirez (175 lbs.) with runners in scoring position over the last month pull this out? Call it a hunch. With all of the very understandable (and factual) frustrations White Sox fans over the many flaws of their team, they have consistently done one thing very well:
HOLD ONTO FIRST PLACE OR GET IT BACK WHEN THEY LOSE IT.
They have also played top teams much tougher than they have teams they should easily dominate.
Chicago had been alone in first place since Sept. 3.
After Wednesday night’s series finale, the White Sox host a four-game series against Tampa Bay and then close with three games in Cleveland.
Detroit finishes its four-game series against Kansas City on Thursday, then ends the regular season with a three-game series at Minnesota and the Royals.
For the most part, the 2012 White Sox are not a team built on the concept of manufacturing runs through singles, walks, sacrifices, etc. It’s the big-swing or bust, as evident by our three solo homers against the Indians on Tuesday.
This has been good enough for first place.
The key to the White Sox winning the AL Central will be to remain consistent. While their all or nothing run producing methodology has been a mainstay, their bad habits must go away as well.
Despite their September hitting swoon, they are still hitting .272 with runners in scoring position. They need to hold true to that average.
For the most part we also saw flawless baseball and smart base running most of the season. We haven’t seen that style of play in the last couple of weeks.
My optimistic or Soximistic outlook believes the White Sox respond when their backs are against the wall. So its time to prove me right.
Soxman is a White Sox Super fan and multi-media journalist in Chicago. Yes that’s him in the 2005 MLB World Series DVD.
Follow Soxman on Twitter: @thesoxman72