The Chicago White Sox look to be re-energized after four days off due to the All-Star festivities. The weekend series against the Atlanta Braves gave many White Sox fans something to cheer about as the bats came out of hibernation. The club took two out of three from the NL East leading Braves.
It is just one series, but it begs the question of how far away the White Sox really are. When the offense scores runs, their is no doubt the Sox are as good as any team in baseball. Even a middle-of-the-road offensive club, the White Sox can have great success. Due to the Sox outstanding starting pitching staff, there is no reason to think that they couldn’t contend in a very mediocre AL Central.
Jake Peavy had a happy return from the disabled list and received a victory on Saturday from a great offensive explosion by the White Sox. The Sox scored ten runs on thirteen hits, the big blast coming from Alex Rios in the third inning. Rios hit, an estimated, 419 foot grand slam that gave the Sox the lead permanently in the game.
On Sunday the White Sox received another strong pitching performance from Jose Quintana who surrendered 9 hits over five and two-thirds of an inning, but received unusual stellar play from his defense. Quintana ended up only surrendering one run and the Sox pen held down the Braves for the rest of the game giving the Sox a 3-1 victory and a much needed series win coming out of the All-Star break.
In the week ahead the Sox will have 7 straight home games, four against the Detroit Tigers and three against the Kansas City Royals. Monday night’s pitching match-up will be very interesting as the Sox send Chris Sale to the mound against the Tiger’s Max Scherzer and his thirteen victories. Later in the week Jake Peavy could be making his last start with the Sox on Thursday as he pitches against Justin Verlander in an interesting match up of power arms.