July 3, 2003

CHICAGO WHITE SOX (40-42 - 3rd Place)

                          CHICAGO PITCHING

April 3.96 .240 .314 .402 29.3 20.8 10.3 4.8
May 5.33 .277 .348 .451 28.9 17.6 8.9 6.1
June 3.89 .241 .299 .376 35.9 21.2 11.3 5.0

While Chicago's offense continued to struggle, the Sox pitching staff had their second very good month of the season. The White Sox had the third-best ERA in the AL in June.

No mention of the White Sox pitching staff can start with anyone other then Esteban Loaiza. I won't try to explain it other than to say I am fairly sure he has a deal with the Devil, although the official terms and length of such deal have yet to be disclosed publicly.

Loaiza went 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA in six June starts and is now 11-3 with a 2.18 ERA this season. There is no doubt about it, he has been the best pitcher in the American League this season. He leads the AL in ERA, is second in wins, third in winning percentage and opponent's batting average, fourth in strikeouts and sixth in innings pitched. His month-by-month ERAs are 1.25, 2.65, 2.57 and I have been tremendously impressed with him each time I have watched him (which, unfortunately, includes a 2-0 record and a 0.86 ERA in three starts against the Twins).

Billy Koch had himself a nice month too, his second in a row. Koch pitched just 13 innings in June but managed to be involved in six decisions, going 3-3 with a 3.46 ERA. He also saved five games, after saving just three in each of the first two months. After an 8.25 ERA in April, Koch has a 2.74 ERA in 23 innings since and has converted 8/9 save opportunities.

After striking out just 29 batters in April and May combined (3.9/9 IP), Mark Buehrle K'd 28 batters in June (6.3/9 IP) and went 3-2 with a 3.83 ERA. At 5-10, Buehrle is still on pace to lose 20 games, but his ERA is slowly creeping back under 4.00.

                          CHICAGO HITTING

April 4.58 .251 .330 .440 25.8 16.4 9.7 6.7
May 3.56 .241 .310 .377 35.6 21.2 10.8 6.0
June 4.43 .244 .320 .405 28.5 20.0 9.0 5.0

As I am sure most White Sox fans have been doing all season, I keep waiting for the Sox to start hitting again. I remember this team as one that couldn't really pitch, but would bash the crap out of you offensively. Chicago led the AL in runs in 2000 and scored the third-most in the AL last year and the sixth-most in 2001.

This year, the White Sox are scoring the second-fewest runs per game in the AL, ahead of only the Tigers. They are 13th in the AL in batting average, 13th in on-base percentage and 11th in slugging percentage.

While the offense as a whole was bad in June, several players had very good months. Magglio Ordonez hit .281/.389/.510 and walked 17 times in 27 games, after walking just 14 times in his first 53 games. Jose Valentin, who came into June hitting just .221/.293/.442, hit .278/.383/.489 in 26 games.

And Frank Thomas took a page right out of the Frank Thomas 1990-1997 book and had himself a .333/.468/.678 month - all while playing a ton of first base for the first time in a long time. The Big Hurt is now hitting .281/.426/.555 and is on pace for 34 homers, 38 doubles and 115 walks.

While Thomas had a big month, the man who used to play first base for Chicago, Paul Konerko, continued his nightmarish season. Konerko hit .098/.174/.098 in 41 June at bats, losing his everyday job to Brian Daubach in the process. Konerko is now hitting .185/.260/.265 for the season and has just three homers in 69 games.


Moments before this article you are reading was to be sent to "press," the White Sox made two rather large trades. First, they sent three minor leaguers to the Mets in exchange for Roberto Alomar and, later that same day, they sent some PTBNLs to the Rangers for Crazy Carl Everett.

This article should have been turned in already and I have written about the trades elsewhere, so, when you are done reading this, feel free to head over to Aaron's Baseball Blog to read my thoughts on the deals.

Fun with paces:

Magglio Ordonez - 158 games, 28 homers, 38 doubles, 91 RBIs, 89 runs

Frank Thomas - 150 games, 34 homers, 38 doubles, 77 RBIs, 81 runs, 115 walks, 111 strikeouts

Paul Konerko - 136 games, 6 homers, 16 doubles, 34 RBIs, 32 runs

Bartolo Colon - 34 starts, 241 innings, 217 hits, 172 strikeouts, 72 walks, 28 homers

Esteban Loaiza - 34 starts, 228 innings, 184 hits, 186 strikeouts, 53 walks, 16 homers, 22 wins

Mark Buehrle - 36 starts, 224 innings, 241 hits, 115 strikeouts, 77 walks, 28 homers, 20 losses

Tom Gordon - 67 games, 78 innings, 99 strikeouts, 40 walks, 2 homers, 8 wins, 10 losses

Billy Koch - 75 games, 69 innings, 65 hits, 51 strikeouts, 34 walks, 14 homers, 22 saves

Coming up:

7/4-7/6 - @Tampa Bay

7/7 - Off Day

7/8-7/10 - @Detroit

7/11-7/13 - @Cleveland

The White Sox get 10 straight road games against three teams with a combined winning percentage of .327 (79 wins, 162 losses) heading into the all-star break.

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