Monday, June 5, 2023

Defeat Home Chicago


For the first time since the early 2010s, both Chicago baseball teams are just playing completely unsatisfying baseball right now.

Both sides of Chicago is resting at 26 wins right now, and both sides are under .500. All of this after both an impressive Cubs start and a refreshing of expectations with the vanquishing of Tony LaRussa and his boner for decorum for White Sox fans. It's just been a slog of a month or so, and while it finally seems to be picking up a bit on both fronts, it just wasn't fun for a while.

The Cubs collapsing I honestly didn't see coming, even with some of their obvious faults. It's so weird to say they had a bad month because they still had Christopher Morel's home runs, Steele and Stroman being awesome, and Seiya Suzuki coming back into the fold after the injury. But for a while they just weren't winning games. The Mets, Astros, Phillies and Twins were killing them. And it wasn't that most of the pitching was that bad, as this is still a pretty succinct rotation--it's just that this team wasn't hitting much. Yes, even with Morel, Wisdom, Suzuki, Hoerner, Swanson and Bellinger, pre-IL stint. The hits just weren't happening, and the other guys were outhitting them. And then Bellinger and Steele got hurt and the replacement players, even if one of them was Morel, couldn't help much.

The good news is this Padres series is helping them back a bit, as Marcus Stroman is still having a very strong year, having a 6-4 record with a 2.39 ERA and 68 strikeouts. Swanson and Happ are still hot, and unsung heroes like Mike Tauchman, Yan Gomes and Mark Leiter are helping out. There's some optimism now with this Cubs team, even if it's gonna take a bit to get back to where they were and outrun even the Reds.

This sort of optimism is a bit more fleeting on the South Side right now. The White Sox, at the very least, had a nice day yesterday after Jake Burger ended their series with the Tigers by hitting a grand slam and warming Detroit up for tonight's match in Philly. Burger has been having a solid power season, and his 12 homers are 2nd-most on the team behind Luis Robert. Chicago needs a guy like Burger, and having a lot of solid power hitters, including Andrew Vaughn, Andrew Benintendi and Luis Robert, who can also be versatile, does help a lot.

Unfortunately, nobody in rotation has an ERA below 4, a number of rookies in the lineup have struggled immediately, and none of the long train of young players [Moncada, Jimenez, Kopech] have done overwhelmingly well so far. Somehow the team feels lost without Jose Abreu, who's not faring much better on a better team. It is nice to have Liam Hendriks back, but he's taking a little longer to find where he was, even while getting the win yesterday. Even compared to the Cubs, there's just too much meh for this team to be truly taken seriously, and now it just seems like Pedro Grifol has his work cut out for him.

I hate that I can see the Cubs making the postseason sooner than the White Sox, especially after how dominant they looked in 2020. Did the pandemic kill this team, or was it just Tony?

Coming Tomorrow- A writeup of the Phils game I will be attending tonight. Hopefully something exciting happens.

1 comment:

  1. The disappointing Sox season has certainly been the talk of Chicago sports radio. The Cubs scuffling almost seems more realistic than their above average start.