OAKLAND – At some point during the last five months, fans and the team itself were expecting things to finally come together for a group that struggled to do so.
What was supposed to be a season where the White Sox would win the American League Central has been anything but that from the opening series to the final month of the season. Injuries and inconsistent play along with other variables have kept the club at the .500 mark for the majority of the season.
At the same time, they’ve been on the outside looking in at first place, having not occupied at least a tie for that spot since April 20th. Many times along the way, it looked like the White Sox would pull things together, only to fall back into a slump, and often under .500.
Things looked dire on August 30th when the club lost their fourth-straight game of their nine-contest homestand to the Royals to fall six games behind the Guardians in first place. Then came five wins in seven games – two over division-rival Minnesota – including arguably their most memorable win of the season on Wednesday.
Down 4-0 to the Mariners with Luis Castillo on the mound, who struck out the first seven batters of the game, the White Sox rallied for six runs against the starter to grab the lead. After Seattle tied the game in the seventh, the visitors got three in the final two innings in a 9-6 triumph that puts them back over the .500 mark at 69-68.
Suddenly, a team that was six games out of first place a week-and-a-half ago is back to within two of Cleveland for first place in the AL Central with 25 games to go. This has come with manager Tony La Russa out of the dugout due to an unspecified medical issue that forced him to return to Arizona for testing.
The roller coaster is cresting at the moment with the chance to go higher with a four-game series against the struggling Athletics ahead in Oakland starting on Thursday. It’s part of a stretch where nine of the next ten games for the team are against clubs that are under the .500.
Once again, the thought is that the White Sox are finally ready to turn things around for good. But will they? In 2022, that’s an unknown, but not would be as good of a time as any to do so.
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