After the All-Star break, the White Sox had a great month in August. Posting a record of 17-12 and at one point the Sox had moved into 3rd place in the AL Central. Not that this was any sort of important push for the team as they are and have been well out of the playoff push, but the month was a great morale booster for the young team looking to prove they have the talent to make some noise in the future. However, this seems to have come crashing down. Since Michael Kopech’s injury, the White Sox September struggles have become increasingly noticeable.
The Start To The Month
The White Sox have started the month of September with a record of 3-8. They have lost series’ with the Angels, Royals and Tigers. They also had a split series with the Boston Red Sox which split between August as well.
Losing the series 2-1 against the Royals definitely hurt, as they are currently 4th in the AL Central with a record of 51-96. The Sox September struggles can be linked to their pitching staff. Since Kopech went down Dylan Covey was given a start on the 11th against Kansas City. He went 4.1 innings giving up 5 runs with 3 walks in a losing effort.
Most of the lackluster performance has been with the bullpen. Most recently, Aaron Bummer gave up three runs in 0.1 innings pitched against the Orioles on September 14th. In most games, there has been one specific inning where the lead was blown.
Despite playing a tough team like the Angels the Sox offense did help out much. Scoring a total of five runs in the series and being shutout on the 9th, the red-hot Sox offense from August has cooled off. In the month of September, the Sox have been outscored by opponents 41-62.
Carlos Rodon was pitching really well since the break but has stumbled in September. Through 17 innings he has given up 17 hits and recorded 13 strikeouts. This has resulted in a 5.29 ERA through the month. It has not been just Rodon however. Lucas Giolitio has also had a rough month so far. He has only been able to pitch 8.1 innings and has a hefty 7.56 ERA.
The White Sox go-to relief pitcher Jace Fry has also seen his fair share of trouble this month. Posting a 9.00 ERA this month. Both the rotation and pen have been unable to put things together so far this month.
Hitting Poorly As Well
The White Sox September struggles have not been all pitching issues, as recently over the last week the offense has really taken a turn for the worse. Most of the team has been hitting below the Mendoza line over the last seven days.
Over their last 7 games, the White Sox have hit a pitiful .207 average. Their on-base percentage doesn’t get much better at just .283 and a slugging percentage of .361. Although guys like Matt Davidson and Kevin Smith have not been in the lineup much, the rest of the offense has not done well.
Catcher Wellington Castillo has been hitting .067 over his last 15 plate appearances and slugger Jose Abreu has been in a slump as well since coming back from injury. Abreu has hit .167 over his last 18 plate appearances.
It also seems Adam Engel has gone back to how he hit at the beginning of the season. His batting average in September sits at .176.
Moncada Doesn’t Seem To Notice
Despite having a rather down year, second baseman Yoan Moncada is having a fantastic September so far. He holds a .293 batting average so far in September with three RBIs as well as drawing four walks. Moncada has also been on fire in his last 7. He holds a .389 batting average during that time.
So What Does It Look Like Going Forward?
Although the White Sox September struggles have been in full swing, things may be on the rise. The Sox have won their last 2 games, despite the bullpen making things rather difficult in Friday’s game against Baltimore.
With slugger Matt Davidson going to be eased back into the lineup and with the performances of Moncada and Palka the Sox may see a turnaround. The pitching will need to get back to how it was in August and look to have better performances out of guys like Giolito and Covey.
Featured Image From The Chicago Sun-Times
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