White Sox know time is of the essence
PITTSBURGH -- The familiar refrain of "it's still early" has been replaced by a new overriding theme of greater urgency for the struggling White Sox.
"We need to understand that we are getting to the point now where if we are going to turn it up, we've got to turn it up," White Sox veteran infielder Gordon Beckham said. "It's getting to the point where we are in the middle of June, a month and a half away from the Trade Deadline, and at some point, they have to make a decision on where this team is headed.
"So, we've got to prove to them, prove to the people making those decisions, that we can get back in this."
That non-waiver Trade Deadline doesn't arrive until July 31, so the White Sox have time to show general manager Rick Hahn that this group can contend. Current statistics might suggest otherwise, but then again, those same current statistics would suggest a team far worse than six under .500.
Entering Tuesday's contest, the White Sox were tied with Seattle for 28th in the Majors at 221 runs scored. Their .295 on-base percentage also stands 28th, their 45 homers falls 28th and their 20 stolen bases are tied for 27th.
Per FanGraphs, the White Sox are last in the Majors with -50 defensive runs saved. Even their pitching staff, which has pushed the White Sox toward the in-season success they've had to date, has an overall 4.26 ERA that leaves them 27th overall in that category.
"There really isn't anything I can say that would make any sense," said Beckham on what's missing from the team. "We don't seem to be doing the things right to win games. Either making an error at the wrong time or not getting a hit at the right time or not making the right pitch at the right time. There's not one thing you can point out. Just a myriad things that is adding up to some losses lately."
"You have to be able to do everything. If one facet of the game lets down, you can lose the game for that reason," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We have to play it clean and be better. There are people we count on, we know they're better, they know they're better. And that has to continue to improve."
Improvement that must come quickly for the White Sox, in a win-now mode caused by the slow start.
"Everything is heightened because you put yourself in a hole," Ventura said. "You win three games, you look better and ready to go on the road, and now you lose four in a row so you have to grind it out and grind in a way to get yourself back to where you need to be. If you win three and lose four, that heightens what you're saying."