Consistency continues to escape the White Sox after another loss to the Twins
CHICAGO – Talking at his locker following Sunday’s game, Adam Eaton was all ears when it comes to a suggestion for his team and their enigmatic ways early in the 2015 season.
“If you can find that out tell me as soon as you can,” said the White Sox center fielder when asked about finding the reason the team has had its share of ups and downs in the first two months of the campaign.
Discovering that answer isn’t easy. Not with a team that can be hot one week and just as cold the next. These last seven days were the latter.
After a solid road trip in which they won 5-of-6 games the White Sox slipped during a seven-game homestand. They dropped 5-of-7 games including Sunday’s 8-1 defeat at the hands of the Twins who took 2-of-3 from the hosts this weekend. Earlier this week Cleveland went 3-1 against the White Sox to drop them back into last in the AL Central.
It’s been a theme since the beginning of the season when Robin Ventura’s team opened the season with four-straight losses then won their next three games. A five-game skid made the White Sox the worst team in the majors but a 10-3 record pulled them up from the cellar.
“We were able to gain a little momentum from where we started and it ended not well,” said Ventura of the last two weeks. “Keep grinding. These guys need to find a way to scratch across a couple of runs and make it a clean game.”
Sunday was most certainly not. Brian Dozier opened the scoring with a homer of Jose Quintana in the first and things spiraled out of control in the third. Adam Eaton misjudged a line drive to centerfield off the bat of Joe Mauer and missed the catch which allowed the second run of the game to score.
It opened up a strong inning for Minnesota who struck for three more runs to open up the advantage to 5-0.
"I've made that play 100 times and, like I said, whatever happened the ball didn't find my mitt," said Eaton, who owned up for the play before taking any questions from reporters after the game. "I didn't make the play."
Dozier did again for the Twins in the 7th as he clubbed a three-run homer to left field to give Minnesota a seven-run lead. That was plenty for Kyle Gibson who nearly untouched over eight innings, allowing just four hits and a single run in the 5th.
When that was scored the White Sox were already down by five and continued a bad trend on this homestand: Trailing from the start. They did so in every game but one over the last week and was a big reason they finished the seven-game stretch with just a pair of wins.
"We've been behind too many times in ballgames, missed opportunities," said LaRoche. "Fortunately we've hung in there because we've comeback and won quite a few of those games but you can't rely on that all the time.
"We need to start doing it early because right now we're not doing it at all."
If they want to begin fast they'll have to start on the road over the next two weeks. The next 11 games are all away from US Cellular Field but eight of them will be against teams with under .500 records. While Eaton may not know why the team has had extreme swings of victory and defeat he is confident it can stop.
"When you pitch it, you hit it, good things happen," said Eaton. "So hopefully we can do that."
That way a roller coaster start to the 2015 White Sox season can finally even out.