The offensive enlightenment that spurred the Sox to victory Friday night eluded them for the rest of the weekend, as a 0-run, 3-hit performance ended the 9-game home winning streak on Saturday and a Sunday afternoon loss capped a losing series to the lowly Colorado Rockies.
It's time to start the "tip your cap" count, as Ozzie opted for the ol' clichÃ© after Saturday's loss to Jorge De La Rosa, who came in with an ERA over 8 but left after five shutout innings of 1-hit ball.
Maybe there should be a column for cap tips (TC) next to wins (W), losses (L) and games back (GB) in the newspaper's standings. The White Sox enter play tonight 38-31 with 12 cap tips, 4.5 games atop the AL Central.
I don't want to hear anyone associated with the Sox, anyone who has ever worn a Sox hat or t-shirt, use the patented "tip your cap" line ever again.
The loss was fine. It was ugly, but you're not going to win them all. But please, let's not pretend there was just nothing the Sox hitters could do against perennial Cy Young candidate Jorge de la Rosa, who set a career high in strikeouts and clichÃ©s forced.
The baseball gods added injury to the equation Sunday afternoon, striking Paul Konerko with pain in his intercostal muscles, which connect the ribs and the chest. Paulie was a scratch from Sunday's line up, and appears headed for a stint on the DL.
In keeping with the Sox recent strategy, it would be time to call up another relief pitcher. Hmm, Ehren Wasserman is back to dominating in AAA, let's go to an 8-man bullpen!
No, at this point it would be nice to actually call up a hitter.
Among the obvious choices are Josh Fields, who could split time with Jim Thome at DH, Jerry Owens, who could split time with Brian Anderson in the outfield, and Brad Eldred, who could make a run at the team lead in strikeouts within a week or two. Signing free agent Kenny Lofton has also been mentioned.
There is a dark horse candidate whose name I'd like to bring up:
You've probably never heard of him. At age 26 (turns 27 next month), he looked like a career minor leaguer as he started this season at Double-A Birmingham. But his numbers merit a look.
Last year he hit .282 with 24 HRs and a .388 OBP in 122 games across Single-A and Double-A. He's turned things up another notch this year, sporting a .316 average with 12 HRs and an eye-popping .464 OBP in 68 total games (63 in Birmingham, 5 in Triple-A Charlotte).
His K/BB ratio this year is amazing-he has 64 walks to only 54 strikeouts so far this year, showcasing impressive discipline that sets him apart from sluggers like Fields and Eldred. Plus he has some speed and can play all three outfield positions capably
It's hard to determine whether his quick ascension is a true reflection of his skill or due to being "too old" for his level. But he is an intriguing option to keep tabs on as he settles in at Charlotte.
Is he anywhere near the Sox plans? Probably not. But the Sox need a stick in the line up that can do more than play station-to-station, homer or strike/pop out ball, and there's no harm in trying an underdog.
Cook is a long shot, but stranger things have happened.
One thing is for sure, Konerko or no Konerko, the Sox better mop the floor with the Pirates this week.