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updated: 6/2/2011 3:55 PM

Can Sox change The Cell's numbers?

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  • This season the White Sox are only 10-13 at U.S. Cellular Field, and they play 23 of their next 35 games at home before the all-star break. Scot Gregor takes a closer look at which players have been struggling at home this season.

       This season the White Sox are only 10-13 at U.S. Cellular Field, and they play 23 of their next 35 games at home before the all-star break. Scot Gregor takes a closer look at which players have been struggling at home this season.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • The White Sox have been grabbing more losses than wins this season at U.S. Cellular Field, and the problem has been a collective effort. They open a 10-game homestand on Friday against the Detroit Tigers.

      The White Sox have been grabbing more losses than wins this season at U.S. Cellular Field, and the problem has been a collective effort. They open a 10-game homestand on Friday against the Detroit Tigers.
    Associated Press

 
 

Let's jump back to May 16, a mere 18 days ago.

Returning from a solid 6-3 West Coast road trip, capped by a win over Oakland A's ace Trevor Cahill, the White Sox returned to U.S. Cellular Field and played awful baseball in a 4-0 loss to the Texas Rangers.

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For the Sox, it was yet another awful home game.

The uninspired loss to the defending American League champion Rangers was the 10th in 11 home games for the Sox, dropping their overall record at the Cell to 5-12.

Looking for answers in the postgame clubhouse that night ... let's just say there weren't any.

"I wish I knew," said manager Ozzie Guillen, who appeared to be only half-joking when he later suggested the Sox stay at a hotel while playing at home.

Said starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, who took the loss against Texas: "I don't know. It's baseball. It's a crazy game. It's just one of those things you can't really explain."

To their credit, the White Sox beat the Rangers the next night to split the two-game series, they swept another two-game set from the upstart Cleveland Indians and wrapped up the homestand with two wins in three interleague games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

So now, as they prepare to open a 10-game homestand against Detroit on Friday night after a 5-5 road trip with stops in Texas, Toronto and Boston, the White Sox should have a little more confidence playing in front of their fans.

Conversely, they are still a worrisome 10-13 at the Cell this season, the second-worst home record in the AL behind only the woeful Minnesota Twins (6-15).

The White Sox showed how good they can be with a three-game sweep over the Red Sox, but they remain well behind the Indians in the AL Central.

If they hope to cut into the deficit, the White Sox have to pick it up at home. They play 23 of their next 35 on the South Side before the all-star break.

We've analyzed the stats and splits and present the players the Sox most need to get their acts together at home:

Gordon Beckham. He's picked it up on the road, raising his line to a .267 batting average, a .328 on-base percentage, and a .324 slugging percentage.

Beckham hasn't been nearly as effective at home: .205/.263/.384.

Jesse Crain. Numbers can be strange, as evidenced by Crain's home-road splits.

The relief pitcher has held opposing hitters to a .111 batting average at the Cell, but he has a 3.38 ERA.

On the road, Crain has a .211 OBA but his ERA is 1.64.

Adam Dunn. Yes, he's stunk it up home and away.

But Dunn has been worse at the Cell, batting .115 with 28 strikeouts in 61 at-bats. On the road, he's batting .216 with 43 Ks in 111 ABs.

Gavin Floyd. The starting pitcher's splits are pretty close -- 2-2 with a 4.33 ERA at the Cell and 4-3 with a 3.56 ERA on the road.

The biggest difference has been the longball.

Floyd has allowed 4 home runs in 27 innings at home and 5 homers in 48 innings away.

Paul Konerko. It's difficult to find any fault with the White Sox captain, who is having another monster season.

But let's try ...

Konerko is tearing it up on the road, batting .346 with 7 home runs and 26 RBI. At home, he's batting .250 with 5 HR and 18 RBI.

Look for those splits to change, particularly on the home front. Last season, Konerko batted .342 at the Cell and had 26 homers and 64 RBI.

Brent Morel. The rookie third baseman hit his only home run of the season at home, and it was a huge one.

Trailing 3-0 in a May 17 game against the Rangers, Morel came through with a 3-run shot in the fifth inning to tie it, and the White Sox rallied for a 4-3 win.

Besides that, however, Morel has not been good at the Cell, batting .179. He's hitting .265 on the road.

A.J. Pierzynski. Has a much better line on the road (.291/.331/.336) than at home (.243/.274/.357).

Carlos Quentin. He's been a beast away from the Cell, hitting .294 with 11 home runs and 34 RBI in 126 at-bats.

In 72 ABs at the Cell, Quentin is hitting just .194 with 2 HR and 3 RBI.

Chris Sale. He found his stuff on the Sox' road trip and has a 1.88 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .173 batting average in 13 relief appearances away from home.

At the Cell, however, Sale has an 11.05 ERA and .371 OBA in 8 appearances.

Sergio Santos. The White Sox' promising closer has allowed only 4 runs all season, all at home, where he's pitched 8⅔ innings.

On the road, Santos has not yielded a run in 18 innings.

Matt Thornton. It's been a tough season for the big lefty, especially at home.

Thornton has an 8.10 ERA (and .361 OBA) at the Cell. On the road, the reliever's ERA is 4.09.

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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