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posted: 6/3/2012 9:27 PM

Rongey: Sox need to keep playing well vs. Tigers, Indians

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  • White Sox relief pitcher Addison Reed has the stuff and the confidence needed to be a closer, says Chris Rongey.

      White Sox relief pitcher Addison Reed has the stuff and the confidence needed to be a closer, says Chris Rongey.
    Associated Press

 
 

Had to end sometime, right?

There really isn't ever a smooth transition from winning nine straight to losing one.

It happens. It's going to happen more.

Now, the purpose for the Sox is to enjoy as many peaks as possible while avoiding an equal (or greater) amount of valleys.

As it may have done for you, this latest stretch of winning had me recollecting the midsummer adventure that was the 2010 season.

From June 6 to July 15 that year, the Sox went on an absurd 26-6 run (including 11-game and nine-game winning streaks) to improve from eight games below .500 to 12 over.

Like I said, absurd.

It put them in first place, but they wouldn't stay there as the Twins later would enjoy a similar kind of run while our beloved were doing the opposite.

The truth is, though, all seasons are different, and attempting to draw too many parallels between them usually is pointless.

Baseball has a way of putting the chaos theory to work.

However, there's one certainty we can take from that season to apply to the present: an eventual slide will come.

But one thing this team cannot afford is to lose something like 13 of 18 to a team like the Cleveland Indians or the Detroit Tigers, as they did to Minnesota in 2010.

That's a sure way to make sure they'll be watching the postseason on LED HDTV goodness instead of from the third-base dugout.

The good news? The White Sox, so far, have a winning record against teams in their division that matter (12-8 combined vs. Detroit and Cleveland).

Should that trend continue, Chicago probably will be hosting playoff baseball.

So, I'll take what they've done so far and be ecstatic with it, and so should you. After all, it's difficult to be disturbed when your team has only lost two times in a fortnight.

Q: Do you expect the White Sox to be in contention the rest of the season?

A: As I mentioned above, they have to win in their own division and they have to beat the teams they're supposed to.

The goal is to win as many games as possible while simultaneously holding down the direct competition. Winning the majority of games within the AL Central will help accomplish both.

The Sox will have to keep their pitchers as healthy as possible. That will likely mean limiting the workload of the bullpen as often as can be done, and maybe the acquisition of an additional hurler.

If the Sox can protect their pitching staff, they will be there deep into the season.

Q: Why is Addison Reed so good in the closer's role?

A: The kid's got good stuff and owns a ton of confidence.

If a player has been called upon by a big-league club, chances are he has the physical ability to play at the MLB level.

What separates guys who can from guys who can't is the mental makeup which is, incidentally, the toughest thing to scout.

Reed has the right personality and wants the ball in the ninth inning. I've had good setup guys in the past tell me they wanted no part of that ninth-inning drama.

Some pitchers aren't cut out for it. Reed seems to be.

•Chris Rongey is the host of the White Sox pregame and postgame shows on WSCR 670-AM The Score. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRongey and at chrisrongey.com. Subscriber Total Access members can email him questions each week via our online link.

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