The White Sox finally helped themselves Monday night, beating the Indians 11-0 at Progressive Field.
But they didn't get any needed help from the Royals, who lost at home to the Tigers, 6-3.
With the win, Detroit clinched first place in the AL Central. The White Sox, who looked equal parts tight and tired while losing 10 of 12 before pounding Cleveland, are finished for the season after Wednesday night's game against the Indians.
"We feel like we let one slip away," Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy told reporters in Cleveland. "It's extremely frustrating the way things have played out."
Over the next two games, about the only point of interest is dubious: Will Adam Dunn set the major-league record for strikeouts in a season?
While he did go 2-for-4 with 2 RBI Monday, raising his season total to 96, Dunn also struck out twice and has 220 for the season. That is 3 shy of the record by Arizona's Mark Reynolds set in 2009.
Other than that, it's time to look to next season.
A shakeup is coming in the front office, but you have to wonder how much is really going to change with Kenny Williams moving from general manager to director of baseball operations and assistant general manager Rick Hahn taking over as GM.
Williams still figures to have a major say on the 25-man roster, and the Sox have some key decisions to make on players like Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski, Gavin Floyd and Kevin Youkilis.
All four players are eligible for free agency this off-season and bringing them back would come at a cost.
Considering the White Sox' attendance was below 2 million this year for the first time since 2004, another payroll cut is likely in the works.
This season's payroll was nearly $30 million less than the $128 million the Sox spent on players in 2011, so look for even more young faces to be on next season's roster.
Peavy, 31, told reporters in Cleveland he's going to make his scheduled start Tuesday night.
There is no chance the White Sox pick up Peavy's $22 million club option for next season. Peavy (11-12, 3.37 ERA) has consistently said he enjoys playing for the Sox and wants to return, but he is likely to get a more lucrative free-agent offer from another team.
"I love Chicago and what we were able to accomplish without much expectation," Peavy said Monday. "Hope the next few months things work out and get to stay but you never know. I haven't given (the future) much thought. That's all going to shake out in the next few months anyway so you're not doing yourself any favors trying to figure it out.
"I don't know. It depends if these guys want me back and what they value me as. I haven't had any dialogue."