Fittest loser
Article updated: 4/8/2013 6:16 PM

A snapshot of the White Sox (4-2) so far

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Quick thoughts on the White Sox' season-opening homestand and 4-2 start ...

•My knowledge of cars is basically looking at that sticker on the upper left windshield and determining if it's time to get an oil change.

White Sox vs. Washington Nationals at Nationals Park
TV: Channel 26 Tuesday; Comcast SportsNet Wednesday and Thursday
Radio: WSCR 670-AM
Pitching matchups: The Sox' Jake Peavy (1-0) vs. Gio Gonzalez (1-0) Tuesday; Gavin Floyd (0-1) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (1-0) Wednesday; Dylan Axelrod (0-0) vs. Dan Haren (0-1) Thursday. All games start at 6:05 p.m.
At a glance: This is an interleague road game, so look for regular designated hitter Adam Dunn to play left field, likely Wednesday and Thursday vs. right-handed starters Zimmerman and Haren. Dunn played for Washington in 2009-10. The White Sox were 9-9 vs. National League teams last season and are 164-120 overall in interleague play. The Sox are 4-2 all-time vs. the Nats. They swept a three-game series at Washington in 2010 and lost 2 of 3 vs. the Nationals at home in '11. Over his last 9 games (8 starts) vs. NL teams, Peavy is 6-2 with a 1.63 ERA. Gonzalez was the White Sox' first-round draft pick in 2004 but was traded, reacquired and traded again. In his first start this season, Gonzalez pitched 6 shutout innings vs. the Marlins and hit a solo home run. The Sox' Jeff Keppinger (1-for-21) and Paul Konerko (2-for-20) are off to slow starts.
Next: Cleveland Indians, Friday-Sunday at Progressive Field
-- Scot Gregor

With that being said, the Sox are still much more Ford Mustang than Focus.

They showed their power by hitting 11 home runs over the first six games in less than ideal weather conditions at U.S. Cellular Field.

The White Sox will continue to rely on homers for the bulk of their offense, and that's not all bad.

They hit 200 HR in 2005, but got great production from Scott Podsednik and Tadahito Iguchi at the top of the order. Once leadoff man Alejandro De Aza and new No. 2 hitter Jeff Keppinger get the small game going, the Sox' offense should have that desired balance.

•The weather on the first homestand wasn't great, but it looks like poor attendance is going to be an issue -- again -- this season.

The White Sox drew 18,708 Sunday even though ticket prices were slashed as low as $5 and parking was cut in half, to $10.

Of the 15 major-league games played Sunday, only Houston (16,914) had a smaller crowd.

•The Sox' bullpen got out of the gates quickly, allowing just 4 earned runs in 19 innings (1.83 ERA).

There are closer issues all over baseball, including Detroit and Kansas City in the AL Central.

White Sox closer Addison Reed has vastly improved his slider and he's throwing it 12-15 mph slower than his fastball.

I thought Jesse Crain was going to follow the Scott Linebrink path, but he's gotten himself healthy and has thrown 3 scoreless innings with 4 strikeouts.

•The White Sox committed the fewest errors (70) in the majors last year.

Through the first week of the new season, the Sox were tied with the Nationals for the most muffs (7) in baseball.

The winds were whipping around the Cell all week, so look for the Sox to tighten up the defense as the weather improves.

"Early on you have conditions like this, it's a little tougher to play defense," said Sox manager Robin Ventura. "I'm not worried that it's going to continue."

•Get used to Alejandro De Aza moving from center field to left when Dewayne Wise is in the starting lineup.

It's unusual, but not a big deal for Ventura.

"They are comfortable doing that, and that's fine," Ventura said. "De Aza, he just feels more comfortable over there (left field)."

•The plan of attack had already been established.

The Sox have only two left-handed hitters -- De Aza and Adam Dunn -- in the regular lineup.

Through the first week, 192 of the White Sox' at-bats have been vs. right-handed pitching. Only 4 at-bats have come vs. left-handers.

•Wondering what's up with Keppinger and the 1-for-21 start?

"He's probably trying to pull the ball a little more than he usually does," Ventura said. "Again, it's not easy to hit right now. It's cold most of the time. Maybe going out on the road will be a good change and will help on the psyche."

Alex Rios is well aware that he's had a pattern of good year, bad year, good year, bad year.

Rios was the White Sox' best all-around player last season, and he's picked right up where he left off (.364, 3 HR, 5 RBI, .440 on-base percentage).

"I come here every year to do the best I can," Rios said Sunday after homering in his third straight game. "I'm not here to take time off and play. I do the best I can. Sometimes you have good years; sometimes you have bad years. We're just going to focus on having a good approach every time and keep going."

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