No doubt, there will be weeks like this for Sox
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Swirling around the baseball cosmos are an infinite number of truths and axioms that define the game and, ideally, help us better understand it.
The first two weeks of this White Sox season has already provided us one: It's a long season and things can change in a hurry.
Well, that's two different truths that I've combined into one but they belong together.
It was just one week ago we were praising the overall performance of a Sox club that was pitching well from front to back and was putting its inherent power on exhibit. That took them to a record of 4-2, though it could be argued they left a win or two on the table that week.
Then Monday came and the starting pitching disappeared. And the power got shut off. And the Sox lost five straight.
So, what happened?
Well, yes, the Nationals are one of the best teams in baseball, which helps explain the sweep. But the Indians aren't one of the best, even though they've improved from last year, yet they took two of three.
We know what happened on the field, and we know the results, but in answering why it happened, I think you can look no further than a few paragraphs up: With the 2013 White Sox, we're probably going to see weeks like this. It's just a matter of limiting them.
Chris Sale's outing (career-high 8 runs allowed) was an anomaly. That won't happen often. I think the same for Tuesday's version of Jake Peavy (he was excellent against Cleveland in his follow-up outing Sunday). Jose Quintana was also terrific in his second start.
Ultimately, I don't worry much about the pitching, when also considering the Sox own one of the league's stronger bullpens.
And we had confirmed for us a second truth: on-base percentage has been a problem.
In the opening week, the Sox were able to withstand poor overall on-base results with the long ball. But last week, we were reminded that low OBP can pave a smooth nifty to losing.
Through two weeks of the season, the Sox are worst in the American League in OBP. They've drawn just 16 walks -- again, the worst -- which is just one-third the amount the league leader has. They are also the only team in the AL that doesn't have at least 20 of them, and every other club is already, at least, pushing 30.
The game plan has to change.
The Sox this year do not have to be a great on-base team. They don't even need to be top five in order to make a run at the division.
It's just that they can't afford to be terrible.
With the amount of home runs they'll likely hit over the course of the year, an average on-base club will score plenty of runs to go along with presumably solid pitching.
Conservatively, I would estimate the Sox would already be a couple of wins better right had they done even a mediocre job in getting on base last week.
The White Sox' most realistic formula for a competitive year is strong pitching and defense, high power, and average OBP. And that's not out of the question.
• 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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