White Sox' offense stuck in neutral
Another listless night leads to team being shut out for 7th time
Before Wednesday night's interleague game against the Mets, manager Robin Ventura was asked if this weekend's four-game series against the AL Central rival Cleveland Indians was a good time for the White Sox to get their disappointing season turned around.
"We'd like to do it now," Ventura said. "I don't know if you can wait any longer, the way it's been going. Every day is important for us. You have to start today."
Well, maybe Friday, when the Sox and Indians play a doubleheader at U.S. Cellular Field.
Then again — and looking more likely with each passing day — maybe it just doesn't happen at all for the White Sox in 2013.
A few hours after Ventura stressed urgency, the Sox went out and played a lot like they have from the start of the season in a 3-0 loss to New York. In other words, not very well.
Starting pitcher John Danks was very good, and the left-hander allowed only 1 earned run on 7 hits in 71⁄3 innings.
But the American League's worst offense couldn't solve Mets starter Shaun Marcum, who came in with an 0-9 record and corresponding 5.76 ERA.
Marcum breezed through the White Sox' lineup, and the right-hander allowed just 4 hits in 8 innings before turning it overt to closer Bobby Parnell in a combined shutout.
Ventura has frequently tipped his cap at opposing starters who have shut down the Sox this season, but he declined this time.
"It just seemed like a listless offense and I don't know the reason for it, but you can't have it," Ventura said after the White Sox were blanked for the seventh time this season. "The pitcher's always in charge, but it's approach and everything else. There's just nothing there. It's just flat. It's unacceptable stuff. You've got to put something on the board."
And you've got to catch the ball, which has been another frequent flaw this season.
In the Mets' 3-run fifth inning, left fielder Dayan Viciedo threw to the wrong base, third baseman Brent Morel was initially charged with an error that was quickly overruled and Alexei Ramirez made another costly error that allowed 2 unearned runs to score.
Ramirez now has 13 errors on the season after making 12 all of last year. The Sox have also allowed 34 unearned runs after giving up 30 in 2012.
To repeat, it's just not happening.
"I wish we knew what we could do differently," Danks said. "We know we haven't been good across the board in any three of the facets of the game. Each night it's something different. We just haven't been able to put it together. It's definitely frustrating.
"We're definitely good enough to compete in the Central and in the American League. We just haven't played well consistently as a group. One night it's pitching, the next night it's defense. We're way too talented to be where we are right now."
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