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updated: 7/1/2013 4:59 PM

Chris Rongey: Sale shows won-loss record means little

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  • White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale talks with catcher Tyler Flowers after giving up 2 runs in the fourth inning Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.

    White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale talks with catcher Tyler Flowers after giving up 2 runs in the fourth inning Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.
    Associated Press


Chris Sale. That poor guy.

If you ever needed to see a standard for the win-loss record of a pitcher meaning very little, take a look at what Sale has done this season.

Through Sunday, he's 5-7 on the year despite the fact that he has an ERA near the top 10 of all pitchers who have started games in the American League this season. And there have been more than 120 of those.

That's pretty good.

What's unnerving is that he hasn't been credited with a win since May 17. One of the 5 "losses" of Sale's since then was a game in which he punched out 14 and allowed zero earned runs.

The last two games he started, he gave up 3 runs through 8 innings and had double-digit strikeouts in each. Also, no wins to show for it.

That's mortifying.

There have been better pitchers in the league this year than Sale, but not many. So the reality that he has lost more than he has won should be a lesson that what the team does behind the starter is as critical to his success as is his own performance.

In other words, if they don't hit the ball and catch it, the starter isn't going to win much and those are things out of his control.

Unfortunately for Sale, the White Sox have been one of the worst defensive and least offensively productive clubs in baseball this season, as you well know.

In conclusion, please, for my sake -- and yours -- never start or end an argument with the phrase, "But he's only a .500 pitcher!" Because I will come to your house and write bad words on your garage door with spray paint.

Now what:

At 15 games under .500, the chances of this Sox team re-entering the playoff race are as low as the chances of me driving home in reverse for the rest of the year.

I mean, it's possible, but it probably won't happen. Probably.

With that in mind, all we can really do now is look a month ahead to the deadline that teams have to make trades, and you can rest assured the Sox are receiving plenty of inquiries.

On Sunday, general manager Rick Hahn refused to indicate what direction the team would be taking in the next couple of weeks -- nor did anyone expect him to -- other than to say that their hope is for a miracle run in the meantime.

Obviously, we know that the trade apparatus has been switched on and is currently warming up. It's also likely it will do something it hasn't been used to doing at the trade deadline for a while: ship players out.

Believe they're looking into it. Rather, believe they're being looked into, and there's every reason to think they're listening.

Unless that miracle happens (and soon), at least one of these players is gone. But I still believe the total demolition of the team isn't going to happen.

If the Sox decide to trade players under contract for next year and beyond, don't be surprised if those moves happen over the winter.

• 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 Subscriber Total Access members can email him questions each week via our online link.

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