How bad are the White Sox this season?
Judging by Saturday night's respectable crowd of 28,024 at U.S. Cellular Field, maybe not terribly so.
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But don't be fooled. Most of the patrons were dressed in green on "Halfway to St. Patrick's Day," which apparently has some appeal. And, of course, so did the postgame fireworks.
As for the on-field product, the Sox have a chance to be historically awful.
They lost to the Indians for the 11th straight time -- 8-1 -- and the White Sox have dropped 14 of their last 16 overall. If they go 4-10 the rest of the way, the Sox will lose 100 games for the first time since 1970.
The White Sox are 2-14 against Cleveland (80-68) on the season.
"I saw the stats flash a couple of nights ago where they are .500 against the league and then like (14-2) against us now," catcher Josh Phegley said. "We've single-handedly put them in the playoff race, basically.
"I don't know. They've got our number and it's something. It's either a close game or a big game. But we've got one more shot at them and we are going to try to get them."
Andre Rienzo started for the Sox on Saturday and wiggled out of trouble in the first inning, keeping the Indians off the scoreboard after they loaded the bases with one out.
But the rookie right-hander lost it in the fourth inning, serving up a 2-run homer to Asdrubal Cabrera followed by a 3-run shot from Lonnie Chisenhall.
Like John Danks and Hector Santiago, Rienzo (2-2) seems to be out of gas. He pitched for his native Brazil in March's World Baseball Classic and has made 29 starts this season between Class AAA Charlotte and the White Sox.
"I need to figure out how to throw the ball low," said Rienzo, who has allowed 10 home runs in 50 innings pitched with the Sox. "If I throw the ball up, the ball will go flying. It's the first time I play ball in September.
"I never played in September before. But I don't feel tired. I feel good. I need to figure out little things to help me. If I can figure them out, I know I'll make the ballclub next year. It's simple."
Dunn sits down:
It has been an up-and-down season for Adam Dunn, and the White Sox' designated hitter/first baseman's arrow is again pointing in the wrong direction.
Dunn is mired in a 2-for-30 slump and is batting .107 (9-for-84) in his last 23 games. Over 61 games before that, Dunn batted .322.
He sat out Saturday night's loss to Cleveland.
"This year has really been streaky for him," manager Robin Ventura said. "He looks really good for a long period of time and then there are periods where he's swinging and missing. He could be another one that towards the ends of the year, he's tired."