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updated: 4/14/2014 7:35 PM

Hard to recall a White Sox team starting like this

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  • The White Sox, thanks to some great hitting by Alexei Ramirez, right, and several other players are leading the league in runs scored and runs batting in. The Sox pitching staff, however, is second to last in ERA.

      The White Sox, thanks to some great hitting by Alexei Ramirez, right, and several other players are leading the league in runs scored and runs batting in. The Sox pitching staff, however, is second to last in ERA.
    Associated Press

 
 

I'll give you a second to think about it. In fact, I'll give you 60 of them.

Actually, you're reading at your own pace so, if you wanted to, you could take six hours:

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When's the last time you can remember a White Sox team quite like this one?

While it's impossible to extrapolate an entire season based on just a couple of weeks, it's also difficult to recall a recent White Sox team that even started like this one has.

Here's what we have: A team that's first in the majors in runs scored, runs batted in, and on-base percentage, as well as second in OPS. Right now, you could say the White Sox are the best hitting team in baseball.

But we also have this: A team that's second to last in baseball in ERA, last in WHIP, and third to last in opponent average. Right now, you could say the White Sox are nearly the worst pitching team in baseball.

For an organization that has consistently produced a strong a pitching staff over the last decade, and one that has often struggled on offense in recent years, this is truly remarkable.

Consistent offense, comeback wins, comeback walk-off wins. All of these are characteristics of a Sox team that, just a year ago, was the worst in the league at scoring runs.

Much of that to do with the additions of Adam Eaton and Jose Abreu, the hot start from Tyler Flowers and the extraordinary beginning by Alexei Ramirez.

Meanwhile, from 2005 through 2013, the Sox were a top-five pitching team (in wins above replacement) in seven of those seasons. In the other two years, they were top 10. In other words, the White Sox haven't had a mediocre pitching staff since 2004.

The 2014 Sox, by contrast, have already blown 4 save opportunities, the most in the majors. And the spots in the rotation occupied by Felipe Paulino and Erik Johnson have yet to provide much in the way of adequacy. Some of these issues could be attributed to inexperienced arms, but much of it is because of ineffective veterans.

My belief is that neither of these developments will hold to this degree through the end of September, and we'll likely forget this initial and extreme contradiction to history to start this season. The offense, while improved, will likely not remain quite this good -- it's difficult for any team to keep up the pace of scoring nearly 6 runs per game, as it is.

And even with minimal in-season changes of personnel -- which I certainly expect there to be at least a couple, maybe even soon -- I doubt the pitching staff as a whole will continue to perform as poorly as this one has.

I have confidence in Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and John Danks, and I don't think most members of the bullpen are as bad as we've seen thus far.

We should expect some movement back toward the center, but this Sox club ultimately may end up unlike any other in years.

• 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.

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