Know Your Foe #38: Rockies Look To Make Up Lost Ground Against White Sox

Chicago White Sox (38-41, 3rd in the AL Central)

Last Series vs. Rockies: L 1-2 @ US Cellular Field

2008 was a pretty good year for the White Sox, going 89-74 to win the AL Central only to be flattened in the NLDS by the Tampa Bay Rays. Possibly the most exciting moment of the season for the Sox was their AL Central play-in game against the Minnesota Twins in a "Win the division or go home" game 163. John Danks pitched 8 innings of shutout ball, allowing only 2 hits and 3 walks in 103 pitches. Nick Blackburn went 6.1 innings, walking 3 and punching out 3, and while he only allowed 4 hits of his own, he also allowed a 7th inning solo shot to DH Jim Thome that proved to be the killing blow for the Twins' season.

But more importantly, the Sox welcomed in the Rockies during interleague play, scraping one win out in the 3 game series that CLEARLY was the deciding factor in getting them to that play-in game.

Game 1 was taken by the Sox, 5-4. Jeff Francis was roughed up for 4 runs over 6 innings (including 2 homers) while Gavin Floyd went 6.1 and allowed 4 runs of his own. The game didn't look so bad for Francis until the 6th, where he faced 2 batters, resulting in a single and a walk. Matt Herges then came into the game, walked Joe Crede, struck out Brian Anderson, then went single, groundout, WP, single, and then gave way to Ryan Speier. Francis was at 96 pitches, but a shaky start to the 7th led Clint Hurdle to move to the pen. Despite having the tying run at 3B in Scott Podsednik (PR for Brad Hawpe, stole 2B, took 3B on a throwing error by AJ Pierzynski), Chris Iannetta was unable to get the tying RBI, and struck out against Bobby Jenks to end the game.

Game 2 went better for Rockies pitching, as Jorge De La Rosa, Jason Grilli, Taylor Buchholz, and Brian Fuentes combined to throw a 3 hit, 2 walk shutout. Both of the Rockies' runs were unearned, as Paul Konerko and pitcher Nick Masset both committed costly errors.

Game 3 was a great game for a rubber match, featuring Aaron Cook vs Jose Contreras. Cook went 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 10 hits, including one of those run of the mill 7-4 double plays. Luckily for Cook, Ryan Speier, Taylor Buchholz, and Brian Fuentes pitched 3 innings of 1 hit ball, and the Rockies left Chicago with a 2-1 victory in hand.

Latest Series Results: W 2-1 vs Chicago (NL), L 1-2 vs Washington

The White Sox are sitting at 38-41 so far on the season. Based on their run differential as well as a little math from Mr. Pythagoras, the Pale Hose are riding about a win behind where we might expect them to be (Pyt 39-40). The Sox have a decent bullpen, but so far their rotation has been a question mark. The most exciting part of their rotation so far has been the long-awaited breakout of Phil Humber, who's posting a 2.89 ERA with a 2.57 K/BB.

As if mediocre pitching wasn't frustrating enough, the White Sox are not an offensive powerhouse in the AL in 2011. Despite excellent seasons thus far from Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin, a lot of people right now are wondering what the hell happened to Adam Dunn.


Adam Dunn

#32 / Designated Hitter / Chicago White Sox

6-6

285

L

R

Nov 09, 1979

 


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Adam Dunn 67 231 20 40 12 0 7 29 42 100 0 1 .173 .308 .316



Once one of the most prodigious power bats in the NL, Dunn's numbers across the board have taken a nose dive. He's hitting for less power (.143 ISO, .265 career), striking out even more than normal (43.3 K%, 33.3% career), and even walking less than expected (15.1 BB%, 16.3% career). One might point to a slightly diminished BABIP (.262, .294 career), which makes sense, given a higher than normal LD% (20.3%, 19.6% career). There's a chance that his slash line will rebound with a bit of ball-in-play normalization, but barring a Ruthian surge in power numbers, Dunn is going to miss the 38 HR mark for the first time since 2003, when he only played in 116 games (and you can probably thank a 10.4% HR/FB as compared to his 21.8% career mark).

That all said, the signs point to Dunn being able to rebound from this trough of underperformance, but they're hardly a guarantee. The White Sox invested $56M into Dunn to finally accept the inevitable and become a DH, so I can't help but wonder how much of his performance dropoff is just a longer adjustment to a new league and position (or lack thereof). I also wonder if that's part of why the White Sox haven't shied away from putting Dunn at 1B or even RF here and there, despite his obvious deficiencies in the field.

All said and done, Dunn is one of my favorite players. I hope, as usual, that he goes 0-for-Coors Field, but I want to see him get his season back on track.

Pitching matchups and such after the jump.

Tuesday through Thursday: 3-game series at Coors Field

Expected Pitching Matchups
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 @ 6:40PM MT (Root Sports)


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jason Hammel 4-7 15 15 0 0 0 0 93.2 94 49 43 8 36 51 4.13 1.39


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Gavin Floyd 6-7 15 14 1 0 0 0 94.0 89 47 45 11 25 69 4.31 1.21

 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 @ 6:40PM MT (Root Sports)


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Ubaldo Jimenez 3-7 14 14 2 1 0 0 84.0 80 49 42 7 37 74 4.50 1.39


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Mark Buehrle 6-5 15 15 0 0 0 0 99.0 107 41 41 9 23 49 3.73 1.31

 

Thursday, June 30, 2011 @ 1:10PM MT (Root Sports)


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Aaron Cook 0-3 5 4 0 0 0 0 23.0 31 15 14 0 9 11 5.48 1.74


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jake Peavy 4-1 7 6 1 1 0 0 38.1 32 18 18 3 7 32 4.23 1.02

(Great, just who we wanted to see.)

 

Expected Lineup

Name Position AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ HR RBI SB
Juan Pierre LF .251 .311 .294 .272 63 1 16 10
Brent Morel 3B .253 .263 .313 .248 47 1 15 2
Carlos Quentin RF .258 .358 .534 .388 143 17 49 1
Paul Konerko 1B .324 .394 .588 .418 164 21 60 1
Alexei Ramirez SS .284 .341 .413 .334 106 6 35 3
Adam Dunn 1B .173 .308 .316 .289 75 7 29 0
Alex Rios CF .224 .275 .332 .266 59 6 20 5
A.J. Pierzynski C .296 .332 .393 .320 96 3 25 0
Gordon Beckham 2B .226 .290 .336 .283 71 6 21 2

 

Bench

Name Position AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ HR RBI SB
Brent Lillibridge RF .269 .365 .509 .380 138 7 15 6
Ramon Castro C .233 .303 .417 .320 96 3 9 0
Omar Vizquel IF .276 .304 .343 .280 69 0 8 1
Dallas McPherson UTIL .133 .133 .133 .119 -42 0 0 0
Mark Teahen UTIL .211 .317 .324 .291 76 2 7 0

 

Closer


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Sergio Santos 2-3 31 0 0 0 15 2 37.0 22 13 13 2 20 47 3.16 1.14

 


Chicago White Sox Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
John Danks oblique 06/26/2011

 

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