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Here’s How The White Sox Can Still Win At Least 63 Games

Garrett Crochet #45 of the Chicago White Sox delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at Target Field on April 24, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
David Berding/Getty Images

I know about the shutouts and the statistical outliers, but consider the recent games where the Chicago White Sox haven't been shut out. There was their final game against the Phillies, where they got out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning off an Eloy Jiménez home run, but immediately lost that lead after Nick Nastrini (from my friend, at the bar: "He has great eyebrows") gave up three runs in the bottom of the first, bringing them to a 3-18 record. Then they got shut out by the Twins to open the next series, but as we're not talking about the shutouts, let's just say that their record blossomed to 3-19.

Then on Tuesday, Erick Fedde, second in the White Sox rotation, struck out 11 batters over 6.0 innings and allowed only one run. Jiménez hit a three-run homer. The White Sox's bullpen gave up three more runs, but Andrew Benintendi hit a two-run single. Going into the bottom of the ninth, the White Sox had pulled off a miracle: They were leading 5-4, and Steven Wilson was in to close the game. Until that point, Wilson had only given up one run all season across nine innings pitched. He opened with a home run to Byron Buxton, allowed a double to Ryan Jeffers, and then Alex Kirilloff performed a mercy killing with a walk-off single. The White Sox's record: 3-20.

As much as you can look at the numbers to contextualize how poorly the White Sox's season is going, there is just as much power in simply stating a series of facts. They have three wins on the season. They have a worse record than the Oakland Athletics. Somewhat tangentially, Jerry Reinsdorf is asking for over $1 billion in public funding for a new stadium. Garrett Crochet, who just made the transition from the bullpen to starting pitcher this offseason, was their Opening Day starter. For some unknown reason, they re-signed Mike Clevinger. Benintendi, the White Sox's biggest free agency signing, currently has the worst OPS on the team among qualified hitters. At one point, Kevin Pillar was batting cleanup.

The White Sox went into the third game of their series against the Twins with the opportunity to hit a 4-20 record. They came out to what one might call a "bad start." Danny Mendick, Gavin Sheets, and Jiménez all struck out to open the first inning. Willi Castro hit a three-run home run in the second inning for the Twins. At the top of the fifth inning, Max Kepler hit a bloop single that fell between Benintendi and Paul DeJong. The single had a 0.060 xBA according to Statcast; manager Pedro Grifol said after the game, "I’ll have to talk to both those guys to see why that play wasn’t made." In the end, the White Sox lost 6-3 to the Twins, eschewing their fourth win of the season for the more rocket-launch record of 3-21. They are currently on pace to win just 20 games.

Now, this is all sounds very dour—poor offensive statistics will dog any team, but sometimes you look at the play-by-play of a game and simply do not understand how a team managed to lose a game, or how a team could ever win. It is when you feel both sensations over the course of two games that you start looking at the history books to see where they will fall. The White Sox still have 138 games to play. In order to avoid 100 losses, they will have to carry a .435 winning percentage through the remainder of the season—this seems impossible. In order to avoid losing your mind over the remaining 138 games, you must either stop watching or consider the hidden upside of the White Sox's lineup. I am choosing to do the latter.

Without further ado, here is how the White Sox can still win:

  • Luis Robert Jr. and Yoán Moncada, two of the most important bats on the team, will eventually come off the IL.
  • There is no way that Andrew Benintendi will somehow finish the season with an OPS under .400. It just doesn't happen.
  • Any team in baseball can string together a five-win streak.
  • Perhaps all other teams in MLB will get hit by a bus.
  • As I write this, the White Sox are currently leading the Minnesota Twins 2-0, with seven hits. This will likely be their fourth win of the season. It always starts with one.
  • As I continue to write this, Michael Soroka has just given up two straight homers to the Twins. It is now tied 2-2. With three innings remaining, the White Sox can still win the game. It always starts with one run.
  • As I continue to write that, Tanner Banks has come out of the bullpen and allowed three more hits. It is now 3-2. The White Sox have gone to Jordan Leasure, who successfully staunched the bleeding. With three innings remaining, the White Sox can still win the game. It always starts with one hit.
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