Chicago White Sox Have to Survive the Last 42 Games to Make the Postseason

Jim PoljakContributor IIIAugust 16, 2011

Both All-Stars and role players will have to step up the rest of the way for the White Sox
Both All-Stars and role players will have to step up the rest of the way for the White SoxJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Baseball is full of old sayings, superstitions, unwritten rules and common beliefs. They give the game its uniqueness and enhance its multigenerational appeal. Who doesn't love, "hit it where they ain't" and "let's play two?" Every time a pitcher has a no-no going past the 5th inning you'll be hard pressed to hear his home announcer mention it on-air, or see a teammate sitting next to him in the dugout.

There's also a belief in baseball that every team will win 60 games and lose 60 games and it's what they do with the remaining 42 that will determine their season.

Wouldn't you know it—after 120 games that is exactly where the Chicago White Sox sit. After taking two of three from the Kansas City Royals the Sox improved their record to 60-60; four games behind the first place Detroit Tigers and at an even .500.

The White Sox have been the hottest team in the AL Central of recent, going 8-2 over the last 10 games.  They've won without some big names in the lineup, like Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, as well as with Paul Konerko hobbling on one leg and A.J. Pierzynski missing time with a wrist injury. Instead, guys like Brent Lillibridge, Alejandro De Aza and Tyler Flowers have stepped up and provided the Sox with some much needed offense.

The season is now for the Sox. If they are to live up to their preseason hype and make the playoffs they are going to have to play their best ball of the year. They will need to reverse trends, like losing against teams in the division and improving on their home record. Veteran leadership is going to have to lead by example and put the team on their shoulders if they want to win the division.

Now, there are a lot of people that don't think the White Sox have a chance at making it the rest of the season without spiking themselves. They'll tell you how they can't win with an inconsistent offense that has been near the bottom of the AL in almost all offensive categories.

I guess that makes me part of the minority, because I think the Sox are poised to make a run and overtake the Tigers in the AL Central. Their pitching has been the backbone of the team all season and their defense is better than its been in years.  I believe that pitching and defense wins you championships—and of the three teams vying for the division, the White Sox have the best of both.

Then again, maybe I drank too much of the Kool-Aid in the preseason and am still drunk off my homer-ism and love for the team.