A baseball season can be divided many ways, but White Sox manager Tony La Russa prefers to do it in three two-month chunks: April-May, June-July, and August-September.
The last part usually is considered the most challenging, but La Russa said the middle chunk is actually the hardest.
”Part of what makes it tough is you’re going through April and May, and you’ve got sore spots,” La Russa said.
As players get banged up, those ”sore spots” don’t always lead to trips to the injured list, but they can lead to midseason slumps and team struggles. The Sox still lead the American League Central by two games over the Indians despite a 1-6 stretch in the last week, but continued poor play might put that in jeopardy.
The Sox’ offense has been held to three runs or fewer in each of the last seven games. La Russa has seen some of his players starting to press at the plate, but that isn’t concerning him at this point.
”These are men, not machines,” La Russa said. ”And when you struggle, there’s two ways you can go . . . right? You can not care and just walk around and whatever happens, happens. Or you can try too hard. You’d rather take the trying too hard because it’s easier to back off. You walk around having to kick guys in the butt to play, then you’ve got the wrong team.”
The Sox were 33-21 in April and May but have slowed to 11-10 so far in June.
Rain, rain go away
Rain and a tornado warning delayed the start of the game Saturday by 68 minutes, and it was suspended after a nearly two-hour delay in the middle of the third inning.
The Sox and Mariners will make up the game as a part of a doubleheader Sunday. The first game will pick up where it left off at 1:10 p.m. and go for nine innings. After a 45-minute break between games, the teams will play a seven-inning series finale.
Rosters will be frozen for the first game, but the teams can make roster moves for the second. The Sox’ Dallas Keuchel and the Mariners’ Marco Gonzales were the originally scheduled starters for the game Sunday. Starters for the resumption of the makeup game are to be determined.
Also, there is rain in the forecast for the rest of this homestand.
”It’s just part of it, and you just deal with it,” La Russa said. ”The biggest thing is don’t get distracted. You don’t come to the park thinking you’re going to get rained out. You don’t start the game thinking it’s not going to get finished. You just stay in the now and play the inning you’re playing. That’s all cliches, but sometimes that’s the only thing you’ve got to fall back on.”
The Sox made a 40-man roster move, outrighting reliever Alex McRae to Triple-A Charlotte and reinstating reliever Jace Fry from the 60-day injured list (back) and optioning him to Charlotte. Fry had a 3.66 ERA in 18 appearances last season but hasn’t pitched in 2021.