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When Will The White Sox Make a Statement?

An external motivator took just two days to wear off. Can the White Sox look within for the impetus to play up to their potential?

Jose Abreu Chicago White Sox Struggles
Photo: NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago White Sox have yet to hit their stride during the 2022 season. That theme continued Tuesday night as they lost 16-3 to the Red Sox, their worst defeat of the season. But the circumstances around this one make it all the more infuriating.

The South Siders entered the series opener against Boston coming off a Sunday doubleheader sweep of the New York Yankees. Beating the best team in the league twice in one day — with some extra emotional charge behind it — should have been a momentum generator.

But the White Sox got complacent upon returning home and squandered a prime opportunity to continue trending in the right direction. Any chance of energy carrying over from the weekend escaped Guaranteed Rate Field early as the Red Sox tagged Dylan Cease for four first-inning runs.

It’s not all on Cease (who had been brilliant up until Tuesday), however. Out of the bullpen, Jose Ruiz and Bennett Sousa also had crooked numbers in their earned run columns. And the White Sox didn’t record their first hit until the fourth inning when Boston already held a 10-run lead.

Yes, it’s just one game. But the White Sox’s next opportunity to bounce back may have to wait a while. Rain in the forecast could potentially result in postponements of Wednesday’s and Thursday’s games against the Red Sox. Next up is an off-day Friday before the Cubs visit the South Side for an odd Saturday/Sunday two-game series.

Meanwhile, the AL Central leaders continue to cruise through an easy part of their schedule. While the White Sox were getting blown out Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins recorded their sixth consecutive win and extended their division lead to 5.5 games.

Do the White Sox Lack TWTW?

While not an exact “win one, lose one” trend when scanning game-by-game results, “one step forward, one step back” seems to be the theme of the stagnating 2022 Chicago White Sox. And their .500 record of 21-21 reflects that motif.

Even more concerning, the team appears to lack an “edge” of any sort.

Saturday’s conflict between Josh Donaldson and Tim Anderson should have lit a fire under the White Sox. Initially, that appeared to be the case as the Sox rallied around Anderson and responded with two wins in the Sunday twin bill.

Back in front of a home crowd Tuesday, the South Siders had an opportunity to step on the gas in hopes of leaving their early-season malaise in the rearview. But a lifeless performance has now put them back in an all too familiar position.

It begs the question, what are the White Sox waiting for? Yes, injuries have played a factor in the Sox’s mediocre results to date. But will Lance Lynn and Eloy Jimenez returning fix all of the team’s struggles? Doubtful.

Furthermore, is the aforementioned Lynn the only one capable of instilling a winning mentality in the clubhouse? If so, the White Sox are in big trouble.

It’s easier said than done across a 162-game grind, but the Sox need to elevate their intensity level as a ballclub. “Refuse to lose” is typically an October mantra, but if they don’t apply it soon, the season could slip away before the dog days of summer.

An external motivator took just two days to wear off. Can the White Sox look within for the impetus to play up to their potential? The answer to that question will determine their fate in 2022.

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BS-Broadcast Journalism - University of Illinois 2016 | Editor-in-Chief at OnTapSportsNet.com | Panelist on Four Feathers Podcast and Sox On Tap

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