The questions were all doom and gloom Saturday after the second straight White Sox loss to the Angels, but media and fans have rather short memories.
"We [just] won eight in a row, give us a little slack," first baseman Nick Swisher said. "We're not going out facing minor-league guys. We're facing a tough team. They got our number the last two days."
It should be noted the Sox are still in first place in the AL Central after the 2-0 loss to the West-leading Angels, who threw what has become a lethal 1-2 punch at them Saturday.
The punchouts came from Jered Weaver, who is 3-0 with a 0.34 ERA against the Sox lifetime. The haymaker came from Vladimir Guerrero's long solo homer, giving him a career .330 average with 10 homers and 30 RBIs in 40 games at U.S. Cellular Field.
Of course, Guerrero delivers against other teams as well. But Weaver is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA against the Sox this season and 2-5 with a 5.37 against the rest of the league.
"He's one of those guys who's very deceptive," said Swisher, one of three Sox with hits Saturday. "He's a tall, lanky guy, kind of comes straight over the top, sometimes drops his arm angle a little bit, changes speeds. You've got to tip your hat sometimes."
Or, in Weaver's case, all the time.
He and Joe Saunders, plus reliever Francisco Rodriguez twice, have limited Sox hitters to one run and seven hits the last two days.
Meanwhile, Sox starters Gavin Floyd and John Danks have nothing to show except an "L" on their records.
Danks, who came in with the league's eighth-best ERA at 2.94, has a 3-4 record, having received only seven runs of support in his last six starts.
"He did a great job, he kept the team in the game," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He was a little inconsistent in the strike zone and he was on heavy counts. A lot of times he threw big pitches in big situations."
Danks labored to throw strikes in his five-plus innings, even walking two straight batters to load the bases in the second inning. He got out of that by getting Brandon Wood and Sean Rodriguez to pop up. He also overcame doubles in the fourth and fifth innings.
And after he allowed a leadoff homer to Guerrero and a double to Torii Hunter in the sixth, he was gone. Octavio Dotel allowed Danks' second run to score but escaped further trouble with three straight strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Sox batters had two runners on base in the same inning only once. Swisher led off the fifth with a single but was thrown out by right fielder Gary Matthews Jr. trying for a double. Brian Anderson followed with a double but was left stranded.
Swisher said he never thought twice about going to second, saying, "Watch the replay yourself, that was an unbelievable play."
Guillen didn't question Swisher's decision.
"That's the way we're going to play," he said. "We're not the fastest team in the world, but we've got to be aggressive on the basepaths, try to get something done."
Guillen, along with catcher A.J. Pierzynski, were ejected in the ninth inning by plate umpire Alfonso Marquez, the first thumb for Pierzynski since that brawl with the Cubs' Michael Barrett on May 20, 2006.
"I said the wrong thing, I guess," Pierzynski said.
The Sox were shut out for the fifth time this season but for the first time at home, and they have a chance to be swept in a series for the first time at the Cell, where a third sellout of 38,438 was bored Saturday.
That led to the question for Swisher of whether it was important not to be swept in Sunday night's game.
"No one wants to get swept," he said. "I guess that's a pretty easy question to answer."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times