PHILADELPHIA—The White Sox's offensive struggles are so obvious that even one of their biggest supporters can't hide the truth.
"I'm not surprised at how poorly they're playing," Phillies center fielder Aaron Rowand said of his former team after it suffered a 3-0 interleague loss Monday night at Citizens Bank Park.
In getting blanked for the fifth time, the Sox were limited to five hits through seven innings by Adam Eaton, who entered the game with a 5.99 ERA.
The Sox couldn't muster an extra-base hit at one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks, while the Phillies relied on three solo home runs off Javier Vazquez (3-5).
"There's so much talent over there," Rowand continued. "Between [Jim] Thome, J.D. (Jermaine Dye), Paul [Konerko], A.J. [Pierzynski], everybody, the talent over there is unreal. I'm sure it's surprising they haven't hit the way they were expected to.
"The starting pitching looks like it's done pretty well, keeping them in games. If you didn't have the starting pitching and you have a team battting average of whatever it is (major-league-low .232), you wouldn't think they're just a couple of games under .500. You'd think they'd be like the Devil Rays of '01 (62-100)."
The Sox (27-33) have lost 13 of their last 16. They learned midway through Monday's loss that third baseman Joe Crede, who had 30 home runs and 94 RBIs last season, will undergo lower back surgery Tuesday that could sideline him for at least two months and probably longer.
The Sox have scored three runs or fewer in 12 games of that 16-game span, going 1-11.
"It's like watching ESPN News after 11 at night," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Same thing over and over and over for 24 hours. That's what I'm seeing right now.
"One day you come out and hit well, and we show people when we hit well we're going to win. We've been wasting a lot of good pitching from the starting rotation. We don't help them at all at the plate.
"It seems like a movie where you keep playing and playing and playing. One day you want to erase it and start another one, and you can't because that's the only tape you have.
"I still keep positive, but there's no doubt you have to swing the bat. I don't have the answer. You got to ask the hitting coach and players what's going on because I see the same stuff day in and day out. You try to put different stuff and get it going. It gets you a little excited."
Sunday's 6-3 victory over Houston that snapped a five-game losing streak turned out to be a tease for Guillen.
"It's like your girlfriend when you start going out and you start kissing her, and she said she's got to go home because she's got school tomorrow morning," Guillen said. "That happened [Sunday]. I was a little excited. Good, oh, my God, we got it going.
"[Monday], same stuff. The only thing we can do is wake up and keep rooting for those guys. Hopefully the talent starts coming out."
Tadahito Iguchi's first-inning single to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games was the Sox's lone highlight. They were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and are now batting .236 in that situation.
ItT has left the pitching staff, particularly the starters pitchers, with no margin for error.
"It's hard for them to be perfect every time," Guillen said. "We pitched well. Our starting rotation has done everything in their power to keep us in the game.
"But you look around and see three runs, four runs. Wow. That's not enough for this club."