Just moments after the Sox took a 4-1 lead over the Royals in the third inning last night, I e-mailed a friend and told him how much I like this lineup. It’s a much more balanced one than we’ve seen in many years on the South Side with the likes of Beckham, Ramirez, Rios, Nix/Getz and Pods complementing Konerko, Dye, Thome, AJ and Quentin.
But the Royals got to Freddy Garcia and that lineup I raved about in the heat of the Konerko and Quentin homers in the third, didn’t score again the rest of the game. In fact, they didn’t have a hit after the 5th inning and the last 11 Sox were retired in order in the 5-4 loss.
In an isolated game, these things happen–even against the last place Royals. However, I couldn’t help but put the loss in the context of the comments by KW, and echoed by Ozzie, that this team is underachieving. Because in a key series like this at home, against the cellar dwellers, you’d like to think the Sox would rise to the occasion and take advantage of weaker opponents. Now, to win the series, they have to count on Contreras facing Zack Greinke–far from a sure thing–in today’s matinee.
Underachievers? I’ll let Kenny and Ozzie determine that, but there sure is enough talent on this roster to be better than two games over .500. It’ll be very telling to me how they perform today. A series win, what all teams shoot for, will be satisfying and help erase the disappointment of last night. On the other hand, it would be a disaster to lose two of three to the Royals at home in a tight pennant race.