NEW YORK -- The postseason drought continues for the White Sox.
The combination of a 2-1 loss to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium and a Houston Astros victory on Saturday officially eliminated the White Sox from the postseason picture for a seventh straight season. John Danks delivered six strong innings but Adam Warren worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning with a strikeout of Jose Abreu and his bullpen did the rest.
“We all expected more,” Danks said. “Just really couldn’t put it together for a long stretch. Seemed like at different parts of the season different phases were going really well but the other half of it was lacking for whatever reason. It’s disappointing.”
The White Sox, who haven’t appeared in the playoffs since 2008, would have needed a miracle run and unimaginable levels of help from everyone else to sneak into the second wild-card position in the American League. Instead, they were eliminated from the second-wild card spot with seven games to play and also assured themselves of a third consecutive sub-.500 finish. The team was previously eliminated from the AL Central race on Sept. 18.
The White Sox began the season with big dreams after the front office went on a spending spree last offseason, signing free agents David Robertson, Melky Cabrera and Adam LaRoche, among others. The White Sox also traded for starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija and caught national attention for an aggressive offseason as they added to an already talented core including Jose Abreu, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.
But all those new faces didn’t immediately jell.
“We all knew we had a very, very good team for the season, but also we had too many new faces, and probably it was a little hard to build the chemistry,” Abreu said through an interpreter.
The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first inning Saturday when Adam Eaton singled, stole second and scored on Abreu’s RBI single. But Warren got out of that jam when Adam LaRoche grounded into a double play.
Warren walked the bases loaded with two outs in the fifth inning but struck out Abreu. New York rallied in the sixth inning behind consecutive ground-rule, RBI doubles by Chase Headley and Alex Rodriguez.
Danks allowed two runs and six hits and struck out five in six innings.
Yet another inconsistent performance is about the only thing the White Sox have done consistently this season. Whether it was enough offense and not enough pitching or vice versa, or those times when a faulty defense was too much to overcome, the White Sox never quite could get it all together.
“We were plenty talented,” Danks said. “We had it in us. Just had to go out there and play ball. I expected us to certainly be in the mix a little better. It’s baseball. That’s a lot of games you have to be good for a long time. Unfortunately we weren’t good enough.”