Ozzie Guillen said it before the game and it was true during the game:
The Twins are just a better team than the White Sox this season.
Minnesota improved to 11-5 against the White Sox Tuesday with a convincing 9-3 win in a virtual do-or-die game for the Southsiders.
“I don’t feel like we’ve given them anything,” Paul Konerko said after the game. “I feel like they’ve just taken it and there’s some peace with that as far as sometimes you just get beat.”
In the big picture, that might be case, as the Twins are now 34-12 in their last 46 games, but the White Sox know they have had their chances.
“We’ve had our opportunities,” starter John Danks said. “We have no one to blame but ourselves for where we are at, but we’re going to battle. We’re not going to lie down.”
Those opportunities were plentiful Tuesday night as well. The Sox left eight men on base and the newly acquired Manny Ramirez was responsible for five of those men as he went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and left the bases loaded in the seventh inning when the Twins were clinging to a 4-3 lead.
“That’s part of the game,” Ramirez said. “Sometimes you are going to have men at third base with no outs and you aren’t going to bring them in and sometimes they will be at first base with two outs and you bring them in. So that’s part of the game.”
That’s about all Manny had to say after the game in a 95-second interview in which he insisted numerous times that he feels “good”.
But the truth is that he said before the game also feels “lost” and that is evident by the fact that Ramirez has zero extra base hits and no runs batted in since joining the White Sox. Naturally, the criticism is building.
“When you don’t do good you deserved to be criticized,” Ozzie Guillen said. “That’s part of the game. You have to take it.”
Ramirez missed a good portion of the season due to injury and he has consistently pointed to that missed time as a reason for struggling.
“Just cause you get traded to a team that is competing, it doesn’t change the fact that you’ve been out and the repetitions of it all haven’t been there,” Konerko said. “I don’t think anyone is questioning whether Manny can hit and if you are then you don’t know the game.
“This game is tough and when you aren’t in there every night throughout the course of the season, no matter what you have done in the past, it’s tough,” he added. “It’s tough to come down hard on somebody like that. That’s just my opinion.”
With or without Manny, the reality is that the White Sox are now seven games back of the Twins with 18 games remaining. Even if the White Sox can come back and win the series, it’s a deficit that will be nearly impossible to overcome.
“Before the series, you know it’s tough. You know you got to probably sweep, but you just continue to play hard,” Konerko said. “Who knows, we go to the next two now and you just battle until they tell you you can’t battle anymore.”
For more on the White Sox-Twins series, follow Adam Hoge on Twitter @AdamHoge670.