By Adam Hoge-
CHICAGO (CBS) Ben Revere. Luke Hughes. Danny Valencia. Brian Dinkelman. Jason Repko. Matt Tolbert. Drew Butera.
These are the guys who played for the Twins Wednesday night as Minnesota earned its sixth straight win over the White Sox with a 4-1 victory.
That’s right, some dude named Dinkelman.
The White Sox have now lost 13 of their last 15 games against the Twins and 23 of their last 29 in Minneapolis. Going back to May of 2009, the White Sox are 7-27 against Minnesota.
It’s been bad. Real bad. But this is a new low.
Sure, it was bad when Jim Thome hit that walk-off home run at Target Field last year to give the Twins a crucial win over the White Sox in the middle of a pennant race. And it was worse when the Twins came to Chicago last September and swept the White Sox to end any playoff hopes. And it was even worse when Francisco Liriano no-hit the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field last month.
But at least the Twins were fielding a major league team back then. Last night was the lowest of lows because the White Sox essentially lost to the Rochester Red Wings.
That’s right. The White Sox struggles have gotten so bad that Ron Gardenhire has resorted to starting players from Triple-A Rochester just because he feels bad.
You know, guys like Ben Revere and Brian Dinkelman who have played 32 games and 50 games, respectively, for Rochester this season. Repko and Hughes also rack up plenty of frequent flyer miles traveling between Rochester, N.Y. and the Twin Cities.
White Sox fans should just be happy that Jeremy Reed – yes, the same Jeremy Reed the White Sox traded to Seattle in 2006 for Matt Thornton – is on the disabled list in Rochester because even he may have been called up to beat up on them last night.
All right, so all these bums are up because of injuries. But the White Sox should be able to beat them. Forget the fact that the Twins are 10-2 in their last 12. Forget that the Twins have the White Sox number. Forget that Ozzie Guillen is just 58-74 against the Twins as manager of the White Sox.
Ron Gardenhire’s lineup Wednesday night only included two legitimate major leaguers – Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young – and the White Sox didn’t win.
And yes, I realize Carl Pavano was pitching. The same Carl Pavano who the White Sox beat 11-0 at Target Field last August. That win, by the way, happens to be the last time the White Sox beat the Twins.
This is a serious problem. If the White Sox ever want to win an American League Central title again, they must figure out how to beat the Twins. But let’s start with the Red Wings. Baby steps.
Ozzie Guillen sounds like a broken record every time he mentions how the White Sox have to beat their own division to win their division.
He’s right. The White Sox haven’t had any success against the Twins since they went 10-10 against Minnesota in 2008 – including their 1-0 one-game playoff win at U.S. Cellular Field to win the division.
Since then, the White Sox have gone 11-28 against the Twins and weren’t in the mix for the division title in late September in either of the last two seasons.
It’s simple. You can’t lose 12 or 13 games in any season to a team in your division and expect to finish ahead of them in the standings. Every time you lose a game to that team, they gain one on you.
And that’s why the Twins are all the sudden just as close to the White Sox in the standings as the White Sox are to the first-place Tigers and Indians.
Forget catching up to the Tigers. At this rate, the White Sox won’t be able to stay ahead of the Twins with 15 games remaining against Minnesota this season.
If they can’t beat the Rochester Red Wings, what are they going to do when Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel, Jim Thome, Denard Span and Joe Nathan come off the disabled list?
This is clearly an epidemic in the clubhouse, but the White Sox need to figure out some way — any way — to beat the Twins or they will once again watch the Twins get swept by the Yankees in October.
(I couldn’t resist.)
Do you agree with Adam? Post your comments below.
Adam is the Sports Content Producer for CBSChicago.com and specializes in coverage of the White Sox, Blackhawks and college sports. He was born and raised in Lincoln Park and attended St. Ignatius College Prep before going off to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned a Journalism degree. Follow him on Twitter @AdamHogeCBS and read more of his columns here.