The offense mustered by the Chicago White Sox in their 9-3 loss to Detroit is typical of the team’s misfortunes of late.  With the loss to the Tigers in the first game of a weekend series, the White Sox have lost eight of their last nine games.

Apart from their 9-2 win Thursday over the Rays, runs have been hard to come by for Chicago.  The Sox are averaging two runs a game in their last eight defeats.  Friday night’s offensive production came solely via the long ball, courtesy of Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko.

That’s appropriate in that the two sluggers have paced the Chicago attack all season.

Konerko, who until last season was a notorious slow starter in April, is hitting .329 with five homers and 16 RBI.  He shares the lead in that category with Quentin, who is hitting .320.  The two dingers he hit in Friday’s game now give him the team lead with six on the year.

For Konerko, a solid start is validation of the three-year contract he signed last winter.  It’s also a sign that the veteran first baseman still has pop in his bat after a career-season in 2010.

The bat work by Quentin and Konerko are highlighted further when compared to the rest of the White Sox lineup.

Free-agent acquisition Adam Dunn has struggled out of the gate.  The new DH has had an appendectomy that saw him miss six games.  He’s been dropped a few spots in the lineup and has an anemic .163 batting average thus far in 2011.

Alex Rios isn’t hitting the ball, for power or otherwise.  Gordon Beckham is treating us to a reprise of his poor start last season, hitting .213.  Brent Morel is hitting .208.

The fact that Quentin and Konerko are one-two in runs scored for the White Sox is a disturbing stat.  The table setters aren’t getting it done.  Ozzie Guillen is now starting to shuffle the lineup to get something going on the base paths.

Beckham, like last year, is being moved toward the bottom of the order.  Omar Vizquel is going to get more at-bats in the two spot, and Mark Teahen may have the chance for more plate appearances if Morel continues to flirt with the Mendoza line.

It’s a tough spot for the Chicago manager.  Last season, Rios and Konerko were the hot bats while everyone else slumped.  Now Konerko and Quentin, who himself was hitting in the .150 range at this time last season, are the bright spots in a lineup that is misfiring to say the least.

The White Sox ran hot and cold for most of last season, so this shouldn’t come as a complete shock.  It’s frustrating to watch a team with four regulars, including two high-priced veterans, hitting a combined .188.

I expected Morel to struggle at the plate, but with so many guys slumping, Guillen can’t afford to give his rookie third baseman the slack he requires.

Equally frustrating is the feeling that the White Sox just have to ride out this stretch and make it up later in the season.  The question then becomes this: Just how much ground will Chicago have to make up this season when the bats finally wake up?

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