Streaking/Slumping: Sox find a closer

Addison Reed took control of the closer job while Brent Morel is struggling to hold on to third base. AP, US Presswire


1. Paul Konerko, first base: The hottest hitter in baseball is coming off of a week that most big league players never have. Since getting hit in the face on May 18th and missing the next two games, Konerko has been on a 15-for-28 tear with four doubles three home runs and 10 RBIs in seven games. As Konerko goes, so go the Sox, who are on a hot streak as a team – having won 9 of their last 10 games. Konerko leads the American league in hitting batting .395.

2. Chris Sale, starting pitcher: Sale has been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. Over his last two starts, the lefty has allowed just one run in 14 1/3 innings while striking out 21 with an .063 ERA. Sale, at the direction of pitching coach Don Cooper, has used his fast ball more often since coming up with a tender elbow two weeks ago. Sale’s 15-strikeout performance was the second highest total in team history, (Jack Harshman 16 in 1954 for the team record).


Gavin Floyd, starting pitcher: The wheels have come off for the inconsistent, Floyd who has had the worst week of any starting pitcher in the majors -- giving up 14 earned runs in 8 2/3 innings over two starts. Going back three starts, he has been touched up for 21 runs in less than 14 innings. Team officials and Sox fans both concur that Floyd’s starts are difficult to figure out. His once unhittable slider is getting pounded all over the ballpark.