A 2-1 loss to the Mew York Yankees on Saturday meant that the Chicago White Sox were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention in 2015. Chicago acquired veteran right-hander Jeff Samardzija prior to the season, pairing him with lefty Chris Sale at the top of their rotation, but it was not enough to overcome an offense that was last in baseball in fWAR. Here are some of the highlights of a season that has the White Sox currently at 74-83:
The acquisition of Jeff Samardzija doesn't work out
Chicago's big move of the offseason was the acquisition of starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija from the Athletics in a trade for a package that featured infielder Marcus Semien and catcher Josh Phegley. Unfortunately for the White Sox, Samardzija had his worst full season in the big leagues in 2015, with a 4.96 ERA and 4.23 FIP in 214 innings, striking out fewer than seven batters per nine innings. Not only were Samardzija's numbers poor, but the White Sox, already out of contention at that point, failed to move the pending free agent at the trade deadline.
Chris Sale piles up the strikeouts
A bright spot for the White Sox this season was the performance of southpaw Chris Sale, especially the stretch in May and June that saw him equal Pedro Martinez's big league record with double-digit strikeouts in eight consecutive starts. Sale pitched 60 innings in the eight starts, striking out 97 hitters and posting a 1.80 ERA. Sale has struck out 267 batters total in 201⅔ innings this season.
Chicago's offense comes up short
The White Sox's offense was woeful in 2015, with their hitters ranking last in baseball with 3.6 fWAR and in the bottom five in the league with a .690 OPS and 87 wRC+. The only White Sox hitters with a wRC+ above 93 were Jose Abreu, who hit .292/.349/.503 with a team-high 29 home runs, and Adam Eaton, who hit .285/.358/.429 with 49 extra-base hits. Given the lack of production from the rest of the offense, Chicago knows where it has to improve going into 2016.