Originally Posted by asindc
Those stats don't mention defense at all, which is part of my equation, especially for a middle infielder.
I think the stats don't mention a lot of things Beckham does to help the White Sox win. The White Sox are a better team with Gordon Beckham at second base. I think losing Beckham is a major reason the Sox have a losing record, at least as big as losing Viciedo and bigger than losing Floyd. That really isn't saying much because the Sox are only winning three winnable losses away from having a winning record. They are only winning five winnable losses away from being in first place. Poor play, usually out of the bullpen and/or on defense in the late innings has led to more than five winnable losses and even the first place team has winnable losses that they would love to do over and take out of the loss column. Still, as poorly as the White Sox have been at scoring runs this year, they aren't so far away from contending in the AL Central.
I think Beckham makes the defense much better. On most teams, the shortstop is the de facto captain of the defense, but Ramirez doesn't seem to be a leader on the field, playing better when Beckham is out there. On some, the catcher if the leader of the defense. From what I've seen, a major factor in the White Sox defensive problems this year compared with last year is losing both Beckham and Pierzynski on defense.
That seems true on offense as well. It is also true that Flowers hasn't replaced Pierzynski's offense, although Pierzynski is now sidelined with the Rangers. But Keppinger hasn't provided the offense that you would expect out of Beckham, and certainly wasn't providing the offense Beckham did on the first homestand before he was injured in the first game of the first roadtrip. Gillaspie, non the other hand, has pretty much provided the offense from third base that the Sox probably expected out of Keppinger.
As for last night's game, I didn't have a chance to watch it, but going over the play-by-play, it looks like Sale pitched an incredible game, comparable to Kerry Wood's 20 strikeout game if you consider that he didn't hit anyone and didn't have to work nearly as heard to get the same result. Sort of makes me optimistic that Sale could be remembered for a great career instead of a great game, the way Kerry Wood and Phil Humber are. Third one-hit shutout pitched in the majors in a week, although technically the one pitched against the White Sox wasn't a complete-game shutout because Harvey didn't get a decision, not pitching the complete game.