The first two weeks of the baseball season are over with the White Sox in first place in the AL Central and leading the league in runs scored and confidence gained.
The question is whether this is real or whether it comes from playing Detroit, considering five of the Sox's seven victories have come against, surprisingly, the worst team in baseball.
U.S. Cellular Field. The games will be the Sox's first against any team outside the Central.
"I could say a lot of things, but when you're playing well, everything sounds like a perfect two weeks," manager Ozzie Guillen said after Sunday's 11-0 rout of the Tigers.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland was left screaming at his underachieving team behind closed doors, which is only natural after back-to-back shutouts and a 46-15 deficit in runs scored against the Sox this season.
The bad news is the Sox don't see the Tigers again until June 10-12 in Detroit.
"We got Detroit at the right time," Guillen said. "Those guys are going to wake up sooner or later because they have unbelievable talent."
Paul Konerko, who slugged one of the Sox's two grand slams Sunday, said, "It's a long season, but as many wins as we can put up now, they all count."
Yes, they do. The Sox (7-3) should know, because they were 5-5 and already in fourth place after 10 games last season.
Joe Crede added a grand slam in the fifth, the first time two Sox hit grand slams in the same home game and only the third time anywhere. Crede, with two grand slams already this season, leads all of baseball with 15 RBIs, and Konerko has 11 after a five-RBI day.
"We missed [Crede] a lot last year," Guillen said. "We missed his bat, and we obviously missed his glove."
Javier Vazquez (2-1) shut down the Tigers on just five hits through seven innings. He struck out nine and is second in the majors with 23 in only 19 innings.
"It's much easier to pitch when guys score a million runs for you," he said.
Said Guillen: "I expect that from Javy. He's a big key for us get to where we want to get."
Shutting out the Tigers right now isn't the most impossible chore. And neither is scoring runs for the Sox, who scored fewer than anyone in the league a year ago.
"Because of last year it's important to come out of the box doing things we didn't do last year, like drawing walks and hitting behind runners," Konerko said. "There's a bunch of things we didn't do very well last year that we've done better and more of than we did at all last year."
Said Guillen: "I don't see any guys give up one at-bat. Every at-bat counts for them, no matter whether we're down or up. They don't sit and wait for something to happen, they make it happen. There still are some guys who are struggling at the plate, but they're taking their walk in key situations. You get your best at-bat, and that's all I can ask."
So the White Sox come away from the first two weeks against the Central feeling good about their situation.
"The biggest thing for us is to carry it over into the next two games against Oakland," Crede said.
White Sox 11, Tigers 0
Konerko, Crede hit slams, put Tigers deeper in hole
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