White Sox offensive fantasies return

All it took was some janketty Rockies pitching and some thin air.

-Adam Eaton is looking as advertised once more. He reached base four times in three different ways, and upped his all-important OBP to .350 on the season. As a touching tribute to Juan Pierre, Eaton's OBP is higher than his slugging percentage for the moment.

As much as a the grindy table-setter player can be overly-fetishized often, the White Sox have been in need of a player focused on getting on base, as they haven't been able to properly fill out the most OBP-centric slot in the lineup in any proper way for some time. Eaton's current figure would obviously have led the 2013 team, but it would also be the highest OBP from a Sox leadoff man since Scott Podsednik posted a .353 in 2009.

Relative to league averages, not since Ray Durham started out the 2002 season red-hot has a White Sox hitter even come as close to being 10% above-average at getting on base as a simple .350 OBP would be. Many will trumpet Eaton as a return of a "grinder" to the order, but the Sox have had "grinders" more recently than they had a speedy contact hitter with a concept of a plate approach.

-Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia both crushed their first and second home runs of the season Tuesday night, no doubt aided by Coors Field, bad sweeping breaking balls from lefty Franklin Morales and not a lot of top velocity coming from the Colorado bullpen.

But for both Abreu, who was in an 0-12, wobbly-looking and unfocused slump by the time his first blast came around, and Garcia, who spent the first week looking like more discussion of his readiness to take on a full-time MLB job should have been had, it was welcome return to satisfying and confidence-inspiring results. Garcia and Abreu both got a pair of pitches to drive. Now maybe they'll know where to look for them going forward.

-After going 4-5 with a walk Tuesday, Marcus Semien is all the way back to a .243/.300/.378 triple slash, or basically what could be hoped for from his rookie season.

If he maintains even this humble performance at the plate, he's essentially Gordon Beckham at an eighth of the price. If he improves, then it gets more embarrassing.

-Tuesday night's 15-run performance was the offense's biggest outburst since their 19-2 demolition of Texas on July 3 of 2012 and the six home runs were the most they hit in one game since 2009.

The Sox have now scored five runs or more in six of their eight games. They achieved the same feat seven times last April.

This is the type of dreamy performance is what buzzy dreams of a functional offense are made of. Colorado and Minnesota were both strongly below-average pitching staffs last season and Kansas City's success last year was somewhat propped up by defense and a career season from the now-departed Ervin Santana. They also beat up Jeremy Guthrie and noticeably did not beat up James Shields nor Bruce Chen.

So there's an element of pounding the pitchers they're supposed to pound going on here, but even that goes beyond what they were capable of last season. That could be one of the continual joys of 2014; clearing a bar that's been jammed six feet under the ground.