The mark of a good team -- a contending team -- is the ability to consistently string together well-played games.
After dropping Tuesday night's contest 7-2 to the Kansas City Royals, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen lamented the fact that 27 games into the season, his team has failed to do just that.
"It's kind of weird," he said. "This ballclub plays like a champ one night and 24 hours later we don't know. I get confused a lot. I expect every time we come to the game to play like we played yesterday and we're not consistent. When you're not consistent, anything can happen, a lot of bad things can happen.
"Yesterday you go home, you're excited, you think you got it back, and then those guys start going out of their slump. But we come back today, and it's another broken heart. I know we're not going to win 162 and we're not going to lose 162, I think my expectations are higher and better."
A night after Jake Peavy earned his first win of the year with a dominant outing, Sox starter Gavin Floyd surrendered a career-worst 13 hits and six runs in a rather lethargic game that ended with the Sox falling 7.5 games behind division-leading Minnesota.
If the Sox are going to make a run, this elusive consistency is going to have to be less elusive. If there's a silver lining, it's that the team knows this - and they think it will come.
"I was hoping to get on a two-game winning streak here and go in tomorrow and hopefully three," said Floyd, who lost at home for just the second time in his last 12 starts. "It just didn't happen. Hopefully we can start tomorrow and go from there."
Unfortunately for Floyd and the Sox, they've only been able to win consecutive games twice this season. According to catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who connected on his first home run of the year in the seventh inning, it's not for lack of effort.
"We're doing the best we can," he said, "I never question anyone's effort. Everyone is busting their tail everyday and trying. Some days it works out, some days it doesn't. Obviously, we want to win. We all came into this year thinking we're going to win and we want to win. We've just got to do it.
"Each guy just has to take care of themselves and do what they can do to help the team in that at-bat in that day and not worry about what's been going on. If we do that, we'll be fine. I still believe in this team. There's glimpses here and there that we can do it and hopefully it will work out."