White Sox

Buehrle bitten by bad start bug; Sox eliminated


Buehrle bitten by bad start bug; Sox eliminated

rThursday, Sept. 15, 2011
Posted: 9:54 p.m. Updated: 11:19 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com White Sox InsiderFollow @CSNChi_Beatnik
Box score
VIDEO: Ozzie regrets outcome after elimination
READ: Vizquel won't retire, upset with 'mates

KANSAS CITY The last of the red-hot Chicago White Sox starters has bit the dust.

Mark Buehrle was utterly torched by the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, allowing a career-high 15 hits on the wrong side of a 7-2 romp.

The final hita liner back through the box from Alcides Escobar that hit Buehrle flush on his left pitching bicepwas the greatest insult, driving the lefty out of the game.

Its fineI think Ozzie just said, Enough, Buehrle said. I could have stayed in the game if it happened earlier in the game but he came out and said, There no reason to stay in. Youre getting your ass handed to you, lets get you out of there.

Well see how he feels tomorrow, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. But hes lucky it hit him right in the muscle. He should be fine.

Melky Cabrera continued his mastery of Buehrle, going 4-for-5 with a home run off him. Billy Butler added a round-tripper in the sixth to put the game out of reach.

It appears that the White Soxs flirtation with a six-man rotation for a fair spell of the summer did not help Buehrles stamina, as hoped. Through his first 25 starts, Buehrle had a 3.10 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 54.2 game score and 20.4 outs per start. Over his last three, games in which the White Sox have lost by a collective 33-8, the lefthander has a 12.00 ERA, 2.54 WHIP, 18.3 game score and 15.3 outs per start.

The last three outings have been very rough, very rough, a lot of balls in play, Guillen said. Hes been roughed up pretty good. For him, the biggest thing is location and changing speeds. Right now, I dont think he has that with him. Hes kind of behind hitters a couple of times.

Ozzie says don't blame Kenny

Buehrle denied there was anything behind his September swoon, attributing it to, Some bad luck. Obviously theyre hitting the balls hard and finding holes. But it seems like when I make a pitch theyre hitting the ball hard and putting it in play, and when I make a mistake, theyre crushing it.

"When things are going your way and youre missing pitches, they either foul them off or hit them at our guys. Now theyre finding holes or putting them over the fence, Buehrle said.

A.J. Pierzynski was the lone bright spot for the White Sox, going 3-for-4 and in the process tapping out the 1,500th safety of his career.

Alexei Ramirez had a ninth-inning single almost negated with Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur nearly throwing him out at first base. Ramirez gestured and appeared upset at Francoeurs challenge, but was lighthearted about the exchange after the game.

I wasn't really upset with the play, Ramirez said. Francoeur is just doing his job, and Ive got to do my job and get to first base. I'm aware of his highlights in getting guys out at first and I don't want to be one of them. I just told him that next time he's up, he better run hard because if it gets past me I'm still going after him.

The loss officially eliminated the White Sox from the 2011 postseason. But despite the dreaded X now residing next to the White Sox in the standings, Guillen doesnt foresee a change in his lineup over the final two weeks of the season.

No, were going to continue to play the guys who should be playing, he said, adding with a laugh, the kids are playing right now.

But no, weve got to go through the season. Everyone knows its a very disappointing season and very inconsistent season, but weve got to try to finish it as strong as we can. We should have played better. I thought with the club we have wed have a better season and have a better shot to win the division. But obviously, it didnt go the way we wanted it to go.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

White Sox opposition research: What's there to know about the Baltimore Orioles?


White Sox opposition research: What's there to know about the Baltimore Orioles?

As the 2018 season nears and the White Sox get ready to take on the rest of the American League, we're taking a team-by-team look at all 14 of their opponents.

What’s there to know about the Baltimore Orioles?

Perhaps a better question for White Sox fans: When’s Manny Machado coming to the South Side? (Better question from me, personally, is when Chicago might acquire Maryland's greatest creation: the crab pretzel. Had in College Park last summer. It's amazing.)

Whether that ends up happening or not is a question for next offseason, but that query is one that plenty of South Side baseball fans on social media have asked for years now. Machado, mentioned in trade rumors during the Winter Meetings in December, is most likely entering his final season as an Oriole. His contract is up at season’s end, and he’s expected to land a gargantuan deal next offseason.

The funny thing is that for all the hullabaloo over the 25-year-old infielder, he’s coming off his worst statistical campaign as a big leaguer. In 2017, he slashed .259/.310/.782, all three of those percentages seeing huge dropoffs after a sensational 2016 campaign a year prior. His power numbers stayed relatively consistent, but his run and hit totals plummeted as the O’s weren’t quite as a competitive as in years past.

Now, Machado is likely still cruising for a big contract regardless of what he does in 2018. He’s moving to shortstop, which will be interesting. But he’s young enough that even another season like last year won’t make too big a difference, considering how good he’s been throughout his career.

That’s who White Sox fans will be watching whenever their gaze falls on the Baltimore baseball club. (They won’t be alone, by the way, and some contending teams might even try to add him at the trade deadline.) But the O’s are making news for other reasons, recent reasons, in fact.

The biggest name left on the free-agent market finally signed this week, and now the Orioles have a big-time addition to their starting rotation. Unlike Jake Arrieta, it appears Alex Cobb’s waiting game paid off in the form of dollars, years and a no-trade clause. How nice for him. It’s also nice for the O’s, who get to add a guy to a low-key decent starting staff.

Cobb, who had a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season, might not be ready to rock for the start of the regular season considering he didn’t ink a deal until a week out from Opening Day — bet he’s good at staring contests, too — but the trio of Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner (another new addition) and Kevin Gausman will be ready, and all those guys are coming off a solid-enough 2017. Bundy had a couple good stretches, posting a 3.03 ERA over his first 13 starts and then a 2.00 ERA in the month of August. Gausman had a 3.31 ERA over his final 18 starts. Cashner, another free-agent signing, had a 3.40 ERA with the Texas Rangers.

So while the likes of Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo and the better-than-Machado-last-year Jonathan Schoop still make the O’s an offensive threat in a hard-to-win AL East, the starting pitching might be where the magic is this time around.

2017 record: 75-87, fifth place in AL East

Offseason additions: Alex Cobb, Andrew Cashner, Colby Rasmus, Alex Presley, Pedro Araujo, Joely Rodriguez, Nestor Cortes Jr.

Offseason departures: Welington Castillo, J.J. Hardy, Ryan Flaherty, Seth Smith, Jeremy Hellickson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Wade Miley

X-factor: I said it just above, and I'll say it again: Jonathan Schoop was better than Manny Machado last season. Schoop made the All-Star team and finished with 32 homers, 105 RBIs and a .293/.338/.503 slash line. His .841 OPS was one of the best 50 in the game. Should we expect Schoop to be the best middle infielder on the O's in 2018, too? Maybe that's a little extreme, but hey, good to have this guy.

Projected lineup:

1. Tim Beckham, 3B
2. Jonathan Schoop, 2B
3. Manny Machado, SS
4. Adam Jones, CF
5. Chris Davis, 1B
6. Trey Mancini, DH
7. Colby Rasmus, RF
8. Caleb Joseph, C
9. Alex Presley, LF

Projected rotation:

1. Dylan Bundy
2. Andrew Cashner
3. Kevin Gausman
4. Chris Tillman
5. Mike Wright Jr.

Prediction: Third place in AL East, no playoffs

Catch up on the AL:

Oakland Athletics
Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels
Houston Astros
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles

Catch up on the NL:

San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers

Sounds like we know how the White Sox starting rotation will line up to start the season


Sounds like we know how the White Sox starting rotation will line up to start the season

Rick Renteria's starting rotation isn't exactly official for the start of the season, but it's about as close as it can be.

Maybe "unofficially official" is the best way to go?

The South Side skipper agreed with the assessment of reporters Wednesday in Arizona, saying that an order of James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Miguel Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer "sounds right."

Shields was already announced as the White Sox starter for the season opener next Thursday in Kansas City. That wasn't much of a surprise considering Shields' veteran status in this rotation.

Giolito, who made seven starts at the end of last season and looked mighty good doing it, might be the best starting pitcher on the team going into the season. He posted a 2.38 ERA in those games, with many fans hoping he would have been the one to take on the Royals in the opener. It sounds like he'll likely pitch two days later in Game 2 against the Crowns.

Lopez made eight starts at the end of last season, turning in a 4.72 ERA in those starts. He's another former highly touted prospect who will get a full season to continue his development at the major league level.

Gonzalez was brought back this winter after being traded away from the South Side last summer to bring another veteran mentor type to help along these young pitchers. He had a 4.31 ERA before the trade to the Texas Rangers after a 3.73 ERA in a full season with the White Sox in 2016.

Fulmer is another young arm who will be looking to earn a spot in the crowded rotation of the future this season. He's had a rough spring — though turned in his best start of the spring earlier this week — but he'll be given every opportunity to prove he can succeed as a big league starting pitcher after showing some promise at the end of last season.

Those first three guys will face off against the Royals on the season's opening weekend. Gonzalez and Fulmer are expected to make their first starts of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays in Canada.