White Sox

Taxed White Sox bullpen earns praise, blame in loss to Royals

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Taxed White Sox bullpen earns praise, blame in loss to Royals

The White Sox bullpen has been pretty good of late. But it was also partially to blame for Saturday’s loss.

Such is the life of a relief corps.

Entering Saturday’s game against the visiting Royals, White Sox relievers had a 19 1/3-inning scoreless streak going. That included five shutout frames in Friday’s split doubleheader with Kansas City.

But when Jose Quintana went just 5 1/3 innings Saturday — his shortest outing since May 7 — things got a tad trickier. And a bullpen that had been playing a man down since traveling across town to Wrigley Field for an Interleague series last weekend was pushed to its limits in a 7-6, 13-inning defeat.

[MORE WHITE SOX: White Sox draw positives from trio of comebacks in loss]

Zach Putnam relieved Quintana, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Jake Petricka snapped that scoreless streak by loading the bases with no outs in the top of the eighth. Zach Duke relieved Petricka, but a sacrifice fly and bases-loaded walk followed, giving the Royals a two-run lead and causing Petricka’s ERA to go up.

Daniel Webb and Dan Jennings teamed for four scoreless innings while the White Sox offense tied things up in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game to the first of four extra innings. During that span, Jennings was mostly stellar while in the midst of a career-long outing. But his leadoff home run served up to Lorenzo Cain in the top of the 13th signaled that he was out of gas, and he took the loss with that hit being the game-winning one.

See? Good and bad for the bullpen Saturday.

[MORE WHITE SOX: A.J. Pierzynski still going strong as 2005 White Sox reunite]

Jennings earned rave reviews from his manager and catcher for the longest outing of his career. He did a good job silencing the American League’s best team for 2 2/3 innings.

“Danny did a nice job,” Robin Ventura said. “He battled as long as he could, he gave up one in that stretch and you end up losing the game. But he battled, and he did what he was supposed to do. He gave us plenty of opportunities to score, and it didn’t happen.”

“He did an amazing job,” Geovany Soto said. “I mean, he was pounding the strike zone. He kept us in the ballgame. He threw three innings, four innings. He was great. He was awesome.”

Unfortunately for Jennings — even if his performance was a generally good one — his ERA jumped up to 6.59. His record dropped to 1-3.

“I think it was pretty evident from the last inning (that I ran out of gas),” Jennings said. “Guys behind me making great plays, that’s what kind of helped fuel me that last inning. But I felt like I kept going out there and throwing. If you’re getting people out, it’s a lot easier to go out and do it as opposed to if you’re struggling. I felt like I was still throwing the ball well, I was still hitting spots. So as long as I keep doing that, I feel fine, I keep going out.”

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All this action for the relief corps — five innings during Friday’s doubleheader and another 7 2/3 innings Saturday — means some changes might be necessary for the White Sox ahead of Sunday’s series finale with the Royals.

That might be going against the White Sox initial plan, what with an off day Monday and the recent All-Star break providing some rest for that short ‘pen. But Saturday’s workload might force the team’s hand and necessitate bringing in another arm.

But there are two words coming in Sunday’s game that generally mean the bullpen is going to have an easy day: Chris Sale.

“Sale’s pitching tomorrow, right?” Jennings asked with a smile. “I think we’ll be all right.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

In this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Chris Bleck (ESPN 1000) and Scott King (WGN Radio) join David Kaplan on the panel.

Ryan Pace’s offseason begins. Josh Sitton and Jerrell Freeman are gone, but what will he do with Kyle Fuller?

Plus, Rick Hahn joins Kap from Glendale, Ariz., to discuss the state of the White Sox rebuild, how tough it is to keep their best prospects in the minors and why Jose Abreu is so important for his young team?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

The White Sox three outfield prospects are creating a lot of buzz at spring training.

On this edition of the podcast, Micker Adolfo tells Chuck Garfien about a conversation they all had about one day becoming the starting outfield for the White Sox. Adolfo talks about his longtime friendship with Eloy Jimenez, his impressions of Luis Robert, Luis Basabe and the White Sox future.

But first, it's a conversation with MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez who has great insight on many of the White Sox players: Jimenez, Robert, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu. He tells an amazing story about why Jimenez decided to sign with the Cubs when he was a teenager, how much Abreu is revered in Cuba and much more.

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.