White Sox

White Sox lose in 10 innings, swept by Tribe

White Sox lose in 10 innings, swept by Tribe

CLEVELAND — The spiral has lasted 36 games and the White Sox still haven’t discovered an escape route.

Sunday’s chapter involved another disheartening loss as the White Sox fell 3-2 in 10 innings to the Cleveland Indians in front of 25,269 at Progressive Field. Two days after they were felled by a walkoff homer, Jose Ramirez completed a three-game sweep of the White Sox with a two-out RBI single off David Robertson. The White Sox — who finished with five hits — have lost 26 of 36 contests and dropped to a season-worst three games below .500. The White Sox trail the Indians by 5 1/ 2 games.

“It’s like we can't get any good luck to go our way,” Robertson said. “I wish there was a magic answer. We’re scuffling. There’s no doubt about it. We’re not a bad team. We’re just not playing well right now. We’re just not having things go our way, and it’s a tough stretch.”

Robertson said he didn’t do himself any favors as he allowed a leadoff double to Rajai Davis in the 10th. Davis advanced to third on a Jason Kipnis sac bunt and that’s when the White Sox got creative. Not only did they intentionally walk Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli, the White Sox brought in a fifth infielder for a play.

Robertson retired Friday’s hero Carlos Santana on a foul out to third and the White Sox returned to a normal defensive alignment. But Ramirez singled past Jose Abreu, who misplayed an in-between hop, for yet another deflating loss for the White Sox.

“The bounce was farther than what I expected and my only alternative was to try to dive back (lunge back) to see if I could catch the ball,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “It was a very tough play.”

It was yet another instance this weekend where the White Sox found themselves in a trying position because of their continued offensive woes. Jose Quintana was in line for a loss Friday even though he only made one mistake because the team’s struggles. The onus shifted to Carlos Rodon on Sunday as the White Sox couldn’t break through for more than a run against Carlos Carrasco.

The White Sox jumped ahead of the Indians early as Tim Anderson and Abreu doubled with one in the first inning to put them ahead 1-0. But Carrasco retired Melky Cabrera and Todd Frazier, who continues to slump.

The White Sox pulled back ahead 2-1 in the fourth inning on a solo homer by Cabrera. But Carrasco otherwise kept them in check. After he induced a double play earlier in the fifth, Carrasco worked around a two-out error by Kipnis when Abreu grounded out with two on. He also stifled earlier opportunities with double play balls in the second and sixth.

Bryan Shaw got Carrasco out of trouble after a one-out double by Adam Eaton in the eighth as Abreu popped out and Cabrera grounded out.

The White Sox only had multiple base runners in three of 10 innings.

“They’re tough,” manager Robin Ventura said. “They have some great pitching. You have to take advantage of your opportunities. You’re going to end up having them cost you.

“If you don’t cash them in, you’re going to pay for it.”

Rodon turned in yet another strong performance as he struck out a season-high eight batters.

The left-hander peppered the zone with strikes and worked ahead in the count, walking only one batter in a 99-pitch effort.

He twice surrendered the lead, but Rodon didn’t break even though he faced several tight situations. The left-hander stranded two runners in the first inning with a strikeout of Jose Ramirez and dodged a hairier situation in the third.

Davis doubled to start the inning and stole third. But Rodon struck out Kipnis, got a grounder to short by Lindor and then struck out Santana to strand runners on the corners.

Juan Uribe tied it in the fourth with a solo homer. But Rodon retired nine of the last 11 batters he faced. He has a 3.25 ERA over his last six starts with 34 strikeouts in 36 innings.

“We have to keep grinding and find a way to (score) more runs,” Abreu said. “I don’t know why or what’s the reason, but we weren’t able to score too many runs in this series. That’s baseball and it’s tough, but we have to find a way to score more runs, because we are wasting some very good games.”

After last season's personal tragedy, Tim Anderson ready to unleash real self

After last season's personal tragedy, Tim Anderson ready to unleash real self

GLENDALE, AZ --  There’s a different Tim Anderson at White Sox spring training this year.

You can see it on his face  You can hear it in his voice.

“I’m busting out of the shell. I’m talking more,” he said as he sat down for an interview with NBC Sports Chicago (in the video above).

It’s not the new Tim Anderson. It turns out, it’s the real one that’s been there all along.

“This is me. It’s always been me. I never knew how to express myself. I feel like I’m being a lot more open,” Anderson explained. “That’s what I want to give to fans. Let them know the real me. You’re cheering for me. Why not know me? I’m being open and kind of let fans into my life.”

The White Sox shortstop has learned a lot about life in the past year. It all started in May when the White Sox were in Baltimore to play the Orioles. Anderson received a phone call at 4 a.m. It was news from back home.

It was the worst phone call of his life.

His best friend Branden Moss had been murdered in the parking lot of a Tuscaloosa, Ala., bar after helping the victim of a fight.  

The two were like brothers. Anderson is the godfather to Moss’s young daughter. Moss was the godfather to Anderson’s 2-year-old daughter.

“It was heartbreaking,” Anderson said.

While Anderson grieved, playing baseball seemed like it would be a perfect escape for his pain. Only it wasn’t. Far from it.  Baseball might have made things even worse.

In fast-paced sports like football and hockey, players don’t have much time to think. It’s react, react, react. Whatever might be happening off the field feels like a million miles away.

Not in baseball.

The game moves at a much slower speed. There’s plenty of time for your mind to wander. Thoughts kept going back to Anderson’s lost friend, taken from him in an instant.

At 23, he didn’t have the tools to deal with the emotional pain and excel at baseball at the same time.

“The year was rough. I wasn’t having fun in between the lines. I was making the game harder than it was. I was thinking too much. I was feeling sorry for myself and the list can go on. When my friend died it definitely took a lot out of me. I had a dark moment,” Anderson said. “Some days I didn’t feel comfortable coming to the ballpark because I knew it was going to be a bad day.”

Making matters worse, there were many nights when Anderson didn’t sleep. Not a wink. Still, he dragged himself to the ballpark and somehow tried to play.

The results weren’t pretty. On June 22, Anderson already had 16 errors at shortstop, most in the majors. At the plate, he was hitting .256/.284/.374 with six home runs and 19 RBIs.

He knew he was better than that. He also knew something else: He needed help.

In July, Anderson started meeting with a therapist who was able to unlock the pent up thoughts and emotions that he was burying inside him.

The therapist would write down everything that Anderson was feeling on paper and then read it back to him.

“Just going in and talking and pouring everything out of you. It lets you hear what you’ve been going through,“ Anderson said. “When she did it, it was a lot. I took what she read to me, balled it up and threw it away. I got lighter. It was a brightening. Those counseling sessions definitely helped me.”

Soon, Anderson was back to being himself both on and off the field.

In the month of August, he had 8 doubles, 5 home runs and 16 RBI.

“Woof. I was hot,” he said after hearing those stats. “That’s Tim. That’s more Tim that we need to see.”

In September, he batted .327 with 3 home runs and 9 stolen bases.

“We need a lot of that this year. That’s the way I want to go. That’s the way I want to go about it. Get back to what got me here.”

There was still an issue with his plate discipline. He had 32 strikeouts and only 1 walk in September.

“We play a tough sport as it is. They’re going to come,” Anderson said about the walks. “I mean, when I walk more, what are you going to tell me? ‘Start swinging more?’ It’s one of those things. It’s a give and take. We’ll see what happens.”

In 2017, Anderson received a crash course in adversity. What did he learn from all that pain and misery?

“Tough times happen, but they don’t last forever.”

Now that he’s survived the personal storm from last season, he wants “another shot at it. I feel like last year went left. This is new season.”

So, what does he envision for himself in 2018?

“Having fun, smiling a lot, picking up my teammates, hugging on the coaches and players. A lot of love, more so than stats,” Anderson said. “I’m fired up. I’m excited. I feel like I’m ready to lead this pack. We got a great group of guys. We’ve got a chance to do something special.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Michael Kopech tells all about his past, present and future

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Michael Kopech tells all about his past, present and future

The White Sox top pitching prospect sits down with Chuck Garfien for a revealing interview at spring training. Kopech says he almost quit the game after he got into a fight with a Red Sox minor league teammate in 2016. He goes in-depth about his desire to be great, why meditating makes him a better pitcher, his failed PED test in 2015, comparisons to Justin Verlander, possibly becoming the future ace of the White Sox and much more.