White Sox

Wild White Sox dealt painful loss; limp home


Wild White Sox dealt painful loss; limp home

Thursday, April 28, 2011
Posted: 9:22 p.m. Updated: 10:50 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini

NEW YORK In the midst of an offensive bounty unseen so far in this four-game series, New York Yankees fans suddenly became so bored with a 12-3 lead they struck up a Wave.

Perhaps they needed the exercise after spending huge chunks of a six-run fifth inninga half-frame that stretched on for an extraordinary 32 minutes and padded New Yorks lead to 8-0loading up at the concession stand.

C.C. Sabathia threw seven easy innings, surrendering three runs and striking out six, to earn his second win.

We should know that when you face C.C., you should bring your best stuff, because you will be in a battle, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. He always pitches well against us. We couldn't do anything right.

In fact, with the win Sabathia has improved his winning percentage vs. the White Sox to .810 (17-4), the best mark ever for a White Sox opponent.

On the other hand, Edwin Jackson was wild, falling behind 2-0 despite carrying a no-hitter into the fifth. And from there, it only got worse.

Throw strikes, was White Sox manager Ozzie Guillens advice to Jackson. You won't get away with much if you can't hit the strike zone when you face a lineup like this. Those guys are professional hittersthey're not going to chase anything. You have to be around the plate to get them. For the last three nights, we were around the plate.

You start a game throwing strikes, and all of a sudden you cant find the zone, Jackson said. You definitely put yourself in a situation where youre not helping yourself by doing so. Youve got to come out and attack the zone, make them put the ball in play, and take your chances.

That sounds like a terrific game plan, but as Jackson acknowledged he was atrocious in its execution, needing 91 pitches to record 12 outs and walking five to help surge his ERA to his highest point as a White Sox, 5.86.

Its a matter of thinking and not letting your instincts take over, and pounding the strike zone and trying to pitch instead of just going out and throwing to the glove, Jackson said. Its definitely frustrating when you come out and feel good and all of a sudden you cant find the strike zone. Its one of those things where you really cant go out and think. You just have to let your natural instinct take over.

Tony Pena relieved Jackson and left with elbow irritation, but not before helping to extend the Yankees lead to eight. Pena and Alex Rios, who limped off the field (toe) after circling unsteadily under Robinson Canos deep fly to end the seventh, both will be examined back in Chicago and are considered day-to-day.

It was a horrible end of an 11-game road trip for the White Sox, who harbored illusions of sweeping the Gothamers just two days earlier. Chicago finishes the trip at 3-8.

Its frustrating, Jackson said. Its just one of those things where you cant get in panic mode. You just have to keep coming out and fighting. Everyone is working hard. Sometimes you just dont get it done and just have to come back, start a new homestand, and hopefully get things rolling on a positive note.

It was terrible, Guillen reflected on the road trip. We finished the way we startedvery bad. We didn't plan it that way. We thought we would play better. We knew it was going be a tough road trip because of the teams we faced, but we're not hitting. We struggled at the plate. Hopefully, we turn things around at home.

The Captain tried to keep it positive after the game. His soliloquy was convincing to the gathered media; whether it sets in with his teammates is another matter.

Overall, its a 3-8 road trip. At the end of the day, thats all that matters, Paul Konerko said. Its been bad up to this point as a whole for the season, but that doesnt mean tomorrow has to be. Its way too early to get discouraged or to say, OK, this is the team thats going to be the team for the season.

Weve had some good times already. Just going off last years teamwe sure as hell dont want to wait two months to get goingthings can turn on a dime in this game. We learned it can turn in a bad way quickly, but we have to realize it can turn the other way just as quick.

Starting strong

For the second straight night, the White Sox wasted a golden opportunity to wreak havoc early. On Wednesday, Chicago loaded the bases vs. Bartolo Colon with none out and failed to score.

Against Sabathia on Thursday, the White Sox led off the game on fireBrent Lillibridge hit a shot to short that was ruled and error, and after Alexei Ramirezs sharp single to left the Pale Hose had runners on the corners with Carlos Quentin at the plate. But Lillibridge was thrown out at home on Qs quiet tapper to third baseman Alex Rodriguez, Konerko popped out to Nick Swisher in right, and Adam Dunn flew out to Curtis Granderson in center.
Nick Swisher celebrates his seventh-inning home run, a two-run blast that put New York up 12-3. (AP)
It was the closest the White Sox came to scoring until the game was well out of hand.

With good pitchers you have to take advantage, Guillen said. When they're right, they have the stuff to shut you down. We let him off the hook, and then he was CC. We know we were going to face a tough pitcher out there. When you lose an advantage early, that is what you get.

We kind of had him on the ropes early, Konerko said. Hes turned into a great pitcher. He used to throw real hard and have some dominant stuff. He still throws hard enough but hes really very well-rounded. He has more of a repertoire now where he can do some things he didnt used to be able to do. You give a guy a lead like that, hes gone.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms 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.