White Sox

Alexei Ramirez shakes off Geovany Soto in pitching debut


Alexei Ramirez shakes off Geovany Soto in pitching debut

Geovany Soto wanted Alexei Ramirez to throw a pitch inside Tuesday night to Josh Phegley but the White Sox shortstop had other ideas.

Even though it was the first pitching appearance of his career, Ramirez knows about Phegley’s pull power and wanted no part of the plan. Ramirez instead shook off Soto, stayed away and ultimately got Phegley to fly out to end a 12-pitch at-bat that provided a much-needed light moment for the White Sox in a 17-6 loss to the Oakland A’s at U.S. Cellular Field.

[MORE: Oakland rocks Jeff Samardzija, White Sox in double-digit loss]

Along with Leury Garcia, Ramirez was one of two position players who pitched for the White Sox in a game for only the second time in franchise history, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The previous instance occurred Sept. 28, 1902 when Frank Isbell and Sam Mertes performed the feat.

“I wanted to pitch him outside,” Ramirez said through an interpreter. “It was a very good at-bat for (Phegley). It was a very good fight for me. I pitched him very well. I tried to throw some offspeed pitches and get him off-balance. He fought and at the end, I got the result. But it was good. It was very fun at-bat and I enjoyed it. I tried to do my best in that at-bat.”

Ramirez threw everything to try and get his former teammate Phegley out in the ninth inning.

In a span of 12 pitches, Ramirez threw a slider, fastball, changeup, curveball, knuckleball and cut-fastball to Phegley, according to MLB.com. He shook off Soto on a 3-2 pitch, one of five straight fouled off by Phegley, before he got the fly ball.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Ramirez would have preferred not to be on the poor end of a blowout but volunteered to pitch if the White Sox needed it. They did as the bullpen was short-handed after Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija made short starts in two of the previous three games with a 14-inning contest sandwiched in between.

Garcia, who also pitched in 2014, pitched a scoreless eighth.

“It wasn’t the ideal situation for the team,” Ramirez said. “But because of the score and the situation, I just talked with Robin (Ventura) and said, ‘Hey, if you need someone to pitch, I can do it.’ Yeah, I enjoyed it. It was very special. I have to thank him for the opportunity. It was something that I always liked to do and I could do it today. I enjoyed it.”

Chris Sale labors in World Series opener for Red Sox


Chris Sale labors in World Series opener for Red Sox

When Chris Sale was with the White Sox, fans dreamed of seeing him headline a postseason playoff rotation.

That never materialized in his time with the White Sox, but Sale is headlining a World Series rotation for the Red Sox. The 29-year-old pitched Game 1 for the Red Sox against the Dodgers on Tuesday.

Sale didn't last long, making it into the fifth and getting pulled before recording an out. In those 4+ innings, Sale gave up three runs while striking out seven.

One of the key plays of the game featured Manny Machado getting an RBI single against Sale in the third inning to tie the game at 2-2. Machado later had an RBI groundout to again tie the game in the fifth before Boston regained the lead in the bottom half of that inning.

Was that a meeting of the White Sox past (Sale) against the White Sox future (Machado)? Machado will be a highly sought after free agent this winter and the White Sox have been connected to the former Orioles infielder since last offseason.

Game 1 featured a stellar pitching matchup of Sale against Clayton Kershaw, but it didn't materialize as it looked on paper. Sale labored while Kershaw gave up five runs in 4+ innings.

This postseason hasn't been a standout one for Sale. The lefty has a 4.40 ERA in 16 1/3 innings over four appearances (three starts and a relief appearance).

The longer Chris Sale is with the Red Sox, the less this will feel relevant to the White Sox, but it is still something to see the longtime White Sox ace on the mound starting a World Series opener.

White Sox Talk Podcast: A.J. Pierzynski rips Manny Machado


White Sox Talk Podcast: A.J. Pierzynski rips Manny Machado

Former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski comes on the podcast and tells Chuck Garfien why he’d sign Nolan Arenado over Manny Machado (6:15).

Pierzynski criticizes Machado for saying that he doesn’t play hard everyday (7:08). Would he make Machado the face of the White Sox franchise? (12:30)

He also talks about how bullpenning cost the Milwaukee Brewers a spot in the World Series (14:45).

He reveals the former White Sox player who had a gift for recognizing players who tipped their pitches (21:00).  Pierzynski tells behind the scenes stories about former teammates Nick Swisher, Bartolo Colon, Gavin Floyd and more (28:00).

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

White Sox Talk Podcast