White Sox

Chris Sale finally picks up 15th win as White Sox cruise past A’s

Chris Sale finally picks up 15th win as White Sox cruise past A’s

After being stuck on 14 wins since July 2, Chris Sale finally picked up his 15th victory of the season on Saturday, tossing a gem as the White Sox cruised past the Oakland Athletics 6-2 in front of 21,178 fans at U.S. Cellular Field.

Sale pitched eight shutout innings and allowed only three hits and three walks on 120 pitches, tying his season-high. The “K-Zone” was in full effect too as the White Sox ace struck out eight batters.

Sale became the league’s first starting pitcher to reach 14 wins on the season but struggled to pick up No. 15.

"It was kind of getting over the hump for me," Sale said. "My last few times out I haven’t been as good as I’ve wanted to be or as good as I’ve needed to be."

"Coming in and getting this one after a loss, we’ll fight for this series tomorrow, so it was important."

Sale barely needed any run support to pick up the win but his offense supplied it anyway 24 hours after being shut out 9-0.

Sale is now two wins away from tying his single-season record (17) set in 2012.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

In Saturday’s win, everything seemed to be clicking for the White Sox, even on offense, which scored at least one run in each of the first four innings.

Jose Abreu got his team on the board early in the first after hitting a solo homer to right field that clipped the glove of A’s outfielder Brett Eibner on its way out.

In the second, Carlos Sanchez and Tim Anderson hit back-to-back two-out RBI singles to give the White Sox a 3-0 lead.

Melky Cabrera (single) and Jason Coats (groundout) tacked on RBIs in the third, and Cabrera added another in the fourth with his second single of the night.

Sale admitted that adding those early runs helped alleviate a little bit of pressure.

"You see your guys fighting," Sale said. "I think it was the third inning, scored all with two outs. When stuff like that goes, you kinda feed off of that, and build momentum and try to execute some pitches."

The offense was quiet on both sides after that until the ninth inning when Nate Jones entered the game and allowed two runs – a solo homer to Danny Valencia and an RBI single by Eibner.

Jones recorded just one out before being relieved by David Robertson, who picked up the final two outs of the game for his 31st save of the season.

[RELATED: White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper: 'It’s either good or it’s bad' with James Shields]

The White Sox are now 58-64 on the season and have 40 games left.

But even though the White Sox postseason hopes seem to be far out of reach, there's still a "no-quit" attitude in the clubhouse.

"Nobody in here has given up," Sale said. "We have too much pride in ourselves and what we do. When you look around this clubhouse, we have some pretty good guys, guys that compete.

"At the end of the day that’s all you can ask for. Anything that happens after that, you can live with it."

White Sox fans dreaming of Patrick Corbin: His free-agent destination might already be booked

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USA TODAY

White Sox fans dreaming of Patrick Corbin: His free-agent destination might already be booked

For the biggest dreamers among the White Sox faithful, here's how this offseason might be playing out.

Rick Hahn said the team will make some additions to the pitching staff. So for those dreamers, it's a rush to the top of the list of free-agent starting pitchers, right? Why not hook one of the biggest fish in the pond?

The top of that list looks like this: Clayton Kershaw (should he choose to opt out of his deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and seek a new, more lucrative one), Dallas Keuchel and Patrick Corbin. Some might even have those last two names flipped, with Corbin, coming off an All-Star season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, second only to one of the best to ever throw a baseball.

The White Sox might not be capable of outbidding baseball's biggest spenders, and that's without even mentioning that they might simply not be looking to ink a hurler to a long-term contract. After all, that's what all those talented prospects are for, right? Assembling the rotation of the future? Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez are all already part of the 2019 staff. Michael Kopech, when he's done recovering from Tommy John surgery, will join them in 2020. And Dylan Cease was just named MLB Pipeline's minor league pitcher of the year. With all that in mind, any offseason additions to the rotation for 2019 might simply be one-year fill-ins.

But fans often like to dream big, and a lot of them have Corbin on their wish list.

That's not surprising when you look at his numbers. He threw 200 innings last season and struck out 246 batters while finishing with a 3.15 ERA, those last two numbers the best of his six-year big league career. He's 29 years old and a long-term deal would figure to have him in the starting rotation as the White Sox plan to shift from rebuilding mode to contention mode.

Just one problem: There's plenty of belief out there that Corbin's destination this winter has already been booked.

This has been a talking point for a while now, as the Yankees tried to bring Corbin to the Bronx via trade last offseason. They're expected to try to do so again, this time via free agency, as they've got a ton of money to spend. Corbin was quoted in the Nightengale story from April saying: "It would definitely be great to play there. I grew up a Yankee fan."

Sorry to burst your bubbles, White Sox fans. But don't blame me. Blame the Yankees, which seems to be becoming a frequent refrain. If Didi Gregorius' elbow injury means Manny Machado ends up in the Bronx this winter, too, White Sox fans might drop the Cubs as Public Enemy No. 1.

The White Sox have enough hurdles to clear in any pursuit of one of the game's top free agents: They have to compete with baseball's traditional big spenders, and they have to try and beat win-now pitches with a pitch of planned — though not yet arrived — long-term success. It's not like that hasn't been a winning battle before, though, as the rebuilding Cubs got Jon Lester to believe in their future and brought him in to help make their transition from rebuild to championship contention.

But throw in the hurdle of a history between a player and another team, and it makes it an even harder job.

The White Sox will be making some additions this offseason, though they might not be the ones fans are dreaming about. But not landing the winter's biggest fish doesn't mean the organization's biggest, most important dream of building a perennial contender on the South Side is going anywhere.

Top White Sox MiLB moments of 2018: Omar Vizquel's award-winning managerial debut

Top White Sox MiLB moments of 2018: Omar Vizquel's award-winning managerial debut

With the White Sox season over, we're looking back on the top 10 moments of the club's minor league season. We'll unveil one per day for 10 days, showcasing each moment in chronological order.

The moment: Omar Vizquel is named the Carolina League Manager of the Year, Sept. 13.

Vizquel became the third Winston-Salem Dash manager to be named Manager of the Year. The Dash went 84-54, the second-highest win total in franchise history and won the division title in both the first and second half.

Vizquel's season: As soon as Vizquel retired after the 2012 season, he went straight into coaching. First, he was an infield coach for the Angels in 2013. Then, he became the first base coach for the Tigers.

Vizquel remained there until taking the Dash job in the White Sox organization this season. Winston-Salem was an important post because seven of the top 10 and 16 of the top 30 prospects from MLB Pipeline's rankings spent some time there in 2018.

Vizquel was able to guide that talent to a whole bunch of winning. The Dash had the best record in the Carolina League in the regular season.

The playoffs did not go so well. The Dash got swept by the eventual league champion Buies Creek Astros in the first round.

Still, it was a successful managerial debut for Vizquel and the White Sox got to take advantage of his experience with a number of top prospects playing under him.

He may not manage the White Sox any time soon, but Vizquel's ties to the organization (two years playing with the team and now coaching in the organization) make him a possible candidate at some point in his managerial career.