White Sox

Chris Sale shuts down Cubs to pace White Sox to Crosstown win

chris-sale-sox-0711.png

Chris Sale shuts down Cubs to pace White Sox to Crosstown win

Chris Sale strengthened his case to start Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati and paced the White Sox to their ninth win in their last 11 games.

Sale struck out 10 as the White Sox beat the Cubs, 5-1, in front of 41,596 at Wrigley Field Saturday afternoon. The ace left-hander scattered six hits and one walk and now has double-digit strikeouts in 10 of his 17 starts this season.

The White Sox quickly handed Sale a two-run lead with three straight hits to begin the afternoon off $155 million left-hander Jon Lester. Adam Eaton doubled off the left field ivy and scored when Tyler Saladino tripled — his first major league hit — to the right-center field gap. Cubs manager Joe Maddon, well aware of Sale’s dominance this season, brought the infield in for Jose Abreu, who bounced a ground ball into center for an RBI single.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Lester settled down and scythed his way through the White Sox order over the next five innings, but Kris Bryant’s seventh-inning error opened the door for Sale to get some more support. Alexei Ramirez delivered his first RBI since June 21 — a span of 62 plate appearances — and Tyler Flowers ripped a two-run double to center to give Sale a five-run cushion.

The White Sox last scored more than four runs with Sale on the mound June 3 against Texas and only have done so in four of Sale’s 17 starts this season.

The Cubs got a run back in the bottom of the seventh when Jonathan Herrera’s double into the left field corner scored Starlin Castro. The Cubs’ run ended a 30-inning scoreless streak by White Sox pitchers dating back to Wednesday night’s extra-inning win over Toronto.

Sale’s done more than tie a major league record for most consecutive starts with double-digit strikeouts over the last two months. In 92 innings covering his last 12 starts, he’s racked up 131 strikeouts while allowing 18 earned runs, 55 hits, 13 walks and seven home runs. 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

machado-sox-pod.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

Manny Machado to the White Sox?? It's been the dream for many White Sox fans for months.

With Machado in town to the play the White Sox, Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss the White Sox chances of signing the soon-to-be-free agent.

Garfien also talks with Nicky Delmonico who played with Machado and fellow free agent to be Bryce Harper on the U.S.A. 18-under national team.

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

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

0521-welington-castillo.jpg
USA TODAY

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

One thing you better do if you play for Rick Renteria is run to first base.

Yet again, Renteria benched one of his players Monday for the sin of not hustling down the line.

Welington Castillo, a veteran, not a developing player in need of ample “learning experiences,” popped up to first base with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth inning of Monday’s eventual 3-2 loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles. He did not run down to first, instead staying at home plate.

So when the inning ended and the White Sox took the field, Castillo stayed in the dugout.

Ricky’s boys don’t quit, or so the slogan goes. But what happens when a player doesn’t live up to that mantra? What happens when they don’t play their absolute hardest for all 27 outs, as the T-shirts preach? This is what happens. A benching.

“It was towering fly ball in the infield at first, probably had 15, 20 seconds of hangtime,” Renteria explained after the game. “I assumed the dropped ball. It has occurred. He could, at minimum, at least start moving that way.

“That’s uncharacteristic of him, to be honest, it truly is. Maybe he was just frustrated in that he had the fly ball and just stayed at the plate, but there was no movement toward first at all. And you guys have heard me talk to all the guys about at least giving an opportunity to move in that particular direction.

“Everybody says, ‘Well, 99 out of (100) times he’s going to catch that ball.’ And then that one time that he doesn’t, what would I do if the ball had been dropped? Would it have made it easier to pull him? Well, it was just as easy because you expect not the best, but the worst.

“That is uncharacteristic of that young man. I had a quick conversation with him on the bench, and he knew and that was it.”

It might seem a little overdramatic, a little nutty, even, to sit down a veteran catcher brought in this offseason to provide some offense and to do it in a one-run game. But this rebuild is about more than just waiting around for the minor league talent to make its way to the South Side. It’s about developing an organizational culture, too. And Renteria feels that if he lets this kind of thing slide at the big league level, that won’t send the right message to those precious prospects who will one day fill out this lineup.

“There’s one way to do it, you get your action, you start moving toward that direction in which you’ve got to go,” Renteria said. “What would’ve happened if everybody’s watching it — and I’m setting the tone for not only here, our club, (but also for) everybody in the minor leagues — and they’re saying, ‘Well, at the top, they said they’re going to do this and then they don’t do it.’

“It’s really simple. And people might like it, not like it. I’ve got to do this, do that so everybody understands what we’re trying to do here. We’re not done with what we’re trying to do.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened in 2018. Avisail Garcia was taken out of a game during spring training for not giving maximum effort. Leury Garcia was removed from a game earlier this month for not busting it down the first-base line on a weak grounder that went right to the first baseman.

It’s become a somewhat common tactic for Renteria, and while it might strike some as taking things a little too seriously, what good is this developmental season if a culture goes undeveloped? The White Sox have placed their bright future, in part, in Renteria’s hands, and they’ve talked glowingly about how the players have bought into his style and how the team played last season under his leadership.

If Renteria truly is the right man for the rebuild, things like this are how he’s going to establish his culture. And it will, he hopes, impact how all those prospects play when they’re no longer prospects and the White Sox are contending for championships.