White Sox

Chris Sale struggles before White Sox rally to win


Chris Sale struggles before White Sox rally to win

Chris Sale hasn’t quite been himself the past two starts.

One game after he yielded a career-high nine runs, Sale tied his career mark with five walks. Without his customary command, Sale got hit hard by the Detroit Tigers but his teammates made it moot with an eighth-inning rally and a 7-6 White Sox victory at U.S. Cellular Field.

Sale, whose ERA has risen from 2.37 to 5.93 the past two starts, allowed five earned runs and seven hits while striking out six in 5 1/3 innings.

“It was just one of those days,” catcher Tyler Flowers said. “He just didn’t have a good feel, good rhythm, tempo, those kinds of things. It kind of seemed to be like that, he missed a lot of spots.”

[MORE: White Sox stun Tigers with four in eighth to win second straight]

While in Minneapolis last week, pitching coach Don Cooper said the left-hander’s slider may be behind because Sale missed several weeks of spring training with a fractured bone in his right foot. On Tuesday afternoon, Sale said his wipeout slider “is always” behind his other pitchers.

Sale threw 14 sliders Wednesday, 11 for strikes. But the pitch that hurt him most was the changeup.

After he walked Miguel Cabrera in the third inning, Sale left a 0-2 changeup over the plate to Victor Martinez, who hit a two-run homer to put Detroit ahead by two. Cabrera singled in a run to put the Tigers ahead 4-3 two innings later when Sale left another two-strike changeup in the zone.

“He’s usually pretty money going in on righties and he made a few mistakes there,” Flowers said. “Arm-side is a little bit tougher for him and we missed a lot arm-side when we were trying to go out there. I just think it’s an off day for him. It’s not a very Chris Sale line at the end of the day, but he’s still competed and gave us a chance. That’s a tough lineup and to not feel great against that lineup makes it even more challenging. Honestly, all in all, for not feeling good and not having good command or his best stuff, it’s not really too terrible a job. He gave us a chance.”

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Sale threw strikes on only 66 of 109 pitches. He’s expected to begin serving a five-game suspension on Thursday and make his next start in Milwaukee next Tuesday.

“You’re going to have good ones, you’re going to have bad ones,” Sale said. “You’re going to have a few good ones in a row, you’re going to have a few bad ones in a row. I think the most important thing is just staying true to yourself and grinding it out.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Interview with Hall of Famer Harold Baines

NBC Sports Chicago

White Sox Talk Podcast: Interview with Hall of Famer Harold Baines

Chuck Garfien sits down with new Hall of Famer Harold Baines.

First, Chuck, Ryan McGuffey and Chris Kamka share their memories of watching Baines play with the White Sox (1:40). Then, Baines explains why he's always been so soft-spoken (8:45), how he was able to play 22 seasons in the majors (13:00), why he's never spoken to GM Larry Himes for trading him to Texas (15:30), the apology he received from President George W. Bush (16:30), what he thinks about the critics who don't think he should be in the Hall of Fame (18:25), a replay of Baines emotional interview with Chuck about his dad (20:50) and more.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson discusses inspiring a younger generation of black baseball players, bat flipping and much more on Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum


White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson discusses inspiring a younger generation of black baseball players, bat flipping and much more on Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson appeared on Thursday's episode of the Pull Up Podcast hosted by Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and ESPN's Jordan Schultz to discuss many things including his MLB career, the charity work he does in the Chicago community and the need more expression and entertainment (overall) in baseball.

McCollum asked Anderson if the sport of baseball has evolved and what he would do to further these developments, based on the idea that the sport has a stigma of being boring, particularly within inner-city and/or largely black communities. Anderson stated, "They should allow players to have more fun.....just allow players to be themselves." 

Anderson discussed how being the only black player on the White Sox—the team that represents the South Side of Chicago—is extremely important to him and how great the White Sox organization has been at giving him every opportunity to be himself and "be comfortable". He expanded on how much he loves MLB life and how he wants to be able to pass on that love for the game to younger generations, especially the youth of the South Side of Chicago.

"I enjoy it [the responsibility of being the lone black player on the White Sox].....a lot of those kids in they area [the South Side], they kinda remind me of myself."

Schultz brought up the criticism of Anderson's bat flipping, asking him why it was so important for him to show that he was enjoying himself, at the expense of breaking one of baseball's "unwritten rules".

Being of a younger generation, Anderson lamented that it was indeed a new day in baseball and doubled down in saying that the simple aspect of having fun needs to be encouraged even more in the sport. 

"You're playing a game that you're failing most of the time and the times that you do succeed they don't want you to enjoy those moments. For me man, y'know, I think that's just a lot of pain showing.....from struggling, that's just that emotion that's coming out man. You know when you finally get to a point where you feel like you breaking through.....those moments that I want to remember and I want people around me to remember. That’s why I play the way that I do.”

Anderson is indeed having the best season of his career so far, with a slash line of .317/.342/.491 entering Friday morning. He is also nine home runs away from matching his season-high of 20 with over the half the season left to go.

With even more of a platform amid his career-year, Anderson has continued his crusade to make baseball fun again and doesn’t plan on changing up the way he plays the game anytime soon.


As touched on earlier in this post, Anderson wants to serve as a role model while also showing the youth that it is OK to be yourself as a Major League Baseball player.

In all the camps and baseball clinics that Anderon hosts, he always makes sure to answer every question about his unique experience in the MLB because he understands the value of kids getting to see someone who looks like them succeeding, even more so in a sport where the number black players sits at a mere 7.7% of the entire league

“Everything [is] not always good [for kids in inner-city communities], so I think that understanding that and kinda being a role model and motivating and inspiring those kids that look like me and I look like them, I think it's easier for those kids to look up to me. So that's why I go out and play hard and....enjoy the moment and do those crazy things on the field.....because that's what those kids like."

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