Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010
Updated 1:21 AM
By Brett Ballantini
OAKLAND It was a game that had all the marks of a Little League makeup game, a March high school game forced inside a gymnasium due to snow, or, well; any recent vintage Chicago White Sox tilt.
The Oakland Athletics were the latest ballclub drawn into the South Siders malaise, matching the visitors gaffe-for-gaffe before breaking through with a seventh-inning rally that erupted from ano kiddingsingle, sacrifice bunterror, bunt single and fielders choice.
Daric Barton was the author of the phantom game-winning RBI in that seventh, and the As would later fully anesthetize the Chisox by plating a couple of two-out runs on a Kurt Suzuki single in the frame. It put Oakland up by the eventual final score, 3-0.
For those fans at home who will be waiting for the Easter Bunny come April, Chicagos seventh straight loss coupled with another (what-new) Twins win drops Minnesotas magic number to clinch the A.L. Central to two.
From the White Sox standpoint, of utmost concern was an injury to starter Gavin Floyd that sidelined the starter just seven pitches into the game, as he battled Oakland leadoff hitter Rajai Davis.
We have to wait and see how he feels tomorrow, Guillen offered as an initial prognosis. Theres no reason to risk this kids year, or career. If we have to well keep fighting with the rest of the guys.
I went out there and let it go, spinning some curveballs, and it felt progressively inflamed, Floyd said. It felt like it wasnt getting better, and I felt it every pitch. I tried to fight through it, even through warm-ups, and felt like maybe it was going to get better, but it got progressively worse when I started throwing other pitches. When I get out there, and I get extension, thats when it bothers me.
Chicagos Tony Pena again delivered yeoman work on short notice, following his sterling start Aug. 21 vs. the Kansas City Royals with Monday nights six innings of six-hit, scoreless ball, striking out three and walking two.
I was surprised, said Pena, who earned the win vs. the Royals but took a no-decision on Monday. They told me I had to be ready because Floyd wasnt feeling good, get in the bullpen and youre going to have a chance to go in the game.
In Kansas City, I got a chance to start and threw seven innings for the win. Tonight, I felt good. My arm feels good. I feel like I can do this.
He was unbelievable, Guillen said. He might take Gavins spot. Im not going to pitch Gavin unless hes 200 percent. Im not taking the chance of further injury.
Oaklands pitching held the White Sox to just four hits and one extra-base knock, an Andruw Jones flyball that Chris Carter misplayed and Jones blasd into a double.
Chicago was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base in the game, courtesy of free passes from As hurlers. The assault was led by starter and ex-White Sox prospect Gio Gonzalez, who threw six innings of four-hit, shutout ball, striking out seven.
He threw a lot of strikes, Guillen said. He always had confidence in himself and wanted to be good, to be noticed. Hes matured, and he throws more strikes. Today every time he got in trouble, he could throw breaking balls for strikes.
Chisox catcher Ramon Castro had a game of limited distinction, leaving five men on base with two outs (and six total) in the game en route to an 0-for-4, career-high three-strikeout night.
Very bad, Guillen said of his teams offensive game. When we got something going with two out, we struck out. I dont know if it was a late night last night, but today was kind of flat. If we have to make an excuse, then thats the excuse for the way we played today. Hopefully, tomorrow we get our emotions back.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.