White Sox

Floyd rocked as Sox drop third-straight game

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Floyd rocked as Sox drop third-straight game

Saturday, April 16, 2011
Posted: 8:29 p.m. Updated: 9:46 p.m.

Associated Press
With six commemorative game balls sitting in his locker, Tyler Chatwood appeared stoic on the outside.

On the inside, he was ecstatic.

Chatwood pitched seven impressive innings for his first major league win and Hank Conger hit a three-run homer to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Chicago White Sox 7-2 on Saturday.

"What you saw tonight is what we saw in Tyler," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He had a couple of good changeups and some good curveballs, but everything is set up on his fastball command."

With starters Scott Kazmir and Joel Pineiro on the disabled list, the Angels have turned to Chatwood, who dropped a 4-0 decision to the Cleveland Indians in his debut Monday.

"I felt better today," Chatwood said. "Nerves were gone. I just felt more confident."

After the start was delayed more than 2 hours by rain, the 21-year-old rookie allowed just one run and five hits. The lone blemish was Carlos Quentin's fifth-inning homer, his third of the season and the 100th of his career.

Howie Kendrick also homered and drove in three runs for the Angels. Leadoff man Maicer Izturis had three hits.

Gavin Floyd (1-1) took the loss, yielding six runs and eight hits over six innings. He threw three wild pitches and allowed hits to the leadoff batter in each of the first four innings.

"The two home runs got him," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He got men at second base with less than two out for three innings in a row. He battled."

Paul Konerko hit his fourth homer for Chicago, a solo shot with two outs in the ninth to end a 1-for-16 slide.

Chatwood (1-1) retired 10 of his first 13 batters and induced three double plays. He struck out three. The right-hander gave up four runs over five innings Monday against Cleveland.

Izturis has 14 hits in his last 26 at-bats against the White Sox, getting hits in seven consecutive meetings. He is 6 for 10 in the series.

After Vernon Wells doubled to lead off the second and advanced to third on a fly ball, Floyd retired Mark Trumbo on a groundout and had a two-strike count on Conger before his second wild pitch in two innings allowed Wells to score the first run. Conger then grounded out.

In the third inning, Brandon Wood doubled and advanced to third on Izturis' second hit of the game, but Izturis was tagged out in a rundown. Kendrick then drove a 3-2 pitch over the left-center wall to put the Angels up 3-0.

The 391-foot shot was Kendrick's fifth homer of the season.

After allowing two hits to start the fourth, Floyd appeared to have found his rhythm, retiring eight in a row. But after a pair of two-out walks in the sixth, pitching coach Don Cooper paid Floyd a visit and Conger drove the next offering down the right-field line for his second homer of the season.

Conger is one of three catchers the Angels are carrying. Scioscia spoke at length before the game about the platoon and how he hoped someone would break away from the pack with offensive production.

"They were pounding me in. I was getting beat," Conger said. "After that mound visit I just wanted to hunt a fastball and put a swing on it."

Starting his third consecutive game, Conger finally broke through with the bat - but he hasn't won the starting job yet.

"What's helping him is the way he's played defensively," said Scioscia, a former catcher. "If you're a catcher and you're not doing the job defensively, it doesn't matter how well you swing the bat."

Quentin led off the fifth by driving the first pitch he saw over the left-center fence for his 100th home run.

"It's a nice accomplishment," Quentin said. "Obviously, you want the win first."

Floyd was relieved in the seventh by Will Ohman, who gave up a double to Izturis and an RBI single to Kendrick that extended the Angels' lead to 7-1.

Konerko homered off Rich Thompson in the ninth.

Juan Pierre had two hits and reached base three times for the White Sox. He was caught stealing in the third, unsuccessful for the fifth straight time. He is 4 for 9 on stolen base attempts this season.

NOTES

The start was delayed for 2 hours, 10 minutes. ... Quentin has five hits in his last 32 at-bats. ... White Sox RHP Jake Peavy (right shoulder tendinitis) threw 34 pitches in a side session. He expects to throw 90-95 pitches Monday with Double-A Birmingham and will try to exceed 100 pitches next Saturday with Triple-A Charlotte. He hopes to rejoin the team by the end of April. ... The White Sox have committed the second-most errors in the majors this season, but Guillen has confidence his team will improve. "We have a third baseman (Brent Morel) who will win the Gold Glove before his career is over," Guillen said. "The shortstop (Alexei Ramirez) should be a Gold Glove (winner)." Angels 1B Kendrys Morales (left ankle) did some running drills at the team's spring training complex in Arizona on Friday and is "progressing," according to Scioscia. SS Erick Aybar (left oblique) took swings from the right side and will continue to do so while the team evaluates him.

Box Score
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The White Sox sent down Carson Fulmer, so why isn't Lucas Giolito receiving the same treatment?

The White Sox sent down Carson Fulmer, so why isn't Lucas Giolito receiving the same treatment?

Lucas Giolito is having a rough go of things in his second year with the White Sox.

He came into the season with some pretty high expectations after posting a 2.38 ERA in seven starts at the end of the 2017 campaign and then dominating during spring training. But he’s done anything but dominate since this season started, and after one of his worst outings in Thursday’s 9-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, he’s got a 7.53 ERA in 10 starts in 2018.

Giolito stuck around for only four outs Thursday, but he allowed the Orioles to do plenty of damage, giving up seven runs on six hits — two of which were back-to-back home runs to start the second inning — and three walks. He leads the American League with his 37 walks.

“I take what I do very seriously. I work as hard as I can at it,” Giolito said. “So when I experience failure like this, it’s kind of hard to deal with. All I can do is come back tomorrow, keep working on things and hopefully have a better one.”

All of Giolito’s struggles have fans wondering why the White Sox haven’t sent him down to Triple-A to work on his craft.

“I don’t foresee that at this particular time,” Rick Renteria said when asked if Giolito could be sent to Triple-A. “I think he’s just a young man who’s got to continue to minimize the emotional aspect of crossing from preparation into the game and staying focused, relaxed and hammer the zone with strikes. And truthfully it’s just first-pitch strike and get after the next one.”

The White Sox have already sent one young pitcher down in Carson Fulmer, who was having a nightmarish time at the big league level. Fulmer’s results were worse than Giolito’s on a regular basis. He got sent down after posting an 8.07 ERA in nine outings.

But hasn’t Giolito suffered through command issues enough to warrant some time away from the major league limelight? According to his manager, Giolito’s situation is vastly different than Fulmer’s.

“I don’t see them anywhere near each other,” Renteria said. “They’re two different competitors in terms of the outcomes that they’ve had. Lucas has at least had situations in which he might have struggled early and been able to gain some confidence through the middle rounds of his start and continue to propel himself to finish some ballgames, give us six or seven innings at times. So it’s two different guys.

“With Gio, I expect that we would have a nice clean start from the beginning, but when he doesn’t I still feel like if he gets through it he’ll settle down and continue to hammer away at what he needs to do in order to get deeper into a ballgame, and that was a little different with Carson. With Carson it was right from the get-go he was struggling, and he had a difficult time extending his outings after the third or fourth because it just kept getting too deep into his pitch count and not really hammering the strike zone as much.”

Renteria is not wrong. Giolito has had a knack to take a rough beginning to a start and turn it into five or six innings. Notably, he gave up a couple first-inning runs and walked seven hitters and still got the win against the Cubs a week and a half ago. And while his first-inning ERA is 10.80 and his second-inning ERA is 12.54, he’s pitched into at least the sixth inning in seven of his 10 starts.

Renteria’s point is that Giolito is learning how to shake off early damage and achieving the goal, most times out, of eating up innings and keeping his team in the game. Those are a couple valuable qualities to develop for a young pitcher. But are those the lone qualities that determine that Giolito is suited to continue his learning process at the major league level? His command remains a glaring problem, and both he and Renteria admitted that his problems are more mental than physical.

“The one thing everyone has to understand is we have to go beyond the physical and attack a little bit more of the mental and emotional and try to connect and slow that down,” Renteria said. “Those aspects are the ones that ultimately, at times, deal in the derailment of the physical action. So if we can kind of calm that down a little bit.

“He’s very focused. Giolito is high intensity. Nice kid but high-intensity young man when he gets on the mound. You might not believe it. He’s going 100 mph. So I think it goes to more just trusting himself, trusting the process, taking it truthfully one pitch at a time.”

Well, if a demotion to the minors isn’t likely, what about moving Giolito to the bullpen? Carlos Rodon and Chris Sale dipped their toes in bullpen waters before moving to the rotation. Could a reversal of that strategy help Giolito?

Well, the current state of the White Sox starting rotation — Fulmer in the minors, Miguel Gonzalez on the 60-day DL and pitchers like James Shields, Hector Santiago and Dylan Covey, who aren’t exactly long-term pieces, getting a lot of starts — doesn’t really allow for another piece to be removed.

“I know they have done it with Rodon and Sale,” Renteria said. “The difference is we don’t have the makeup of the starting rotation that those clubs had in order to put those guys in the ‘pen. We are in a different situation right now. Moving forward, is that something we can possibly do? Absolutely. It has been done with very good success.

“Right now we are in truly discovery mode and adjustment mode and adapting and trying to do everything we can to get these guys to develop their skill sets to be very usable and effective at the major league level and we are doing it to the best of our ability.”

There could be promise in the fact that Giolito has turned a season around as recently as last year. Before he was impressing on the South Side in August and September, he was struggling at Triple-A Charlotte. Even after he ironed things out, things had gotten off to a rocky enough start that he owned a 4.48 ERA and 10 losses when he was called up to the bigs.

It doesn’t seem Giolito will be going back to Charlotte, unless things continue to go in a dramatically poor direction. Right now, these are just more of the growing pains during this rebuilding process. “The hardest part of the rebuild” doesn’t just means wins and losses. It means watching some players struggle through speed bumps as they continue to develop into what the White Sox hope they’ll be when this team is ready to compete.

Danny Farquhar to throw out the first pitch before White Sox game on June 1

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AP

Danny Farquhar to throw out the first pitch before White Sox game on June 1

In another example of how amazing Danny Farquhar’s recovery has been, the pitcher will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the White Sox game on June 1.

Farquhar suffered a brain hemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm during the sixth inning of the team’s April 20 game against the Houston Astros. But his recovery has been astounding, and he was discharged from the hospital on May 7. Farquhar’s neurosurgeon expects him to be able to pitch again in future seasons.

Farquhar has been back to visit his teammates at Guaranteed Rate Field a couple times since leaving the hospital. June 1 will mark his return to a big league mound, even if it’s only for a ceremonial first pitch with his wife and three children. Doctors, nurses and staff from RUSH University Medical Center will be on hand for Farquhar’s pitch on June 1.

The White Sox announced that in celebration of Farquhar’s recovery, they will donate proceeds from all fundraising efforts on June 1 to the Joe Niekro Foundation, an organization committed to supporting patients and families, research, treatment and awareness of brain aneurysms.