White Sox

Peavy dominates as Sox crush Indians

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Peavy dominates as Sox crush Indians

CLEVELAND -- Jake Peavy coasted for six innings before giving up a run in the seventh and Adam Dunn homered, leading the Chicago White Sox to an easy 8-1 win over the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night and a split of their four-game series.Peavy (4-1) allowed seven hits, struck out five and had little difficulty with the Indians, who didn't get a runner past second until the seventh. The right-hander has been overpowering in his last five starts, posting a 1.36 ERA.Dunn connected for his 10th homer, a two-run shot, in the first inning off Jeanmar Gomez (2-2) and the White Sox added six runs in the fourth off Cleveland's starter, who was tagged for eight runs and nine hits - eight singles.Alexei Ramirez had three hits and Alejandro De Aza drove in two runs for the White Sox.After playing in seven straight games decided by two runs or fewer, the White Sox finally had an easy one.They were swept in a day-night doubleheader on Monday, but bounced back to take the final two games in the series. Chicago improved to 14-5 in its last 19 games at Progressive Field.Peavy was only in trouble once before the seventh.Travis Hafner led off Cleveland's second with a single, and one out later, Shin Soo-Choo singled. Michael Brantley followed by hitting a line drive up the middle that Peavy somehow caught against his stomach before throwing to first to force Choo for an inning-ending double play.Brantley just shook his head and laughed as he headed back to the dugout.Peavy made it look easy until his final inning, when the Indians finally strung together some quality at-bats.Dunn's homer was really all Peavy needed.After the start of the game was delayed for 64 minutes by rain that never arrived, Gomez walked De Aza leading off. One out later, Dunn drove a 1-0 pitch deep into the lower seats in right, the burly designated hitter's sixth homer in the last 11 games.Dunn would later strike out in his 36th consecutive game, which according research done by the Indians, is the longest streak since Bob Veale (1967-68).The White Sox added six runs in the fourth, torturing Gomez by going base to base with hard-hit singles and a pair of walks to open an 8-0 lead.A.J. Pierzynski, Ramirez and Eduardo Escobar each hit RBI singles before De Aza drove in two runs with a single to center. Gordon Beckham followed with a sinking liner to left that Johnny Damon snared with a diving catch for the second out, but Escobar alertly tagged and scored to cap the inning.As Gomez struggled, Indians manager Manny Acta elected not to get anyone up in his overworked bullpen.Peavy also allowed White Sox manager Robin Ventura to rest his relievers. Before the game, the club announced that new closer Chris Sale would undergo an MRI on his sore left elbow Thursday in Chicago. Sale was recently moved from the starting rotation into the closer's role because of tenderness in his elbow.Ventura insisted the move is precautionary at this point, but the team won't really know until it gets test results on the 23-year-old Sale.NOTES:
The Indians remain uncertain about RHP Roberto Hernandez's future. Formerly known as Fausto Carmona, Hernandez remains in the Dominican Republic, where he was arrested in January on identity fraud charges. Acta said Hernandez's representatives thought he would have rejoined the club by now, but he's been unable to get a work visa to return to the U.S. ... Acta rested 3B Jack Hannahan, who "tweaked" his left groin in Tuesday's game. Acta expects Hannahan, who is batting .291 with 16 RBIs in 26 games, will be available for Thursday's series opener in Boston. ... White Sox 3B Brent Morel was a late scratch from the starting lineup with a sore lower back. ... Since the start of the 2003, White Sox pitchers lead the majors with 815 quality starts.

White Sox free-agent focus: Dallas Keuchel

White Sox free-agent focus: Dallas Keuchel

This week, we’re profiling some of the biggest names on the free-agent market and taking a look at what kind of fits they are for the White Sox.

The White Sox need starting pitching, so why not bring in a guy with a Cy Young Award sitting on his mantle?

Dallas Keuchel is one of the two biggest names on the starting-pitching market this winter, along with Patrick Corbin, who will get more attention — and likely more dollars — because he's two years younger. But Keuchel's the guy with the track record, the AL Cy Young winner in 2015 (when he was also a top-five MVP finisher), a two-time All Star, a four-time Gold Glove winner and the owner of a 3.28 ERA over the past five seasons, during which he helped the Houston Astros transition from rebuilding to one of baseball's perennial contenders. You might have heard something about them winning the World Series in 2017.

It's true that things have been somewhat up and down for Keuchel since his Cy Young win. After posting a 2.48 ERA with a career-high 216 strikeouts in 33 starts during that 2015 season, he had a 4.55 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 26 starts in 2016, then a 2.90 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 23 starts in 2017 and a 3.74 ERA and 153 strikeouts in 34 starts last season. But three times in the last five years he's finished with an ERA under 3.00. In other words, he's pretty darn good.

How might he fit with the White Sox? Well, in terms of whether or not he lines up with their long-term plans. Keuchel's older than Corbin, but it's not like he's old. He'll be 31 on Opening Day 2019, and a long-term deal, which he's expected to fetch, would keep him around for another planned transition from rebuilding to contention. Keuchel — a veteran who's accomplished a lot already, including putting a World Series ring on his finger — could be viewed as a Jon Lester type for these rebuilding White Sox, a big name who buys into the front office's long-term plan and helps make those plans become reality.

And there's no doubt the White Sox are in the market for starting pitching this winter. Michael Kopech is recovering from Tommy John surgery, and the White Sox decided not to pick up James Shields' option for 2019. That leaves two holes in the starting rotation. An addition like Keuchel would be a long-term one, which means the White Sox would opt to make him a safety net for their still-developing fleet of young pitchers and choose not to roll the dice on a homegrown starting staff for 2020. However, if they're confident in a quintet of Kopech, Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease, then maybe they opt for a couple one-year fill-ins in 2019. Keuchel would not be a one-year fill-in.

Keuchel could also fill the role vacated by Shields, a veteran who could help bring along the young guys in an off-the-field mentor role. His experience going through the dark days of a rebuild — he was a member of Astros teams that lost a combined 310 games from 2012 to 2014 — and coming out the other end a world champ would also figure to be of value.

Of course, the White Sox wouldn't be alone in a pursuit of Keuchel, if they were interested. Thanks to Clayton Kershaw signing a new contract extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he's one of the two biggest names on the market when it comes to starting pitchers. The White Sox would likely have to go through the same bidding war and pitch of planned future success they would with other big names like Corbin, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

But there's no doubt Keuchel would be an upgrade to this rotation in 2019 and could provide plenty of value for years beyond.

ESPN forgot about the White Sox again, and the Big Hurt let 'em hear about it

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USA TODAY

ESPN forgot about the White Sox again, and the Big Hurt let 'em hear about it

ESPN forgot about the White Sox again.

The Worldwide Leader in Sports has made a habit of failing to remember the South Siders in recent years, most notably forgetting (on multiple occasions) that the White Sox did in fact win the 2005 World Series.

It happened enough times that A.J. Pierzynski had some opinions about it.

This time, the omission came in an effort to illustrate how good Mike Trout is, with ESPN researcher Paul Hembekides listing baseball players who appeared in the top four in MVP voting three or more times. Trout, the Los Angeles Angels superstar, has already done it seven times, and boy that is terrific.

But Hembekides left someone out. And that someone let him hear about it.

You tell 'em, Frank.

Yes, the Big Hurt finished in the top four of the AL MVP vote on six separate occasions: 1991 (third), 1993 (first), 1994 (first), 1997 (third), 2000 (second) and 2006 (fourth, while playing for the Oakland Athletics).

ESPN's blind spot for the White Sox doesn't end up meaning much of anything, though it's amusing that they've now managed to leave out a relatively recent World Series champion and a relatively recent first-ballot Hall of Famer.

We all make mistakes. But it's a little funny that ESPN's are, repeatedly, White Sox related.