A day after he made clear his feelings about poor play, Robin Ventura backed up his strong assertion.
Prior to Friday’s game, the White Sox manager again indicated a Thursday miscommunication between Adam Eaton and Alexei Ramirez that resulted in a single on a routine pop up isn’t OK even though it didn’t result in a run. Though Eaton later said it’s his responsibility, he first suggested after Thursday’s game the play wasn’t as big of a deal because it didn’t hurt the White Sox. But Ventura sees it another way and made it clear the mistake impacted the team’s seventh straight loss, a 3-2 decision against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“It always affects, it affects the rest of the game,” Ventura said. “For me, I know in talking to him, it affects everything that goes with it because now the guy gets on base. You’re always dealing with the next hitter, any time, for Jeff (Samardzija) being out there, you don’t get that out, you’re now dealing with another hitter when there’s a possibility of maybe sending him back out. Any time plays aren’t made, it does affect the rest of the game.”
Eaton’s quote was of out character for the center fielder, who normally talks about little things and takes a team-first approach. But it also comes at the end of a long week and 2 1/ 2 months into a very trying season. The White Sox have mostly been pleased with the returns they have received of late from Eaton, who has a .273/.365/.400 slash line in 63 plate appearances this month. Ventura thinks Eaton has bounced back after a tough start and believes his leadoff man may have been trying to overcompensate for the team’s struggles because he signed a five-year extension in spring training.
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“He’s getting back to that point even offensively where he’s doing things a little more common to what we’re expecting out of him,” Ventura said. “He’s getting on base, stealing bases, things like that.
“When you get (an extension), that’s for what you were doing and what you did, not expecting more or anything else — for those exact things you were doing. He’s not a four-hole hitter, he doesn’t need to do any more, hitting home runs or something special, it’s just be an agitator and do the things that go you there.”