The mounting mistakes have not sat well with Robin Ventura, who was upset by a miscommunication between his players on Thursday night.
While Adam Eaton raced in and Alexei Ramirez backpedaled on Corey Hart’s routine blooper in the seventh inning, neither took charge as the ball fell in for a one-out single. Jeff Samardzija, who has had more freebies given away by his defense than any other White Sox pitcher in 2015, allowed one more single and needed seven extra pitches before he pitched around yet another gaffe. The play didn’t figure into a 3-2 White Sox loss — their seventh straight — but it was enough to catch Ventura’s ire afterward.
“That’s just bad,” Ventura said. “I’m tired of talking about it. They know it. We work it all of spring training — you’ve probably seen it a few hundred times that we work on it. I’m getting tired of talking about it because that’s just bad.”
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Asked who needs to take charge, Ventura didn’t assign any blame to either Eaton or Ramirez, both of whom were 2014 Gold Glove finalists. But it's clear Ventura is tired of misplays by a defense that is last in the majors in Defensive Runs Saved and Defensive Efficiency. Eaton ranks 25th out of 25 qualified center fielders with minus-9 Defensive Runs Saved while Ramirez is 25th of 27 shortstops, with minus-7.
“They need to catch it — that’s what they need to do,” Ventura said.
Asked about the play, Eaton cited that it didn’t factor in the final result before he conceded his role in the effort.
“You guys ask the questions when it’s not going well,” Eaton said. “Like I said, it didn’t hurt. It was a tough play, but it was glaring because it’s, like I said, we’re not playing well. But if we would have won the game 5-2 it probably wouldn’t even have been a blip on your radar. Like I said, kind of a tough play but it’s probably somewhere where I need to take charge as a center field and call him off, but it’s a good thing it didn’t hurt us in the end.”
When Chris Sale was with the White Sox, fans dreamed of seeing him headline a postseason playoff rotation.
That never materialized in his time with the White Sox, but Sale is headlining a World Series rotation for the Red Sox. The 29-year-old pitched Game 1 for the Red Sox against the Dodgers on Tuesday.
Sale didn't last long, making it into the fifth and getting pulled before recording an out. In those 4+ innings, Sale gave up three runs while striking out seven.
One of the key plays of the game featured Manny Machado getting an RBI single against Sale in the third inning to tie the game at 2-2. Machado later had an RBI groundout to again tie the game in the fifth before Boston regained the lead in the bottom half of that inning.
Was that a meeting of the White Sox past (Sale) against the White Sox future (Machado)? Machado will be a highly sought after free agent this winter and the White Sox have been connected to the former Orioles infielder since last offseason.
Game 1 featured a stellar pitching matchup of Sale against Clayton Kershaw, but it didn't materialize as it looked on paper. Sale labored while Kershaw gave up five runs in 4+ innings.
This postseason hasn't been a standout one for Sale. The lefty has a 4.40 ERA in 16 1/3 innings over four appearances (three starts and a relief appearance).
The longer Chris Sale is with the Red Sox, the less this will feel relevant to the White Sox, but it is still something to see the longtime White Sox ace on the mound starting a World Series opener.
Former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski comes on the podcast and tells Chuck Garfien why he’d sign Nolan Arenado over Manny Machado (6:15).
Pierzynski criticizes Machado for saying that he doesn’t play hard everyday (7:08). Would he make Machado the face of the White Sox franchise? (12:30)
He also talks about how bullpenning cost the Milwaukee Brewers a spot in the World Series (14:45).
He reveals the former White Sox player who had a gift for recognizing players who tipped their pitches (21:00). Pierzynski tells behind the scenes stories about former teammates Nick Swisher, Bartolo Colon, Gavin Floyd and more (28:00).
Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:
White Sox Talk Podcast