White Sox

On spring training carryover

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On spring training carryover

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DKnoblerWhite Sox look so bad this spring that 1 scout said, "They may lose 100 this year." Just remember, AZ and CLE were worst tms in AZ last spg.
Mar 13 via web Favorite Retweet Reply
The White Sox lost again Tuesday, giving them a 2-8 record this spring. That's the second-worst in baseball, with only Atlanta suffering more preseason defeats.

But to proclaim that 10 bad spring training games will signal 100 losses? Without launching into a lengthy stats and scouts rant, that's preposterous.

Alex Rios tore the cover off the ball last spring. His .946 OPS was only out-paced by Carlos Quentin among Sox players with 50 or more spring at-bats. At the bottom of the OPS barrel was A.J. Pierzynski, who had a .617 mark last March.

Spring stats, in a one-year vacuum, don't mean much. Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, Zeke Bonura, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Magglio Ordonez, Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko, Minnie Minoso, Eddie Collins and Carlos Lee -- those guys comprise the top 10 spring hitters by OPS in White Sox history. There's nobody out of place there. And over the course of many seasons, spring results did become predictive for those players.

So when we're dealing with spring stats -- especially just 10 games -- that's absolutely no reason for concern. There are plenty other reasons for concern about the 2012 White Sox, but 10 spring training games shouldn't be one of them.

Marlins pitcher puts White Sox on Perfecto Watch on anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game

Marlins pitcher puts White Sox on Perfecto Watch on anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game

Rick Renteria called it "eerie."

Ten years to the day after Mark Buehrle delivered one of the most memorable moments in White Sox history with a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays, there was another Perfecto Watch on the South Side.

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Caleb Smith didn't reach "call your neighbors" territory, but he retired the first 17 batters he faced in order, taking a perfect game into the sixth inning Tuesday night against the White Sox.

"I'll be honest, it was a little eerie for us," Renteria said after the 5-1 loss. "I kept thinking, I wasn't here 10 years ago for that. And he was working that, and I was like, 'Hey, (pitching coach Don Cooper), I don't like what I'm seeing here.'"

Smith was excellent, striking out nine of those first 17 hitters he put down in order. On a night when White Sox fans were celebrating the anniversary of Buehrle's feat, this was not the type of celebration they had in mind.

"You start to see," White Sox shortstop Ryan Goins said. "Anybody says they don’t feel it, he can say he doesn’t feel it but everybody knows the perfect game is going on. ... But he did a god job keeping us off-balance today."

The White Sox broke up the Perfecto Watch with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Adam Engel putting an end to Smith's stretch of five consecutive strikeouts with a walk. Leury Garcia followed that with a walk of his own, and Jon Jay put an end to the no-hit bid and the shutout with an RBI single.

Smith gave up a base hit to AJ Reed the following inning, but he finished his effort with one run and just four base runners allowed over seven innings. Smith's had himself a nice season for the last-place Marlins, his ERA down to 3.30 after Tuesday night's game.

The four base runners the White Sox got against Smith were the only ones they had on a silent night for the bats. A pair of Marlins relievers followed up Smith's work with two 1-2-3 innings. The White Sox struck out 10 times.

A decade later, Renteria might have been one of the few in the White Sox dugout putting the history together with what was happening on the field Tuesday night, but that didn't make Smith any less dominant on the anniversary of Buehrle's dominance.

"I don’t think we are thinking that far back," Goins said. "We are just trying to go up there and have good at-bats, honestly. He did a great job of not really leaving anything in the middle of the plate to hit, mixing his pitches up and throwing everything for a strike. And then throwing chase pitches when he needed to."

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Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: Yoan Moncada is Mr. Clean (up)

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USA TODAY

Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: Yoan Moncada is Mr. Clean (up)

Bill Melton and David DeJesus join Leila Rahimi on this edition of Baseball Night in Chicago.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below: