White Sox

White Sox can't score for Jose Quintana, fall 1-0 to lose seventh straight

White Sox can't score for Jose Quintana, fall 1-0 to lose seventh straight

NEW YORK -- The White Sox played for a run late in Monday’s contest and the strategy backfired.

Looking to break a scoreless tie in the seventh inning, the White Sox called for a bunt with No. 3 hitter Melky Cabrera at bat with two on and none out. Cabrera executed the bunt perfectly, but surrendering the extra out proved costly as New York Mets starter Matt Harvey retired Todd Frazier and J.B. Shuck in order to strand the runners.

Half an inning later, Neil Walker homered off Jose Quintana and the Mets sent the White Sox to their seventh straight loss with a 1-0 defeat in front of 38,339 at Citi Field. Quintana lost for the fifth time in 10 decisions despite limiting New York to a run and six hits in seven innings. The White Sox have lost 15 of 19 and are now only sit two games above .500.

“I think (bunting is) the right choice,” Frazier said. “I’m there to get RBIs. A lot of people complain he’s bunting. No. I’m the 3-4 hitter. I’m supposed to get those runs in. He did his job, got the guys over.

“You got an opportunity to get runs in with less than two outs put the ball on the ground or hit it as deep as you can. On my end, it’s frustrating when you get pitches to hit and don’t do nothing with them.”

Harvey didn’t resemble the guy who recently has faced scrutiny about whether or not he deserves to be in the major leagues. Working with a mid-to-high 90s fastball he located well, you’d have been hard pressed to believe you were watching a pitcher who brought a 6.08 ERA into the contest.

But Harvey finally looked as if he might crack in the seventh inning.

The right-hander has struggled all season in his third trip through the order as opponents have a 1.326 OPS during that round of plate appearances. That’s compared with a .666 OPS in the first pass and an .844 in the second round.

Adam Eaton got the third trip through started nicely with an eight-pitch walk and Jose Abreu jumped on a first-pitch fastball to single to left to put two on for Cabrera, who was at that point 0-for-2.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura called for a sac bunt and Cabrera squared on a first-pitch ball. Two pitches later, Cabrera pushed the pair into scoring position. But the play also took the bat out of Cabrera’s hands.

Harvey then needed only three pitches to induce a foul pop out off Frazier’s bat and Shuck grounded out to eliminate the threat.

“With the way both guys were pitching, you figured one run was going to do it, so you’re trying to get him in scoring position,” Ventura said. “You’re able to get a guy in scoring position and get one at first, and if you get two, you’re looking good.

“(Frazier) knows what to do in that situation, but he just popped it up. He was trying to either hit something in the air or hit a ground ball and get that run. But it’s tough going right now.”

It didn’t get any easier as Walker led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo homer to left to put the Mets ahead for good. That’s essentially how it has gone for the White Sox in this spell. Of their 15 losses, two have come by two or fewer runs.

“It ran a little bit to the middle,” Quintana said. “I tried to go away.

“He was looking for a fastball, and he’s a pretty good hitter, and that’s a mistake for me.”

Mets relievers Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia set down the final six White Sox in order to hand Quintana another loss he didn’t deserve.

The left-hander made it clear early on he was up to the challenge against Harvey. With his team in need of another big start, Quintana struck out the side in the second inning and four straight overall.

He pitched out of trouble in the fourth inning with a double play and limited the Mets’ chances until the seventh. Even after the Walker homer, Quintana -- who struck out seven -- pitched out of another jam, stranding two to keep the White Sox within striking distance.

But those efforts went unrewarded once again. Frazier said he should shoulder the blame, not Ventura.

“There’s no way, it’s me,” Frazier said. “Put the ball in play and stop popping the ball up. Find a way to get it on the ground, hit it as far as you can. I got a fastball to hit, I got two of them. You don’t get that often, especially with a guy like Harvey throwing.

“He missed his spot and I missed my swing. So that’s on me.”

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

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AP

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

Coming to you from Washington DC, we speak with Dylan Cease who competed in the MLB Futures Game along with his Birmingham Barons teammate Luis Basabe. 

Cease talks about the White Sox loaded farm system, what players have impressed him the most, where he gets his composure on the mound and more. 

Check out the entire podcast here:

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fernando Tatis, Jr. is one of the brightest future stars in the game. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball, one spot behind Eloy Jimenez.

He’s a five-tool shortstop slashing .289/.359/.509 at Double-A San Antonio with 15 home runs, 42 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 85 games. He’s bilingual, charismatic, the kind of guy who could be a face of a franchise.

And two years ago, he was property of the White Sox.

That was until they traded Tatis, who was only 17 at the time, to the Padres for James Shields. Tatis had yet to play a single game in the White Sox farm system, so it was tough to predict his future. However, speaking with Tatis before he competed in the MLB Futures Game on Sunday, the trade was definitely a shock to him.

“I was surprised. It was weird. For a kid that young to get traded, I had never heard of it. When they told me that, I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’” Tatis said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

No front office is going to bat 1.000, and when it comes to Tatis, this is a trade the White Sox would love to have back.

But first, more perspective.

In June of 2016, six months before the White Sox started their rebuild, they were 29-26, a game and a half out of first place. With Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and a healthy Carlos Rodon anchoring their rotation, they felt that with the addition of Shields, they could compete for the division.

Unfortunately, perception didn’t meet reality. Shields struggled on the mound with the White Sox in 2016 and 2017. His numbers have improved considerably, and he could return the White Sox another prospect if he’s dealt before the trade deadline. However, it’s unlikely they’ll receive a player with the potential that Tatis has right now.

“(The trade) was about getting a good starter so they could get to the playoffs. I understood. I know this game is a business,” Tatis said.

Before the trade occurred, Tatis looked into his future and saw a day when he’d be the White Sox starting shortstop.

“Yeah, that was my goal when (White Sox director of international scouting) Marco Paddy signed me,” Tatis said. “We talked about it when I started and that was the goal.”

His goal now is to make it to the major leagues with the Padres.

“I’m pretty close. I want to keep working. When they decide to call me up, I’ll be ready.”

As for his former team, he’s impressed with the talent the White Sox have assembled.

“They’re building something special. They have really good prospects. I wish the best for them.”

You can’t help but wonder what the rebuild would look like if Tatis was along for the ride. He’s the one who got away.