White Sox

White Sox stun Tigers with four in eighth to win second straight

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White Sox stun Tigers with four in eighth to win second straight

Their ace got hit hard and they stranded nine runners through the first seven innings on Wednesday night. Given everything that occurred the week before, nobody would have been surprised if the White Sox wilted against the Detroit Tigers and tried to salvage a series victory on Thursday afternoon.

But the belief everyone wearing black and white has consistently talked about, that things would eventually turn in their favor, materialized against Joba Chamberlain in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The result was an improbable, two-out rally as the White Sox batted around to top the Tigers 7-6 at U.S. Cellular Field. Melky Cabrera blasted a game-tying, three-run homer and Avisail Garcia provided the White Sox with their sixth straight two-out hit, a single to center to drive in the go-ahead run.

“We’re a very confident team regardless of what we’ve been through this past week,” rookie Micah Johnson said. “No one thinks we’re out of it in the dugout whatsoever. … The sense of confidence we have is pretty unbelievable. Everyone just passed the torch down to the next guy and everybody in the lineup gets up and it’s like, they’re going to get a hit.”

[MORE: Carlos Rodon ready to make first MLB start Saturday]

Though they had a good approach and knocked Detroit starter Alfredo Simon out after five innings and three runs, the White Sox didn’t have much to show for their effort. Through seven innings, the White Sox stranded nine base runners.

Everything changed against Chamberlain.

“It hurts every time you don't get one,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It's almost like golf when you miss a birdie, you feel like you really don't get that many opportunities. For us, they just kept putting it together.”

Johnson, who said he was “amped” after the first three-hit game of his career, singled with two outs. Adam Eaton, who also reached three times, lined one off the glove of third baseman Nick Castellanos into left field for a hit.

Cabrera then rocketed a 1-1 slider from Chamberlain into the right-field bleachers to stun a crowd subdued by 13 combined walks between the two teams.

But the White Sox didn’t stop there.

Jose Abreu singled to left and Adam LaRoche, who had two hits and a walk, singled him over to third base. Even though he fell behind 0-2 in the count, Garcia singled to center to complete the comeback.

“We needed that,” said Garcia, who was looking for a slider. “We needed to come back like that late in the game. If we keep doing that, we are going to be good for us.”

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The turnaround is a nice change of pace for Sale, who has done most of the heavy lifting for the White Sox the past two seasons. On a night in which he was off, the offense took care of Sale.

After he established a career record for runs allowed in his past outing, Sale tied a career high with five walks.

Not only did Sale walk batters, he didn’t have his customary command, making two-strike mistakes to Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera and the duo made him pay. Martinez hit a two-run homer on a 0-2 changeup to give Detroit a 3-1 lead. Two innings later, Cabrera singled with two strikes to drive in a run as the Tigers moved ahead 4-3. Sale escaped a fifth-inning jam but got back into trouble again in the sixth, which resulted in a run.

All things considered, catcher Tyler Flowers thought Sale played a key role. He was noticeably off and things could have been much worse. Instead, Sale limited the Tigers to five runs despite putting 12 men on base in 5 1/3 innings.

Combined with the bullpen, Sale gave the White Sox a chance to hang around -- something the team has been insisting all along is what matters right now.

Sale thinks Wednesday’s win can only boost confidence even more.

“It definitely feels good,” Sale said. “When you’re down in the dumps and all of a sudden you turn it around, you win a game like we did tonight, I think it’s going to help our morale and our mentality and give us a jolt going forward.”

 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Interview with Hall of Famer Harold Baines

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NBC Sports Chicago

White Sox Talk Podcast: Interview with Hall of Famer Harold Baines

Chuck Garfien sits down with new Hall of Famer Harold Baines.

First, Chuck, Ryan McGuffey and Chris Kamka share their memories of watching Baines play with the White Sox (1:40). Then, Baines explains why he's always been so soft-spoken (8:45), how he was able to play 22 seasons in the majors (13:00), why he's never spoken to GM Larry Himes for trading him to Texas (15:30), the apology he received from President George W. Bush (16:30), what he thinks about the critics who don't think he should be in the Hall of Fame (18:25), a replay of Baines emotional interview with Chuck about his dad (20:50) and more.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson discusses inspiring a younger generation of black baseball players, bat flipping and much more on Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum

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USA TODAY

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson discusses inspiring a younger generation of black baseball players, bat flipping and much more on Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson appeared on Thursday's episode of the Pull Up Podcast hosted by Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and ESPN's Jordan Schultz to discuss many things including his MLB career, the charity work he does in the Chicago community and the need more expression and entertainment (overall) in baseball.

McCollum asked Anderson if the sport of baseball has evolved and what he would do to further these developments, based on the idea that the sport has a stigma of being boring, particularly within inner-city and/or largely black communities. Anderson stated, "They should allow players to have more fun.....just allow players to be themselves." 

Anderson discussed how being the only black player on the White Sox—the team that represents the South Side of Chicago—is extremely important to him and how great the White Sox organization has been at giving him every opportunity to be himself and "be comfortable". He expanded on how much he loves MLB life and how he wants to be able to pass on that love for the game to younger generations, especially the youth of the South Side of Chicago.

"I enjoy it [the responsibility of being the lone black player on the White Sox].....a lot of those kids in they area [the South Side], they kinda remind me of myself."

Schultz brought up the criticism of Anderson's bat flipping, asking him why it was so important for him to show that he was enjoying himself, at the expense of breaking one of baseball's "unwritten rules".

Being of a younger generation, Anderson lamented that it was indeed a new day in baseball and doubled down in saying that the simple aspect of having fun needs to be encouraged even more in the sport. 

"You're playing a game that you're failing most of the time and the times that you do succeed they don't want you to enjoy those moments. For me man, y'know, I think that's just a lot of pain showing.....from struggling, that's just that emotion that's coming out man. You know when you finally get to a point where you feel like you breaking through.....those moments that I want to remember and I want people around me to remember. That’s why I play the way that I do.”

Anderson is indeed having the best season of his career so far, with a slash line of .317/.342/.491 entering Friday morning. He is also nine home runs away from matching his season-high of 20 with over the half the season left to go.

With even more of a platform amid his career-year, Anderson has continued his crusade to make baseball fun again and doesn’t plan on changing up the way he plays the game anytime soon.


 

As touched on earlier in this post, Anderson wants to serve as a role model while also showing the youth that it is OK to be yourself as a Major League Baseball player.

In all the camps and baseball clinics that Anderon hosts, he always makes sure to answer every question about his unique experience in the MLB because he understands the value of kids getting to see someone who looks like them succeeding, even more so in a sport where the number black players sits at a mere 7.7% of the entire league

“Everything [is] not always good [for kids in inner-city communities], so I think that understanding that and kinda being a role model and motivating and inspiring those kids that look like me and I look like them, I think it's easier for those kids to look up to me. So that's why I go out and play hard and....enjoy the moment and do those crazy things on the field.....because that's what those kids like."

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