White Sox

Marlins tee off on Garza

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Marlins tee off on Garza

MIAMI Matt Garza walked off the mound shaking his head, and it looked like he had some words for home-plate umpire Brian ONora. He disappeared into a tunnel leading out of the dugout.

I always say something on my way out, Garza said, good or bad.

Marlins Park is loud, flashy and unpredictable, and that might as well describe Garzas personality. Its early reputation for being a pitchers park couldnt stop the two balls crushed by Donnie Murphy and Hanley Ramirez.

Those two two-run homers set off the flashing lights and water works on the pop-art sculpture that reportedly cost 2.5 million.

Chairman Tom Ricketts and several other high-level Cubs executives toured the futuristic stadium on Wednesday, and they watched their team get dismantled during a 9-1 loss in front of 25,723 fans.

Garza wanted two pitches back, the 93 mph fastball Murphy lifted over the left-field wall, and the Frisbee slider Ramirez hammered to left-center. You couldnt blame him if he felt like he had to be perfect.

If I start being perfect, its going to turn into one big old circus, Garza said, trying to dot every i and cross every t. So Im just going to keep doing what Ive been doing my whole career, and thats keep going after the next one, keep getting ready and hit that pavement and grindstone. Lets go.

This guaranteed the Cubs (3-9) will lose their first four series of the year, and there are warning signs all around. Theyve scored more than four runs only three times this season. Marlon Byrd is hitting .081 (3-for-37). The bullpen is waiting to see how Kerry Woods right shoulder responds to a cortisone injection.

Were not giving them much of a lead (or) scoring any runs, manager Dale Sveum said. So its tough for the starting pitchers to just know that they have to be perfect all the time.

Garza (1-1, 3.66 ERA) was pulled after five-plus innings and was charged with six runs. He had failed to execute a sacrifice bunt earlier and grabbed a bat.

Sveum had trouble suppressing a smile: He thought he was going to hit. He was going to get some swings down in the tunnel. We got a little tee and the net down there.

Garza said: Yeah, I wanted to go square up in the mirror and just kind of see where I was at in the stance, stuff like that.

Whether the Cubs admit it or not, the frustration level has to be rising.

Mark Buehrle, whos spent almost his entire life in the Midwest, doesnt exactly scream South Beach. But the Marlins gave him a four-year, 58 million contract to reunite with Ozzie Guillen and recreate some of the World Series magic they discovered with the 2005 White Sox.

Garza couldnt match Buehrle (1-2, 2.66), who sliced through the Cubs lineup, allowing one run on six hits. He struck out five while walking none, taking advantage of a team thats overanxious.

He had his A-game, utility man Jeff Baker said. Guys are busting their tail in the cage. We have an approach. Were just not executing right now. Unfortunately, thats the way it goes. Sometimes when you try to get on the gas a little more and go harder, harder, harder, it gets worse. Hopefully, guys will just relax and we can have better at-bats when we need to have em.

Who knew? Stat nuggets from the White Sox pre-All-Star break season

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USA TODAY

Who knew? Stat nuggets from the White Sox pre-All-Star break season

It’s the All-Star Break, so why not take a look back at the first 58.6% of the White Sox season.

 

They may not be contending quite yet, but there have been several interesting moments. 

 

Focusing on the hitters, let’s take a look at ten amazing achievements this season.  And while there may be several to list for some players, I’m going to limit it to one fact per player.  Let’s go.

 

  • On March 29 (Opening Day), Matt Davidson became the 1st player in MLB history to hit 3 Home Runs in a game in March.
  • On April 23, Yoán Moncada (22 years, 331 days) became the youngest player in White Sox history with a double, triple & HR in the same game, passing Tito Francona (24 years, 205 days) on 5/28/1958.
  • Daniel Palka recorded a triple on May 22nd, making him the first player in White Sox history with 3 triples & 3 HR within his first 20 career MLB games.
  • On July 3, Palka (LF) & Avisaíl García (RF) became the second pair of White Sox outfielders to each hit 2 HR in the same game; the other pair? Minnie Miñoso (LF) and Larry Doby (CF) on July 30, 1957.
  • On May 28, Matt Skole became the first player in White Sox history with a home run AND a walk in his MLB Debut.
  • The lone White Sox walkoff Home Run of 2018 was off the bat of a player who hit .116 for the Sox this season (Trayce Thompson on May 3 – he went 14 for 121 this season for the Southsiders).
  • The White Sox have started a game with backto-back home runs four times in franchise history. 9/2/1937, 7/4/2000, 9/2/2017 & 6/12/2018.  Each of the last 2 times, Yolmer Sánchez hit the second home run.
  • On June 23, Tim Anderson became the first White Sox shortstop ever to homer on his birthday.
  • On June 27, José Abreu hit his 136th career HR and passed Minnie Miñoso for most by a Cubanborn player in White Sox history.  He hit one more since.
  • Leury García managed to become the first White Sox player with at least 10 stolen bases (he has 10) without being caught before the AllStar Break since Mike Cameron (13 for 13) in 1997.

Trubisky on NFC North QBs: 'Bring 'em on'

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USA Today

Trubisky on NFC North QBs: 'Bring 'em on'

The NFC North was recently dubbed the most talented quarterback division in the NFL largely because of Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford.

Bears starter Mitch Trubisky may eventually be viewed as an elite quarterback someday, but his average rookie season has created some doubt among analysts about whether he'll ever be that guy.

In a recent sit-down with Bleacher Report's Tyler Dunne, Trubisky said he isn't concerned with outside opinion, nor is he intimidated by the resumes of his NFC North counterparts.

"I've realized that these people you look up to—watching Aaron Rodgers, watching Tom Brady—they're humans just like I am," Trubisky told Dunne. "They can make mistakes. They're just people. We've all been through similar things to get to where we are now. ... As a competitor, you want the biggest, tallest challenge you can possibly ask for.

"So, yeah, give me the division with Aaron Rodgers, Stafford and Kirk Cousins. Bring 'em on."

Trubisky's confidence has been evident this offseason. There's no doubt who the Bears' leader in the locker room is. Just ask Kyle Long.

Still, he's not without his critics, something he said he doesn't consume himself with.

"Why would I be worried about what anybody has to say on the outside?" he said. "You're sitting in a chair talking into a microphone. I'm in the war. I'm in the middle of the hurricane."

Trubisky's name is consistently mentioned after DeShaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes whenever the 2017 quarterback class is discussed and few -- if any -- experts expect him to be the best of the three.

But none of that matters. All Trubisky has to be is a winner in Chicago, and he certainly has the confidence needed to get there.

"So get ready," he said. "I'm going to be prepared. I'm going to give you everything I've got. Hopefully, I make people eat their words with what they say about me."