Strasburg impressed by Reed's confidence, performance

813538.png

Strasburg impressed by Reed's confidence, performance

KANSAS CITY -- Stephen Strasburg knows how Addison Reed handled his first trying situation and figured hed have no issues becoming a major league closer.

Back when the two were San Diego State Aztecs together from 2008-09, Strasburg, now a National League All-Star for the Washington Nationals, counseled the current White Sox closer.

Reed arrived at San Diego State in 2008, one year after Strasburg. Just like Strasburg experienced the previous season, Reed, a starting pitcher in high school, was thrust into the bullpen and unsure of his role.

The two became fast friends -- Reed is a groomsmen in Strasburgs upcoming wedding -- and excelled on the field. Strasburg went 8-3 with a 1.57 ERA and established himself as college baseballs premier prospect in 2008 while Reed posted a 2.73 ERA in 24 games. While Strasburgs 13 wins in 2009 elevated him into a media darling and helped him become the top pick of the amateur draft that June, Reed posted a 0.65 ERA and converted all 20 of his save attempts.

I had already went through it, Strasburg said. I kind of took him under my wing a little bit and talked to him about the whole closing process and he just excelled in that role and it really just became a part of him. (Tough situations) dont faze him.

Reed returned to the rotation as a junior in 2011 and flourished, going 8-2 with a 2.50 ERA for the Aztecs in 11 starts.

But Strasburg isnt surprised his friend and former teammate wound up back in the bullpen. Nor by how Reed, a third-round pick by the White Sox in 2010, rose from Single-A all the way to the majors within his first full professional season in 2011.

Reed is 13-for-14 in save situations this season for the White Sox.

He has such great short-term memory, Strasburg said. If he goes out and pitches poorly, he wont even remember it the next day. So youre getting a fresh guy with the same confidence every single day. It was great just seeing him tear it up his first year and make it to the big leagues. Hes really worked hard for it.

Carlos Rodon strikes out 11 as White Sox top Indians

Carlos Rodon strikes out 11 as White Sox top Indians

CLEVELAND -- Carlos Rodon and his filthy repertoire made sure Cleveland’s celebration would have to wait for another day.

Rodon had his best outing of the season on Sunday afternoon and the White Sox prevented the Cleveland Indians from clinching an American League Central title with a 3-0 win in front of 24,118 at Progressive Field. Rodon matched a career-high with 11 strikeouts and allowed just two hits and three walks over eight scoreless innings. David Robertson struck out the side in the ninth to convert his 36th save. The two White Sox pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts in the two-hitter, including eight of the last nine.

“That’s the best I’ve seen (Rodon),” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Strike one was the biggest thing and it was with authority, it was placed well. After that it just seems like he got better as the game moved along. A couple of guys get on and he turned it up in key situations. In the middle of the game, late in the game. He had it all.”

Working with a strong fastball and a wipeout slider, Rodon had no-hit stuff from the outset as he breezed through the early innings. The left-hander retired the side in order in the first on 10 pitches and only slowed down once.

He worked around a leadoff walk in the second inning and didn’t put another man on base until he walked Jose Ramirez with one out in the fourth inning. But Rodon rebounded from that with a strikeout of Mike Napoli and a Carlos Santana pop out.

Brandon Guyer ended Rodon’s no-hit bid with a leadoff single to center in the fifth inning and Coco Crisp followed with a walk. Both runners moved into scoring position on a sac bunt, but Rodon toughened up and escaped the jam with his 1-0 lead intact. Michael Martinez’s fly out to shallow right wasn’t deep enough to score Guyer from third and Rodon blew a 95-mph fastball past Rajai Davis to strand the pair in scoring position.

“When he did get in a jam he settled down,” third baseman Todd Frazier said. “You didn’t see him get antsy or excited. You see it in pitchers’ faces. Sometimes guys got antics out there with the pouty face. He didn’t have any of that, he just bulldogged his way through and I couldn’t be happier for him. Hopefully there’s more of that to come for him next year.”

Rodon was superb the rest of the way as he retired the side in order in the sixth and eighth innings, including striking out all three men in the latter. Rodon struck out five of seven batters between the seventh and eighth innings to establish a new season-high and tie his career mark with 11.

Rodon improved to 6-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 10 starts since Aug. 6.

“I was able to drive the ball today and when I’m going good that’s the way it is, driving the ball through the zone and attacking hitters,” Rodon said. “It needs to stay like that.”

The White Sox offense provided just enough support for Rodon against Josh Tomlin and Co.

Frazier’s leadoff single in the fifth inning and stolen base set up the team’s first run as Carlos Sanchez singled to left with two outs to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead.

The White Sox later capitalized on a Michael Martinez error as they loaded the bases with one out. Pinch runner J.B. Shuck tagged on Sanchez’s fly ball to shallow center and scored even though the throw beat him as catcher Chris Gimenez couldn’t hang onto the ball.

Frazier drew a one-out walk in the ninth, stole second base and advanced to third on an error. Omar Narvaez then provided insurance with a two-out RBI single to put the White Sox up by three runs.

That was plenty for Rodon and Robertson to work with.

“There’s a lot on the line for these guys playing on the other side being able to clinch something and he just had his mind set on it,” Ventura said. “Today he was going out with a purpose. He was locating, he had great command on his changeup. It’s a lineup that has been able to rough us up before and he responded.”

Morning Update: White Sox snap losing streak, Cubs blown out by Cardinals

Morning Update: White Sox snap losing streak, Cubs blown out by Cardinals

Complete Bears-Cowboys coverage on CSN

White Sox snap six-game losing streak behind Jose Quintana

After locking up homefield advantage, Cubs flummoxed by Cardinals in blowout loss

Bears vs. Cowboys: And the winner is...

Brian Kelly puts Notre Dame players on notice after brutal loss to Duke

Alexandre Fortin taking advantage of Blackhawks tryout

Cubs: Miguel Montero plays 'psychologist' to get the most out of Jake Arrieta

Bears reactive offense in need of radical reversal

Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen appreciates interview opportunities

White Sox: Tim Anderson adjusting to 'grind' of first MLB season