Eighth straight loss officially eliminates White Sox

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Eighth straight loss officially eliminates White Sox

Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010
Updated 1:48 AM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

OAKLAND Before Tuesdays tilt vs. the Oakland Athletics, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen dismissed the notion that he should be embarrassed by how his team has been playing during an abominable stretch run, remaining defiant.

No, (Monday) night we were flat, he said. Besides that, weve played hard.

In spite of counsel advising the skipper to reconsider his answer, hes sticking to it.

If they quit, I will kick their (expletive). If they quit, they wont play for me, Guillen insisted postgame. Offensively, right now, were not getting anything going. Pitching, were not getting anything going. I dont think we have any quitters. We just havent played that well.

Indeed it was another flat performance by the White Soxa 7-2 loss to the Asthat yoked Chicago with a season-high, eight-game losing streak. It was no squeaker, either, as it took the rude hosts all of four innings to jump ahead 5-0. Coupled with the offensive eruption was another lights-out game by Oaklands Trevor Cahill, who handcuffed the White Sox for eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits, striking out seven. Cahill became the first Oakland pitcher in six years to win 17 games.

Oakland pummeled Chicago starter Mark Buehrle with 11 hits and five earned runs over his six innings. The relatively short outing by the veteran lefty means hell need one more appearance, of at least 1 23 innings, to stretch his streak of seasons with at least 10 wins, 200 innings and 30 starts to an MLB-best 10 straight seasons.

I dont like losing, Buehrle said. This was one of those games you cant catch a break. They were putting balls in play, finding holesI felt like I was pitching pretty decent, my fielders were diving all over the place making good plays, but it was just one of those days.

Oaklands got a good pitching staff, and the last couple guys we faced were pretty good. We attacked them today, but Buehrle got hit, Guillen said.

The big blow came with one out in the fourth, when ninth-place hitter Cliff Pennington crushed a double over left fielder Juan Pierres head, doubling Oaklands lead to 4-0. As catcher Kurt Suzuki had plated the first two As runs of the night with RBIs in the first and third innings.

The White Sox fought back, in a manner of speaking, with run-scoring groundouts, beginning in the fifth, courtesy of Brent Morel, who drove in Alexei Ramirez. One inning later, Manny Ramirez trumped the rooks raking by plating Pierre on a double-play grounder.

The fuse of a ninth-inning rally was lit by Mark Kotsay and Alexei Ramirez, capping off 2-for-4 nights with a single and a double, respectively. As manager Bob Geren yanked reliever Henry Rodriguez after his ineffective outing, calling on Craig Breslow to extinguish the fire. Breslow walked pinch-hitter Andruw Jones, packing the sacks with just one out, but Morel struck out and a groundout by pinch-hitter Paul Konerko ended the game. Oakland hasnt lost any of the 68 games this season it has led heading into the ninth.

This loss, coupled with another Minnesota win, clinched the A.L. Central for the Twins. The White Sox remain in A.L. wild card contention, at least for one more day.

I know were playing hard and trying hard, doing everything we could to finish strong, but we didnt get it done, Guillen offered as a postmortem on both game and season.

We brought ourselves back into contention and gave ourselves a chance, Buehrle said. But these past couple of weeks, we havent played well enough to deserve to be in the race.

It seems the 2010 White Sox earned Guillens eternal and unyielding respect for bouncing back strong in June, when the "Gone Fishing" sign could have been hung. But if this September swoon persists, its in the managers best interest to investigate. His Chisox went from world beaters to world-beaten at a frightening velocity, and without digging up some answers, 2011 will be a repeat, in all the wrong ways.

If nothing else, Tuesday outlined the perils of looking the other way.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jason Benetti stops by to talk the future of the White Sox

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jason Benetti stops by to talk the future of the White Sox

There's a lot of buzz around the future of the White Sox.

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti joined SportsTalk Live on Wednesday to discuss the team's exciting young prospects and how soon they'll be making their way to the South Side.

Also joining Pat Boyle on this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast are the Tribune's David Haugh, Pro Football Weekly's Hub Arkush and WGN Radio's Sam Panayotovich.

The guys also react to Mike Glennon's recent comments and Kevin White’s uncertain status at OTAs.

Plus, they wonder if Kyle Schwarber has finally found his spot in the Cubs' lineup.

Take a listen to the latest episode below:

Jose Quintana rocked as White Sox swept by Diamondbacks

Jose Quintana rocked as White Sox swept by Diamondbacks

PHOENIX — Jose Quintana looked as if he might be on the way to a second consecutive gem on Wednesday afternoon before it quickly took a turn for the worse.

After three perfect frames, Quintana got hit hard in the middle innings and was forced out of the contest. The Arizona Diamondbacks offense awoke from an early slumber against Quintana to complete a sweep of the White Sox, who fell 8-6 in front of 18,002 at Chase Field. The eight earned runs allowed by Quintana are the most he has yielded in a start in two years and raised his earned-run average to 4.82.

“For us it’s also a tough thing to figure because he has been so great in his career,” first baseman Jose Abreu said through an interpreter. “It’s something that we are not accustomed to seeing from him. But he’s a hard worker and we all know how talented he is and we’re all confident in him. I think it’s just a matter of one thing for him to clean it up and to be that Jose Quintana that we know.”

None of what transpired in the first three innings Wednesday offered any indication of what was to come. The 2016 All-Star pitcher picked up where he’d left off on Friday night in Seattle when he combined with David Robertson on a one-hitter.  

Quintana’s offspeed pitchers were diving and Diamondbacks hitters had no chance. He induced checked swing after checked swing and racked up five strikeouts in three innings and even made a smooth defensive play on Gregor Blanco’s bunt-base hit attempt to start the fourth inning with the White Sox leading 2-0.

But then it all went south.

Nick Ahmed doubled to left and red-hot Paul Goldschmidt doubled to deep center to make it a 2-1 game before Chris Owings tied it with an RBI single. Things only got worse for Quintana in the fifth inning when he hit the first hitter Brandon Drury with a 1-2 pitch. Quintana then left a 1-0 fastball over the middle and Jake Lamb didn’t miss the mistake, driving it the opposite way for a two-run homer and a 4-2 lead. Four batters later, Ahmed doubled in a pair and the rout was on. Goldschmidt’s single knocked Quintana from the game.

Owings had a sac fly off Anthony Swarzak to score one inherited run and Drury singled in the other to put Arizona ahead by six.

Quintana allowed eight hits and struck out seven. The eight runs he allowed were the most he’d allowed in a start since the Detroit Tigers tagged him for nine runs on April 19, 2015.

“It’s just execution,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Most times when guys are being hit around, a lot of it has more to do with executing and location. I think it’s more pitches get out over the plate. ... Based on the swings, they were pretty good swings, so I’m assuming they were pitches out over the plate.”

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

The poor outing raised Quintana’s earned-run average by nearly a point from 3.92. Even though it’s still more than two months until the Aug. 1 nonwaiver trade deadline, Quintana’s inconsistent start to the season has also almost certainly harmed his perceived trade value. Not only has Quintana pitched poorly, but shifts in the plans of other clubs could provide contending teams with more trade options. However, with teams still focused on the upcoming draft and the deadline a way off, Quintana has more than enough time to get back on track.

Quintana said he plans to do what he’s always done — discard the tough outing and move on. It’s the same way he has operated since 2012 and it has helped become a highly regarded member of the White Sox.

“Just turn the page and keep going,” Quintana said. “It’s different feeling than last year. But I feel pretty good. Never think in the past. If you have a bad day, just keep going. Keep doing, we doing good in the past. So, just keep doing my things and throw the ball well.”

One player who has continued to stay hot for more than a month is Abreu, who blasted his 100th homer on Tuesday night. For an encore, Abreu matched his career high with four hits, including a two-run homer in the sixth inning that got the White Sox to within 8-4.

Melky Cabrera had an RBI groundout in the seventh inning and Abreu singled in another to make it an 8-6 game.

But the White Sox got no closer.

Leury Garcia’s solo homer in the second inning gave the White Sox an early lead. Abreu doubled in the fourth and scored on a double play to make it a 2-0 lead.

From April 19 on, Abreu is hitting .347/.404/.677 with 10 home runs and 22 RBIs in 136 plate appearances. He’s currently on pace for 36 home runs, which would tie the career high he established in 2014.