Chicago White Sox

Errors prove costly, sink White Sox' win streak

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Errors prove costly, sink White Sox' win streak

Saturday, July 17, 2010
Updated: 12:01 AM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

MINNEAPOLIS Sometimes, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen might malaprop, you cant lose for winning.

See, his White Sox are on such a spirited run that even when their effort flags and another long winning streak is hacked at the knees at the ripe age of nine, the second-place Detroit Tigers are romper stomped by the ill-mannered, prepubescent Wahoos somewhere south of Lake Erie.

Thus, the Chicago Nines 7-4 setback to the former Dominican Wunderkind, Francisco Liriano was a mere flesh wound. The Windy City Wonders will remain all alone in first place for another day.

What Im most proud of is our guys fought back, Guillen said. We didnt give up, we made a run, and at the end we had a chance to tie or win the game with our two best hitters Alex Rios and Paul Konerko up.

Perhaps the bigger effect of Lirianos stellar 7.2 innings of workscattering six hits and two earned runs, while striking out eightwas the way it spared the Minnesota bullpen after an ineffectual effort in the series opener.

You have to hand it to Liriano, he was great, said White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham, who along with Alexei Ramirez paced the Sox with 2-4, one RBI nights. He worked both sides of the plate, had tough stuff, both hard and off-speed.

Chicago inflicted little damage on its hurling nemesis, using a Gordon Beckham double-Juan Pierre single to plate its first run in the fifth and an Alex Rios safety on a dropped third strike and Paul Konerko double to draw the White Sox within two in the eighth.

Minnesota struck for its second big inning in as many nights. On Thursday, the Twins offense was fueled by a six-run second that would not hold up against a churning, burning Pale Hose O. On Friday, a fours wild attack from Minnesota exploited Sox starter Gavin Floyd for four in the fourth, as J.J. Hardy, Denard Span and Orlando Hudson singles accounted for all four runs.

I felt like I had pretty good stuff, Floyd said. It was just one of those games. Its not always going to go your way, even when you hope it does.

It was a disastrous fielding night for the Chisox, with badly-winged tosses from Floyd, Beckham and reliever Tony Pena and a two-step effort from Dayan Viciedo at third totaling four errors. A week ago, Chicago committed an almost-unfathomable five Es in a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels, but thats a bullet to be dodged just once a generation.

Weve got to field the ball, Beckham said. We didnt field it tonight, and it cost us.

Beckham tapped in A.J. Pierzynski with a desperation run with one out in the ninth, and when Minnesota closer Jon Rauch imploded by loading the bases with just one out, then walking in a run, it seemed that the Chisox might be destined to push another win streak into double-digits.

Alas, Rios struck a first-pitch liner to center off emergency closer Jesse Crain that hung up just long enough for Span to snag. Crain then punched out Konerko on three straight pitches, and for just one night the Twins could feel as if they were back in the AL Central race.

Eventually you realize that a win streak is going to stop, Floyd said. Hopefully tomorrow well get going on another good run.

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The Triple Play

Saturdays Pitching Probables (6:10 p.m., WGN)

White Sox LHP Mark Buehrle (8-7, 4.24 ERA)

Twins RHP Carl Pavano (10-6, 3.58 ERA)

Super Sox

Juan Pierre had a rare night where he didnt score a run but did muster a K, but overall the left fielder managed some solid defense and a 1-3, one-RBI, two-walk night.

White Sox Notable Numbers

The six White Sox losses over the last 32 games have been by a total of 11 runs, and this was the first game the team has lost by more than two runs since June 8 Gavin Floyd is 3-2 with a 1.30 ERA and 3.54 strikeouts per walk in his last eight starts. Hes received two runs or less support in seven of his last 10 starts Alexei Ramirez is hitting .361 in his last 20 games and is 6-9 in his career vs. Francisco Liriano Gordon Beckham is batting .357 with six homers and 14 RBI in 19 career games vs. the Twins.

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

Why Yoan Moncada's slow start with White Sox could soon be a thing of the past

Why Yoan Moncada's slow start with White Sox could soon be a thing of the past

Yoan Moncada wrapped up his first Crosstown Series — in front of the closest thing to a playoff atmosphere he’ll experience in, likely, a while — with an 0-4 showing in the White Sox 6-3 loss to the Cubs on Thursday. 

The 22-year-old had mixed results facing the defending World Series champions, striking out four times in five at-bats on Monday and hitting his first career home run off Jake Arrieta on Wednesday. His final numbers for these four Crosstown games: 17 plate appearances, two hits, two walks, two runs, eight strikeouts and one hit by pitch. 

Moncada is off to a slow start in his second stint in the majors, but he’s drawing plenty of walks (12.5 percent) and probably has been victimized by some bad luck (a .118 batting average on balls in play which, to say the least, is exceedingly low). 

Manager Rick Renteria, though, likes Moncada’s even-keeled demeanor and his ability to handle the ups and downs of the day-to-day grind of the regular season. 

“What he’s going to be able to do is minimize how much he gets wrapped up in frustration, as opposed to taking the at-bat, the last at-bat, going through pitch by pitch and trying to figure out what it was he wrapped in his approach,” Renteria said. “Younger players usually get very, very frustrated and lose that moment to gain some knowledge. Failure is not in and of itself a bad thing. It’s actually something that can produce a lot of positives. The thing is to try to get them to understand as quickly as possible so they can take those moments and gain information. 

“That’s why his even-keeled approach and even-keeled attitude (will help). He’s got fire. It’s not that he doesn’t care. That’s where people — for a lot of players who are calm or even-keeled, they have fire, they have desire, but they know how to compartmentalize and separate those things and try to gain something from every moment, positive or negative.”

Moncada already took that clear-eyed approach to self-evaluation in the minor leagues, and said that hasn’t changed now that he’s at baseball’s highest level. 

“I’m just keeping the same routine that I was using in the minors,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “And the whole year, I’m just keeping with the things that have been giving me results.”

There’s not much of a common thread between Moncada’s brief call-up with the Boston Red Sox last September and his first few games with the White Sox. Moncada was overmatched in his 2016 debut, striking out 12 times in 20 plate appearances and only drawing one walk. He had four hits, though, so his way-too-small-sample-size BABIP was .571. 

Moncada looks like a different player this year, carrying over his strong Triple-A walk rate (13.6 percent) to his nascent tenure with the White Sox. Eventually, the hits are likely to start falling as long as he doesn’t get out of the approach that got him here — and made him baseball’s biggest prospect in the process. 

“He’s been doing all the work that he has to do to adjust to this level,” first baseman Jose Abreu said through an interpreter. “He’s been doing his same routine from Triple-A and I think that’s something good because you have to stick with the things that are giving you good results.” 

Anthony Rizzo: More than talent needed for successful rebuild

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USA TODAY

Anthony Rizzo: More than talent needed for successful rebuild

Nearly eight months into their rebuild, the White Sox have accrued an eye-popping amount of young talent. The franchise continues to receive kudos even in trading a pair of relievers this week to add depth to what might be the best farm system in baseball.

But having the best farm system -- the White Sox have eight of MLBPipeline.com’s top 100 prospects -- won’t mean much until it’s realized.

Well versed on the subject having experienced it on his own, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo acknowledged before Thursday’s 6-3 win over the White Sox just how uncertain the rebuilding process can be. In Rizzo’s eyes, it wasn’t just talent that got the Cubs over the hump, it was timing, too.

“It happened fast, but it could have went the other way, too,” Rizzo said. “We’re lucky with how everything turned out. Plus, a lot of hard work has gone into it.”

[MORE: Aaron Bummer on what it's like to get called up to the majors]

Similar to Yoan Moncada’s arrival last week, Rizzo was the first [hyped prospect to be promoted] after Theo Epstein’s plan went into place. Acquired the previous winter from San Diego, Rizzo reached the majors midway through the 2012 season with the Cubs only a few months into their rebuild. The three-time All-Star didn’t know it at the time, but he was the first new face the Cubs would introduce to their audience. While Rizzo often [was aware of skepticism of Epstein’s plan], he said he never felt the same pressure from fans. Rizzo also said he can understand why not all the Cubs faithful were on board.

“I think I was naïve and happy to be back in the big leagues,” Rizzo said. “You’ve just got to focus on playing baseball and not worry about everything else that you can’t control.

“I didn’t feel (pressure) at all. I know people were calling for the upper front office’s jobs. But they had a plan and they had a vision and they preached it the entire time.”

“As a fan I can understand why you get upset because you want to win. As a fan of football or whatever sport, if my team doesn’t win, I get mad. But obviously they knew what they were doing.”

So far the White Sox fan base has been mostly supportive of Rick Hahn’s efforts and embraced the idea of building through the farm system. But not everyone is on board with a 25-man roster teardown that appears to have the club hurtling toward its first 100-loss season since 1970.

This week’s Crosstown series is a reminder there are tough times ahead for the White Sox.

The Cubs lost a combined 197 games in 2012 and 2013 and 89 games in 2014. The second half of the 2017 season could be extremely difficult for a White Sox club that has traded Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana, Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, Todd Frazier, Anthony Swarzak and Dan Jennings all since December.

Rizzo thinks the way the Cubs handled those difficulties played into their success in 2015 and 2016.

“It’s life,” Rizzo said. “There are tough times in anything. There are going to be good times and bad times so it’s all about how you approach it and how you handle it.

“We always knew the potential we had, it was just a matter of going out and doing it. Ball’s bouncing your way, calls going your way and staying together.”