Chicago White Sox

Floyd rocked as Sox drop third-straight game

447535.jpg

Floyd rocked as Sox drop third-straight game

Saturday, April 16, 2011
Posted: 8:29 p.m. Updated: 9:46 p.m.

Associated Press
With six commemorative game balls sitting in his locker, Tyler Chatwood appeared stoic on the outside.

On the inside, he was ecstatic.

Chatwood pitched seven impressive innings for his first major league win and Hank Conger hit a three-run homer to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Chicago White Sox 7-2 on Saturday.

"What you saw tonight is what we saw in Tyler," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He had a couple of good changeups and some good curveballs, but everything is set up on his fastball command."

With starters Scott Kazmir and Joel Pineiro on the disabled list, the Angels have turned to Chatwood, who dropped a 4-0 decision to the Cleveland Indians in his debut Monday.

"I felt better today," Chatwood said. "Nerves were gone. I just felt more confident."

After the start was delayed more than 2 hours by rain, the 21-year-old rookie allowed just one run and five hits. The lone blemish was Carlos Quentin's fifth-inning homer, his third of the season and the 100th of his career.

Howie Kendrick also homered and drove in three runs for the Angels. Leadoff man Maicer Izturis had three hits.

Gavin Floyd (1-1) took the loss, yielding six runs and eight hits over six innings. He threw three wild pitches and allowed hits to the leadoff batter in each of the first four innings.

"The two home runs got him," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He got men at second base with less than two out for three innings in a row. He battled."

Paul Konerko hit his fourth homer for Chicago, a solo shot with two outs in the ninth to end a 1-for-16 slide.

Chatwood (1-1) retired 10 of his first 13 batters and induced three double plays. He struck out three. The right-hander gave up four runs over five innings Monday against Cleveland.

Izturis has 14 hits in his last 26 at-bats against the White Sox, getting hits in seven consecutive meetings. He is 6 for 10 in the series.

After Vernon Wells doubled to lead off the second and advanced to third on a fly ball, Floyd retired Mark Trumbo on a groundout and had a two-strike count on Conger before his second wild pitch in two innings allowed Wells to score the first run. Conger then grounded out.

In the third inning, Brandon Wood doubled and advanced to third on Izturis' second hit of the game, but Izturis was tagged out in a rundown. Kendrick then drove a 3-2 pitch over the left-center wall to put the Angels up 3-0.

The 391-foot shot was Kendrick's fifth homer of the season.

After allowing two hits to start the fourth, Floyd appeared to have found his rhythm, retiring eight in a row. But after a pair of two-out walks in the sixth, pitching coach Don Cooper paid Floyd a visit and Conger drove the next offering down the right-field line for his second homer of the season.

Conger is one of three catchers the Angels are carrying. Scioscia spoke at length before the game about the platoon and how he hoped someone would break away from the pack with offensive production.

"They were pounding me in. I was getting beat," Conger said. "After that mound visit I just wanted to hunt a fastball and put a swing on it."

Starting his third consecutive game, Conger finally broke through with the bat - but he hasn't won the starting job yet.

"What's helping him is the way he's played defensively," said Scioscia, a former catcher. "If you're a catcher and you're not doing the job defensively, it doesn't matter how well you swing the bat."

Quentin led off the fifth by driving the first pitch he saw over the left-center fence for his 100th home run.

"It's a nice accomplishment," Quentin said. "Obviously, you want the win first."

Floyd was relieved in the seventh by Will Ohman, who gave up a double to Izturis and an RBI single to Kendrick that extended the Angels' lead to 7-1.

Konerko homered off Rich Thompson in the ninth.

Juan Pierre had two hits and reached base three times for the White Sox. He was caught stealing in the third, unsuccessful for the fifth straight time. He is 4 for 9 on stolen base attempts this season.

NOTES

The start was delayed for 2 hours, 10 minutes. ... Quentin has five hits in his last 32 at-bats. ... White Sox RHP Jake Peavy (right shoulder tendinitis) threw 34 pitches in a side session. He expects to throw 90-95 pitches Monday with Double-A Birmingham and will try to exceed 100 pitches next Saturday with Triple-A Charlotte. He hopes to rejoin the team by the end of April. ... The White Sox have committed the second-most errors in the majors this season, but Guillen has confidence his team will improve. "We have a third baseman (Brent Morel) who will win the Gold Glove before his career is over," Guillen said. "The shortstop (Alexei Ramirez) should be a Gold Glove (winner)." Angels 1B Kendrys Morales (left ankle) did some running drills at the team's spring training complex in Arizona on Friday and is "progressing," according to Scioscia. SS Erick Aybar (left oblique) took swings from the right side and will continue to do so while the team evaluates him.

Box Score
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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

moancada.jpg
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.”