Garfien: Peavy Expects to Pitch Like a No. 1

Garfien: Peavy Expects to Pitch Like a No. 1

Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010
5:22 P.M.

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

Walking into the White Sox clubhouse on the day that pitchers and catchers officially reported, I noticed something unique about the squad Kenny Williams had assembled for 2010, but I couldnt put a finger on it.

There was a pair of cowboy boots at one locker, a fishing pole at another, mixed together with the overwhelming stench of Skoal.

We got a lot of rednecks around here, Jake Peavy observed.

Maybe not the word that I would have used, but ummm.thats it.

Jakes locker sits near fellow good ol boys Scott Linebrink, Mark Buehrle, and Bobby Jenks, who has cleverly pegged this area Redneck Row.

I was getting made fun of for my cowboy boots, Peavy said. But I promise you theres going to be 6, 7, 8, 9 guys walking in here with cowboy boots.

Rest assured, Kenny Williams will not be one of them.

Peavy, from Mobile, Alabama, proudly declared that his injured ankle from last season(and the rest of his body) is now 100 percent. Im healthy and as ready as Ive ever been.

But he wont need to be ready on Opening Day. For a franchise-record 8th time, Mark Buehrle will get the nod, a decision announced later in the day by Ozzie Guillen.

Before learning that hell pitch April 5th against the Indians(on Comcast SportsNet by the way), Buehrle nominated Peavy to be the Sox 1 starter for the season, saying, Id rather watch a pitching match-up of PeavyVerlander than BuehrleVerlander.

Cant really argue with that.

And dont even try to squabble with John Danks about his idol, Mr. Buerhle. Who was his pick for Opening Day? No surprise.

Im going to say Buehrle because hes been here the longest. No disrespect to Jake but Buehrle has been here, hes the face of the franchise, and if Im the pitching coach Im going with Buehrle.

But while Peavy might not technically be the Sox number-one(atleast on Opening Day) Jake said I expect to pitch like a number-one.

He also talks like a number-one.

After feeling the pressure of being THE guy in San Diego, Jake acknowledged that its a different situation with the White Sox. Higher expectations, but less individual pressure.

Its fun to jump in and be one of the guys, and not to be looked as having to carry such a big load that, at times, I may have felt in San Diego.

Peavy came to the White Sox to win a World Series, something only a handful of Sox players are still around to remember.

It seems like forever ago, Buehrle said. Not just with guys not being here and not many guys left, but five years have passed, and other teams have been winning, and we havent been there in a couple years, so we definitely want to be back.

Let the Hoedown begin!

Jose Abreu hopes to be ready for White Sox next game after leaving with injury

Jose Abreu hopes to be ready for White Sox next game after leaving with injury

Jose Abreu said he hopes to be ready to go when the White Sox start their series against the Detroit Tigers on Friday.

The White Sox first baseman took an awkward-looking fall on the infield grass while trying to field a grounder in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s win over the visiting Kansas City Royals, leaving the game with what the team announced as a mild right hip flexor strain. Abreu was labeled as day-to-day.

Manager Rick Renteria didn’t have any sort of update after the game — though he said he didn't think it was serious — but in his comments to reporters, Abreu said he felt fine after receiving treatment and will be ready to go for Friday’s series opener in Detroit.

“I feel good right now,” Abreu said. “I got treatment and I feel good. The day off tomorrow is going to help and I hope to be ready for the first game in Detroit.”

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Both Renteria and Abreu said the first baseman had no desire to exit Wednesday’s game but that Renteria was being appropriately cautious.

“He did not want to come out,” Renteria said. “He was pretty adamant but I think all of us, you don't take any chances. I think it was just the right thing to do at that time.”

“When you are on the field, you didn’t want to leave the field. It doesn’t matter what’s the reason or what’s happening,” Abreu said. “But he’s the boss and he made that decision and you have to accept it.”

Abreu went 2-for-2 with a two-out RBI double in the first inning Wednesday before he left. He has had two hits in each of his last four games and is 8-for-15 during the White Sox current four-game winning streak.

The White Sox are off Thursday. The team said Abreu will be reevaluated then after arriving in Detroit.

With White Sox hitters' support, Jose Quintana picks up first win of 2017

With White Sox hitters' support, Jose Quintana picks up first win of 2017

Four runs isn’t exactly an eye-popping total. But for Jose Quintana and his luck, it can seem like a gigantic number.

The White Sox starting pitcher is famously left wanting for run support nearly every time he takes the mound. So after the visiting Kansas City Royals erased a two-run White Sox advantage by the middle of the sixth inning Wednesday, it looked like Quintana might be heading for another bad-luck no decision — or worse.

But Avisail Garcia, he of the resurgent 2017 campaign, came to Quintana’s aid, belting a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to put the White Sox back in front. It put Quintana in position for his first win of the season, which he officially earned when things went final a few innings later.

“He hit the ball at the right time. It was a good time,” Quintana said after the 5-2 victory on the South Side. “He told me, ‘That’s for you.’”

Quintana’s own 2017 season hasn’t gotten off to the kind of start you’d expect from the 2016 All Star. He took a loss in each of his first four outings and didn’t pitch like his normal self, entering Wednesday’s game with a 6.17 ERA.

But Wednesday saw Quintana return to form. He struck out 10 batters, a season high and the eighth such effort he’s had in his career. He surrendered just a pair of runs, only one of which was earned.

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Third baseman Todd Frazier said he saw something a little different in Quintana on Wednesday.

“I saw it in his face. He had some look about him,” Frazier said. “It was weird. He was getting mad at me because I didn’t get the ball back to him in time. I love that stuff. I’ll definitely make sure I get it to him quicker. He had a mentality about him, you know, put fear in some hitters eyes.”

Quintana, who kept saying that he “needed” this kind of performance in this game, confirmed it was an accurate assessment.

“Yeah, it was a mission,” Quintana said. “Everybody was doing their job. I needed this outing, so I felt really good on the mound. It was extra motivation to win my first one.

“I needed that outing, I needed that win. I never started like that (with four losses), so I’m really proud of the first win for me. The first of many, so I can’t wait to keep doing my job.”

While the pitcher was different this time around, so too was his offense. The White Sox are locked in some kind of offensive surge right now, combining for 33 runs during a four-game winning streak.

In Quintana’s first four starts, the team mustered just four total runs, shut out in two of those games. While certainly everyone would like the offensive production to continue, it was performances like Wednesday’s that remind you that even when the team isn’t scoring for him — and that’s been often — he still has All-Star stuff.

“As a teammate, you always enjoy when one of your pitchers is having that kind of performance that Quintana had today,” Leury Garcia said. “You’re always trying to help him, you’re always trying to do your best to help your teammates to win games. And for us, the defense was good just to stay there and watch him do his stuff. That was good.”