Peavy injury clouds White Sox win

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Peavy injury clouds White Sox win

Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Updated: 1:11 PM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

CHICAGO It was a recipe for smiles all around: A second straight win over a hot, potent, pesky foe in the Los Angeles Angels, 16 wins in 20 games, edging to their best record since last making the playoffs two seasons ago.

But the Chicago White Soxs 4-1 win was shadowed by the loss of Jake Peavy, who pitched a commanding inning-plus before yielding to what first appeared to be a shoulder injury. The later, mildly-encouraging diagnosis, was a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle, which is in the back but centers discomfort in the armpit. (Peavy will be reevaluated tomorrow, with Daniel Hudson waiting in the wings for a sub start on Sunday if needed.)

I assumed he was done when I saw him walk off the mound, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of the ace that injects the Chuck Norris into starting pitching. Im pretty sure right now hell be on the DL.

Peavy himself wasnt speculating, but his postgame expression spoke volumes, if the beachball ice wrap sitting like a cyst on the right side of his torso didnt.

I dont know what to say. It didnt feel good, Peavy said. Something wasnt right.

The bucking bronc of a hurler cruised through the first, notching two strikeouts and looking as dominant as ever. His push toward an eighth win on the campaign was bolstered in the bottom half, when Juan Pierre led off with a rainbow double that eluded a somewhat sluggish Torii Hunter in right-center. One third-sack swipe by Savoir Pierre and an Alex Rios sac fly to left later, the White Sox led 1-0.

In the second, Hunter led off with a dribbler to third that rookie Dayan Viciedo misplayed into a single and Hideki Matsui flew out to right. Peavy coaxed his last out of the game not from batter Mike Napoli but Hunter, ambushed with a pickoff attempt that turned into out No. 2.

It was Peavys 28th pitch that found him walking immediately off the mound in pain. The workhorse was replaced by Tony Pena as a hush fell over the 21,889 in the U.S. Cellular Field crowd and Guillen tossed a towel in frustration.

Pena filled in well, however, pitching 4.1 innings of five-hit ball, stretching out for 53 pitches in a crucial, bullpen-saving effort.

Pena did a great job, Guillen said. He was the key to the game.

The Angels did knot the score at one when Napoli struck an 0-2 single up the middle to score Hunter in the bottom of the fourth. The White Sox threatened in the bottom half, when Mark Kotsay hit a long fly to left that Juan Rivera misplayed into a double and A.J. Pierzynski walked, but Andruw Jones, apparently content to free-fall back to the bench, whiffed with a pair still poised.

As Pena continued to cruise, Rios rescued the win for him with a long homer to left-center in an at-bat that immediately followed feisty Angels starter Jered Weaver dusting him in the batters box.

This game is crazy, Rios said of snapping his 0-13 slump on an evening he wasnt originally scheduled to play. As for exacting revenge on Weaver (who in his career had never allowed a home run, and just two runs total, vs. Chicago and fell to 4-1 with a 1.34 ERA with the loss), Rios merely fastened on a broad smile and said of his clout, It was good.

One inning later, Jones belted his 399th career home run to almost the identical spot in the stands as Rios. It was Jones first dinger in more than a month, snapped a 0-17 streak for the veteranand allowed him to make a pitch for another start on Wednesday.

Prior to the clout, his manager had been nearly reduced to begging Jones to relocate his lost stroke. Please hit another one before the next 200 at-bats, Guillen jabbed Jones postgame.

Hes kind of wild right now, Guillen continued. But we really needed that homer.

The Chisox continued stringing hits in the seventh to push across another run, with Viciedo stroking a single to center, Brent Lillibridge poking a blast to left-center that saw the Power-Packed Energy Wad pumping his fist out of the batters box in premature home run euphoria and Pierre tapping a grounder that Napoli could not corral, scoring a sprawling Viciedo.

To finish off this bittersweet victory, Guillen turned to his customary combination of J.J. Putz (a perfect, two-K seventh), Matt Thornton (escaping the eighth despite putting two men on with just one out before inducing popouts from No. 3 hitter Bobby Abreu and cleanup clouter Hunter) and Bobby Jenks (sweating a bit en route to his 18th save).
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Preview: White Sox start series at Twins tonight on CSN

Preview: White Sox start series at Twins tonight on CSN

 

The White Sox take on the Twins on Friday, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (8-8, 2.97 ERA) vs. Ricky Nolasco (4-8, 5.40 ERA)

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Back with White Sox, Chris Sale ready to move on from 'fiasco'

Back with White Sox, Chris Sale ready to move on from 'fiasco'

Even though he felt isolated and experienced a five-day stretch he called “a fiasco,” Chris Sale was right where he wants to be Thursday, surrounded by White Sox teammates.

Shortly after a 3-1 loss to the Cubs, the pitcher echoed the sentiments of White Sox management in a 10-minute media session when he suggested he’d like to move on from a five-game suspension for insubordination and destruction of team property.

With the trade deadline only four days away, Sale wants to stay with the White Sox and hopes the current roster gets an opportunity to win. He also thought an incident in which he destroyed promotional throwback jerseys had been blown out of proportion.

While he didn’t apologize for his actions, the left-hander said he regretted letting down his teammates and fans who attended Saturday’s game. Sale, whose record fell to 14-4 after he allowed two runs in six innings, said he plans to address White Sox players and coaches soon and intends to let them know his level of appreciation.

“I want to let them know where my head is at, where my heart is at,” Sale said. “And let them know how much I appreciate them.

“I felt like I was out on an island, really. 7 o’clock rolls around and I usually know what’s going on. Sitting at the house sucks.

“I regret not being there for my guys. I’m a pitcher. I’m called upon every fifth day and when I can’t go out there for my guys and the fans, it gets to me.”

Similar to March when he pitched a day after ripping executive vice president Kenny Williams, Sale said his focus is back on the field. He declined to answer what he didn’t like about the throwback jerseys, calling it “counterproductive.” Even though the White Sox are on the outside looking in, Sale is hopeful he and his teammates can rally and make a strong postseason push over the final 60 games.

“I think everyone is making just a little bit bigger deal of this then it really is,” Sale said. “We are here to win games and from this point forward, I think that’s our main focus. We are going to come in every day and do our jobs and try to win ballgames, that’s at the forefront.

“I don’t like people filling in for me. I love what I do. I love pitching. I love competing. I love the guys that I’m surrounded by.”

“When I let them down, it hurts me more than it hurts them.”

Three days after he suggested manager Robin Ventura didn’t properly support him, Sale declined to discuss their future relationship and again diverted the conversation back to the field. When asked what was the biggest lesson he took from the ordeal, Sale said he wasn’t quite sure.

“I know you guys are trying to get in there and you guys have to write stories and stuff,” Sale said. “I understand. But they said their side. I said my side. I’m ready to talk about baseball and playing baseball and getting back to winning and getting the Chicago White Sox into the postseason. That’s my goal. That’s my focus. Anything else, that’s for you guys.”

While he admits that his competitive side may have fed into Saturday’s events, he also knows abandoning it would hurt him on the field. Sale said he was inundated by texts and calls from teammates past and present during his absence. That only strengthened his desire to win with the current group, Sale said.

“There’s no doubt my emotions have got me to this point,” he said. “I wouldn’t be the same person without them but stuff happens. Move on. We have an unbelievable group of guys in that clubhouse. We’ll just push forward.

“I’m here to win. I love exactly where I’m at. I have an unbelievable group of guys in that clubhouse. We’re pulling for each other, they are pulling for me and vice versa, through and through. I’d like to stay with this group of guys and make a push for the playoffs because I love those guys.”

White Sox find normalcy in Chris Sale's return from suspension

White Sox find normalcy in Chris Sale's return from suspension

The word of the day Thursday around the cramped confines of the visitor’s clubhouse at Wrigley Field was normal, as in getting things back to it with ace left-hander Chris Sale taking the mound after serving a five-game suspension for “insubordination and destruction of team property.”

A completely abnormal story — Sale cut up the 1976 throwback uniforms he didn’t want to wear last Saturday and was sent home for his actions — gave way to a relatively routine evening. Sale allowed two runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts over six innings, though the White Sox lineup was shut down by John Lackey and the Cubs’ new three-headed bullpen monster in a 3-1 Crosstown loss.

“Things were pretty normal,” manager Robin Ventura said. “Guys got here, not a different clubhouse or anything like that. I think everything went fairly normal as far as him going out there and pitching and it was about baseball.”

First baseman Jose Abreu said things felt like an ordinary Sale start, even though the American League’s All-Star starting pitcher hadn’t pitched since July 18. He didn’t have his best stuff and wasn’t his sharpest, either — those three walks were his highest total in over two months — as he wasn’t able to consistently paint the corners with his explosive arsenal of pitches.

But, as usual, Sale worked quickly and kept his team in the game against one of baseball’s best offenses.

“He pitched a very good game,” Abreu said through a translator.

The Cuban first baseman added: “I think that we already moved on.”

Catcher Dioner Navarro agreed.

“He gave us a great outing, we just weren’t able to score any runs for him,” Navarro said.

Before the game, third baseman Todd Frazier said he and his teammates rallied around Sale and hoped a solid outing from the 27-year-old left-hander would put the bizarre incident squarely in the rearview mirror. 

“Some mistakes are bigger than others but you gotta understand that we’re all not perfect,” Frazier said. “Things do happen in this game, different things that you think (you’ve) never seen before, and then it happens. It’s just one of those things, hopefully it goes away quick with the way he pitches."

Sale said he didn’t discuss the incident or his suspension with his teammates before the game to keep things as normal as possible. After he showed up a little after 4:40 p.m., he received hugs and handshakes from teammates welcoming him back following his five-day exile.

But after that, Navarro said things were business as usual. He and Sale went through the gameplan and got ready to face the Cubs' powerful lineup instead of dwelling on what happened last Saturday. Eventually, Sale will talk to his coaches and teammates on a personal level to “let them know where my head is at, where my heart is at, and let them know how much I appreciate them.”

With the White Sox playoff hopes flickering as the trade deadline approaches, though, Sale’s teammates are eager to keep the focus on trying to dig themselves out of a substantial, two-games-under-.500 hole.

“Everything’s in the past,” Navarro said. “He did a great job. Quality start, nothing else you can ask.”