Sox Drawer: Game one Dunn

Sox Drawer: Game one Dunn

Friday, April 1, 2011
Posted 10:30 p.m. Updated 10:50 p.m.

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio - When you stand 6-foot-6, weigh 280 pounds, and can hit a baseball into different area codes, you can carry a baseball team.

Judging by his first game with the White Sox, Adam Dunn is ready to carry his teammates, his coaches and maybe the entire South Side of Chicago on his back in 2011.

Dunns Sox debut was a smashing success. He went 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs, including a towering home run in the third inning that was hit so high that, according to NASA, should touch down sometime around September.

You know it was a 3-2 count, (Fausto Carmona) threw me a backdoor breaking ball at my first at-bat and made me look foolish, Dunn said on Galaxie White Sox Post-Game Live on CSN. I was really just trying to protect the plate, and he was trying to throw me a nice little sinker, and I just touched it.

Thats right. Dunn said he touched it. Imagine where the ball would have gone had he crushed it. A different planet I suppose.

His two-run blast gave the White Sox a 4-0 lead, and set the tone for the rest of the game, as the Sox took a whopping 14-0 lead by the fourth inning. Yes, the pitching staff broke down after that, getting outscored 10-1 the rest of the way.

But the damage had been done. Thanks to Dunn.

That was great. I mean, offensively we came out swinging the bats well. It was a great game, a typical American League game Im assuming, Dunn said with a smile.

15-10 scores were made for a guy like him.

As a first time, full-time designated hitter, this is new territory for the former National Leaguer. Dunn is used to playing the outfield or first base, not pacing the dugout for 98 percent of the game waiting for his turn to bat. He says that learning how to pace himself for nine innings is his biggest challenge with the White Sox. But on days when the offense tilts the scoreboard like a pinball machine, its an easy adjustment to make.

Today was very easy because it seemed like I was up every inning, Dunn said. I really didnt do anything different today just because of that. I had four at bats in five innings, so I just really didnt change anything, just sitting there, still sweating from the last one.

Dunns home run in his Sox debut is nothing new for South Side sluggers. Looking back several decades, you have to wonder if going deep in his first game was actually written in the mans contract.

Al Simmons, Dick Allen, Minnie Minoso, Carlton Fisk, Sammy Sosa, Albert Belle, Paul Konerko and Jim Thome all homered in their Sox debuts. After signing that huge 56 million dollar contract in the off-season, Dunn could have struggled with the pressure out of the gate.

Clearly that didnt happen.

I think its good for him, Ozzie Guillen said. Hes coming from a new team and a lot of expectations. All the people in Chicago expect him to do well, and this takes the monkey off his back.

So how many dingers will the Big Donkey hit this year? Hes currently on pace for 162. Dont think hell reach that.

But if this monster of a man continues to mash like this, baseballs will be pelted, A.L. pitchers will frequently be punished, and for a White Sox team hoping to contend, anything is possible.

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox sluggers Frank Thomas and Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

Preview: Carlos Rodon, White Sox open final series of season vs. Twins on CSN+

Preview: Carlos Rodon, White Sox open final series of season vs. Twins on CSN+

The White Sox open their final series of the season tonight, and you can catch all the action on CSN+. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup: Carlos Rodon (8-10, 4.08 ERA) vs. Tyler Duffey (9-11, 6.18 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.

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White Sox five-game winning streak snapped with loss to Rays

White Sox five-game winning streak snapped with loss to Rays

The playoffs were the ultimate goal and he probably would have liked another victory on Thursday night.

But Jose Quintana has plenty to be proud about when he takes stock of his 2016 campaign, which ended with a 5-3 White Sox loss to the Tampa Rays in front of 14,792 at U.S. Cellular Field. The first-time All-Star’s record dropped to 13-12 after he allowed two earned runs in six innings in his final start, but not before Quintana established career highs for innings pitched, strikeouts and earned-run average. The loss guaranteed a fourth straight losing season for the White Sox, who haven’t reached the postseason since 2008.

“I’m happy with my year,” Quintana said. “But every time I say it’s not about me. It’s about the team. We’ll try to finish strong in the next series against the Twins and come back next year to have a better year than this one.”

Quintana had the best individual season of his career. If he’d received any kind of run support from his teammates, he’d be at or near the top of the leaders for wins, too.

But same as he has for the past four seasons, Quintana didn’t receive any run support yet again on Thursday, though this time can be attributed to a stellar performance by Chris Archer.

Archer held down early an offense that had Quintana ranked 116th out of 132 qualified starting pitchers in run support. The White Sox only had two runners reach scoring position in the time Quintana pitched (one scored). By the time Archer slowed down, the White Sox bullpen allowed three runs and the contest was nearly out of reach at 5-1.

Still, Quintana was good enough to win yet again in a season full of comparable efforts.

He allowed a run in the second inning on a bloop RBI single by Alexei Ramirez and another in the fourth on a solo homer by Mikie Mahtook. Other than that he was his normal efficient self, striking out seven and limiting the Rays to two runs and five hits in six innings.

The effort lowered Quintana’s ERA to 3.20 (his previous low was 3.32 in 2014). He also surpassed his previous high-inning mark of 206 1/3 with 208 this season. And, Quintana, who eclipsed the 10-win mark for the first time in his career, finished with 181 strikeouts, three more than he in 2014.

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White Sox manager Robin Ventura thinks the overall production was a byproduct of the first All-Star nod for Quintana, who surpassed 200 innings for a fourth straight season.

“You wouldn’t think that would mean a lot, but it really does,” Ventura said. “I think that’s the stuff that can catapult somebody into things that are better and pushing him into the offseason, the optimistic stuff of going into next year.”

Quintana’s name often surfaces as an easy fix to some of the White Sox’ woes when it comes to next season.

With two guaranteed seasons and two club-friendly options left on his current contract, Quintana — who entered Thursday valued at 19.7 f-WAR for his career — is viewed as a stellar trade chip given the weak free agent class. It is believed the White Sox could solve several problem areas on the roster or add considerable depth to their farm system were they to make Quintana or Chris Sale available. Quintana knows the possibility exists but hopes he’s back with the White Sox next season and helping them end their postseason drought.

“I don’t have control about that,” Quintana said. “I don’t know nothing about trades. I’m here as a Chicago White Sox, and I want to be here for a long time. I’ll go home, rest and am going to be ready to start with my preparation for next year. I’ll be ready for that, but I don’t have control about trades.”