SuperJuan: Uribe comes up clutch in World Series

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SuperJuan: Uribe comes up clutch in World Series

Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010
6:12 PM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

Some fellas just know when to step up and make an impact, and Juan Uribe - author of the three-run clout that sprinkled the last bit of dirt over Texas Rangers ace Cliff Lee in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday - is one such fella.

Scour all you wish, but you wont find Uribe on the list of top 10 game-changing plays of the Chicago White Soxs 2005 World Series run. He came close, with his heroic defensive efforts to clinch the Series for the White Sox (sprinting into the right-field stands to snag Chris Burkes foul pop for the second out and his super-quick catch-and-fire retirement of Orlando Palmeiro to end the game) both adding 14 percent to the White Sox win probability.

But in contrast to his budding reputation as a playoff hero, Uribe has been a fairly lousy postseason performer. The sleeping Giant simply knows when to pick his spots and when he picks one, he doesnt miss.

For his career, Uribe carries just a .660 OPS into Thursdays Game 2 - thats downright bad, perhaps even duck-and-cover awful. The then-shortstop batted and slugged .800 in the American League Division Series vs. the Boston Red Sox in 2005, but his main clout was a homer in the runaway Game 1 win. He put up an .806 OPS in the 2005 World Series courtesy of three doubles in 16 at-bats, but his offensive output in that series - along with every other hitter on both the White Sox and Houston Astros - was underwhelming.

But overall, you could say Uribe was consistent in the 2005 playoffs, hitting in 10 of 12 games - and one of the games where he went hitless was Game 4 of the World Series, and we all know his ninth-inning defense helped make up for that.

In 2008, Uribe was horrible for the White Sox in the ALDS vs. the Tampa Bay Rays - two hits in 12 at-bats, with five strikeouts. Coupled with his .682 OPS in the 2008 regular season, Uribes work in the 2008 playoffs helped earn him his bus ticket out of town.

This year with the San Francisco Giants, Uribe kicked off the playoffs with his worst series ever - a .205 OPS, with just one hit in 14 at-bats and five strikeouts in the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves. Uribe was looking just as bad in this seasons National League Championship Series, heading into Game 5 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies just 1-for-11.

But then came Game 5, when Uribe went 2-for-3 with a home run and reached base three times in four plate appearances. It was unquestionably his greatest playoff game (his .306 Win Probability Added means Uribe alone can claim about one-third of San Franciscos win). In fact, Uribes impact in Game 5 was almost twice as great as any playoff game hed ever played in.

And Wednesday, Uribe had the ultimate all-or-nothing day, chasing his greatest playoff game by maximizing his impact in the World Series opener. The burgeoning Bay Area folk hero offset three strikeouts with that three-run homer that put the game away. It wasnt his second-best playoff game, not even close - but it did wonders to expand his legend.

Uribes hustle that ended the 2005 World Series is very likely the greatest succession of defensive plays to end a Fall Classic, rightfully earning the manic Dominican a place atop the World Series monument in Champions Plaza outside of U.S. Cellular Field. But it takes nothing away from the man that not a soul in Chicago would ever have expected him to be impacting another World Series so positively, some five seasons later.

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

White Sox agree to trade outfielder Peter Bourjos

White Sox agree to trade outfielder Peter Bourjos

The White Sox have agreed to trade outfielder Peter Bourjos to the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations late Monday, according to multiple major league sources.

Bourjos was signed to a minor league contract and invited to camp with the White Sox. He was expected to see a good amount of playing time in center field in the wake of Charlie Tilson’s injury.

Trading Bourjos improves rookie Jacob May’s chances of making the Opening Day roster.

Bourjos, 29, has played for the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels over the span of his career. His best season came with the Angels in 2011, when he hit .271 with 12 homers and 43 RBIs. 

Derek Holland ends spring on strong note as White Sox down Dodgers

Derek Holland ends spring on strong note as White Sox down Dodgers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Derek Holland ended a productive spring with his best outing to date on Monday afternoon.

Healthy and excited to officially kick off his White Sox career, Holland delivered six strong innings in a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. The left-hander allowed two earned runs and five hits in six innings pitched, walking two and striking out one. Holland is expected to pitch once more in Milwaukee on Saturday before pitching in the third game of the regular season.

“Definitely feel good,” Holland said. “Feel very confident with everything, very happy with how the spring went. I worked on what we needed to work on to get myself ready for the season and stay healthy and I’m very happy with that. But most of all when you get out there and pitch, the defense, you have to keep them on their toes, and I thought the last out was the perfect example of that.”

Holland was referring to a nice diving catch by Jacob May that prevented at least one run from scoring. The longtime Texas Rangers pitcher was pleased to have established his fastball early and mixed in his offspeed pitches and changeup.

“I wanted to make sure we were going the distance,” Holland said. “I didn’t want to have a setback, and I thought we did a great job.”

The White Sox appear to have narrowly avoided one setback on Monday and are awaiting word on another. An X-ray on the left wrist of infielder Tyler Saladino was negative after he was hit by a pitch while getting in work in a pair of minor-league games. Saladino has been diagnosed with a bruised wrist.

The team is still awaiting word on pitcher Jake Petricka, who took a comebacker off his pitching hand in the seventh inning. Petricka exited the game, got his hand wrapped in ice and left to take an X-ray.

The White Sox are also waiting to learn the results of Carlos Rodon’s second opinion. Rodon was scratched from Friday’s start with a tight bicep tendon and had a physical exam and took an MRI, both of which showed he had no structural damage. Rodon traveled to Los Angeles early Monday for the second opinion with Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Even if he receives the all clear, the White Sox will remain cautious, manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s almost like you have to re-start the process a little bit,” Renteria said. “It would be foolish to try to anticipate or push him into any direction without first of all ultimately having whatever the diagnosis is or the validation or whatever it might be of the second opinion. Once we get that, we’ll know hopefully tomorrow how we can ultimately proceed. I wouldn’t think we’d try to ramp him up quickly.”

The club also expects to have more clarity on the status of right-handed pitcher Juan Minaya on Tuesday. Minaya, who has been out since March 15 with an abdominal tear, was re-evaluated on Monday. Minaya had a 3.18 ERA and nine strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings this spring.

Matt Davidson also had two hits in the White Sox victory and drove in a run. Melky Cabrera hit a solo homer, his first of the spring. Yolmer Sanchez blasted his third homer of the spring, a two-run shot.

Zach Putnam struck out two in a scoreless inning.