Teahen's errors prove costly, White Sox lose again

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Teahen's errors prove costly, White Sox lose again

Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010
Updated 10:33 PM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

DETROIT John Dankss start on Wednesday after just three days rest was a move made neither of desperation nor condescension.

But after a series of 16-inch softball swings by hitters trying to tie the game with bases-empty grand slams and particularly hazy hot corner defense, Chicago fell 5-1 to a Detroit Tigers club playing for little more than pride. The White Soxs playoff hopes, after a 4-3 Minnesota Twins win vs. the Kansas City Royals, have been wheeled into the I.C.U., as the Chicago-9 fell 5 games back. Indeed, it has been nearly three months since the White Sox found themselves tucked so deeply away from the top spot in the A.L. Central.

This game, its over with, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. They kicked out butt very quickthats the good thing about it. I hope we just forget about this game.

Things started out swimmingly for the White Sox. Danks cruised through the first three innings and initiated a nifty 1-6-3 double play in which he narrowly avoided choking on a splinter as the barrel of Casper Wellss bat frisbeed up the middle at him. Danks also drew Detroit into a double play in the third inning after surrendering the Bengals first hit, an infield tapper by Don Kelly.

And in the fourth, ageless second baseman Omar Vizquel drove a home run out to right, and Chicagos first hit of the game also gave it a 1-0 lead. The White Sox would put two more men on base in the inning before Mark Teahen struck out to end the threat.

While no one man is responsible for losing a game, Teahen tried his hardest, with two throwing errors and an 0-for-3 night at the plate. Teahens errors upped the White Sox total to 17 in the past 14 games.

The best thing this ballclubs been doing all year long is play defense, Guillen said. It shows all those baseball geniuses that say people dont need defense to win games that in any sport, if you dont play defense youre not going to win. I dont care how good you are offensively, sooner or later it will catch up to you.

Specifically, it was Teahens throwing error on an attempted 5-4-3 double play in the fourth that opened the gates for a four-run outburst from the Tigers. The big blows in the inning were a two-run single by Brandon Inge and a two-tally double by Alex Avila.

After they scored four runs, we were flat, Guillen admitted.

The third baseman alone has 10 errors in 52 games in 2010 while erring just 11 times in 107 contests a year ago, with the Royals.

Theres nobody on this team that feels worse than Mark about that, Danks said. Its part of the game. You cant fault him. He made a good play catching the second double-play ground ball in the first place. It took a funny hop on him. You go out there and try to pick him up, do the best you can to get out of that inning. I wasnt able to make a pitch when I needed to. Unfortunately, it turned into a big inning.

Yeah, I dont know. Obviously I made the first error and didnt get it out of my head, and then making another one that really hurt us, Teahen said. Its frustrating, especially the way I didnt play the best defense before I got hurt. I mean you can have a two-error game, but obviously I dont want to have one right now and in that situation where it really hurts us.

Danks made a valiant effort to keep the White Sox in the game, but his night would end after six innings, allowing eight hits, five runs (two earned) and three walks against four Ks.

I felt great, really good, Danks said. I didnt feel any different than I would on normal rest. I ran into some bad luck, didnt make pitches when I needed to and we lost the game.

Detroit starter Jeremy Bonderman handcuffed the Chisox with eight innings of three-hit, one-run ball. The righty struck out eight and walked just one.

Bonderman threw the ball pretty good, Guillen said. He was sinking the ball, threw good sliders behind in the count, stayed ahead in the count. We didnt get anything done today. We couldnt get it going.

While faulting his entire teams effort, Guillens fatigue with Teahens underwhelming play is looking to land him plenty of pine time as the season plays out. The skipper all but confirmed that in looking ahead to Thursdays finale, placing his faith in the miraculous recovery of injured second baseman Gordon Beckham, whose reinsertion into the lineup would push Vizquel back to third base.

I believe in defense, Guillen said. I dont know whos going to start tomorrow. It depends how Gordon feels; hopefully he feels better and well put Vizquel back at third base.

Early speculation has rookie Brent Morel getting his first major-league start at third base on Thursday, with Vizquel remaining at second and Beckham taking one more, much-needed, day of rest for his deeply-bruised hand.

Fatigued, and drowning his sorrows in computer solitaire for a second straight evening, Guillen nonetheless remains upbeat about his team, and its chances of a gilded run to the postseason in spite of the enormous odds facing them with just 23 games left.

Weve got to go out and continue to play, he said. We know were going to fight all the way to the endtheres no doubt. The way were playing this road trip, tomorrows a big game, win and have a great, great road trip. We have to get up tomorrow very early and come back here and play better.

The jefes charges arent yielding to doubt yet, either.

Yes, the clubhouse is upbeat, Danks said. Yes, we still feel like we have a chance. We are shooting ourselves in the foot a little bit. The last couple of nights we havent been playing very well. Look at the road trip as a whole, and weve been playing pretty well. If you had told us we could go 8-2 on this road trip, we would take it for sure.

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

White Sox will give Tim Anderson freedom to make mistakes

White Sox will give Tim Anderson freedom to make mistakes

MINNEAPOLIS -- The White Sox have no plans for Tim Anderson to take the same path as the Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber.

An hour before the Cubs announced their shocking news Thursday that the World Series hero is headed to Triple-A, White Sox manager Rick Renteria said he thought Anderson’s struggles could be addressed in the majors.

Playing in his first full season, Anderson has had an up and down campaign. He leads the majors with 16 errors committed and has struggled at the plate, hitting .256/.284/.374 with six home runs and 19 RBIs in 265 plate appearances. The roller coaster ride has led to some aggravation for Anderson, who slammed his batting helmet in frustration during Wednesday’s loss. Anderson said the helmet slam was the topic of a postgame conversation he had with Renteria on Wednesday.

“I feel like this year has been the toughest year I’ve dealt with since I’ve started playing baseball,” Anderson said. “I have to keep playing, lock in and control it.

“(Slamming the helmet) doesn’t make you feel better. It’s just a little frustration. You get mad at times, but you just try to control it and keep playing.”

Anderson, who turns 24 on Friday, has had a lot to manage in 2017.

It’s his first full season in the majors. He signed a contract extension in March. Since May he’s been dealing with the loss of his close friend, who was shot to death. Throw in the on-field struggles and Renteria realizes there’s a lot with which Anderson had to deal.

“You just make the sure the perspective they’re having at any particular moment is the correct perspective,” Renteria said. “You try to make sure that the underlying frustrations he might be having, that he’s able to separate it.

“You have ups and down, they’re not always going to be in the best place mentally at times. But for the most part you address it, you talk about it because you understand it, you’ve lived all those things and you just try to give him a little insight and keep it going in the right direction.”

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Anderson made a pair of miscues in a costly third-inning Twins rally on Wednesday night.

But Renteria expressed his confidence in the second-year player, calling him one of the premier shortstops in the league.

The White Sox manager has seen Anderson make the necessary corrections after infield work with bench coach Joe McEwing. The effort and preparation have been there. Renteria just wants to make sure his player can compartmentalize and stay focused. He realizes there’s going to be mistakes from time to time and wants to make sure Anderson is handling them well.

“To say he’s not going to continue to make mistakes every now and then, yeah that’s going to happen,” Renteria said. “It’s there for everybody to see. That’s why everybody takes notice and that’s natural. I think the one thing we have to do as a staff and players also is step back and stay away from the fray of that attention and stay focused on what you have to do. Minimize how all the noise affects you and continue to play the game.”

Renteria remembers his own struggles as a young player and knows how much more scrutiny Anderson faces. Every game is televised and highlights are streamed on the internet. Any little gaffe can be magnified. Anderson admits that at times he’s dealt with frustration he’s never before experienced and it’s caught up to him. Now he just needs to learn how to cope with the stress a little better.

“Nobody wants to go through tough times and struggle,” Anderson said. “Slamming helmets is not the right way to go about it because you could get injured, so try to handle it in a better way.

“It’s been tough times and a lot of frustration, but I try not to let it get to me, but sometimes it does. I try to balance it out and keep going.

“I’m just trying to manage it, balance it out and separate it from each other.”

Jose Berrios gave the Twins exactly what the White Sox could use most right now

Jose Berrios gave the Twins exactly what the White Sox could use most right now

MINNEAPOLIS — Jose Berrios gave the Minnesota Twins exactly what the White Sox could use most right now on Wednesday night: a deep, dominant outing.

The young Twins pitcher overcame a slow start to deliver eight sharp innings as the struggling White Sox fell 4-2 in front of 33,316 at Target Field. Starter David Holmberg lasted only 3 1/3 innings for the White Sox, losers of three straight. It was the 23rd time in 28 games a White Sox starter has failed to deliver a quality start.

“These guys are trying to give us length,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It just hasn’t happened. I get it. I don’t anticipate that’s what’s going to continue to happen as we move forward. I don’t think anybody could sustain over a long haul using your starters for three or four innings. It’s impossible. You would wear out your arms in the pen. Today we were fortunate in that we just used two guys for quite a few innings and outs. … They did a very nice job. That type of work is unsustainable.”  

There are many reasons why the White Sox rotation has struggled through the first 70 games of the season. Injuries to four starters is the most significant factor, the biggest being to Carlos Rodon. The White Sox were hopeful their third-year starter would step into the rotation and deliver 33 starts and 200 innings. But Rodon is only now nearing a potential return to the majors and his first start of the season after he went on the disabled list in March with bursitis in his left shoulder. James Shields, Miguel Gonzalez and Dylan Covey, who originally replaced Rodon, have also been placed on the DL.

While replacements Mike Pelfrey and Holmberg have pitched well enough, neither starter has gone deep into games. The pair is averaging 5 1/3 innings in 16 starts with two six-inning performances by Pelfrey marking the longest efforts to date.

Combine those figures with the inconsistent performances of Derek Holland and Jose Quintana and you have a White Sox bullpen working overtime.

Holmberg limited the Twins to a run through the first two innings. But a combination of hard-hit balls — four straight registered at 95 mph or better to start the inning — and shoddy defense helped Minnesota pull ahead for good in the third.

Miguel Sano blasted a game-tying solo shot, Max Kepler singled in a run and Ehire Adrianza’s fielder’s choice brought in another as the Twins made it 4-2. Mixed in was a Tim Anderson error, a liner that Jose Abreu didn’t catch and a bobbled turn of a potential inning-ending double play by Anderson.

Holmberg recorded only 10 outs before he gave way to Gregory Infante and Michael Ynoa, who pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings.

“Feel like I got behind a couple guys, had to make a pitch a few times,” Holmberg said. “Labored through some innings. I would have like to get some quick outs and gone a little deeper into the game.

“Ultimately it’s up to Ricky. He’s going to do what’s best for the team. But that goes hand in hand with performance. We get some quick outs, quicker through the order, that’ll tie in.”

The White Sox scored in the first and third innings against Berrios before he began to find a rhythm. In the first, Avisail Garcia singled in Alen Hanson, who led off the game with a walk, to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. Then in the third, Melky Cabrera grounded into a double play to score Adam Engel, who started the inning with a double.

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But that was all the White Sox would get against Berrios, who has allowed 34 hits in 54 innings this season. Berrios retired 14 of 15 hitters after Hanson singled in the third inning. The only man to reach was Garcia on an error in the fourth inning.

Berrios didn’t allow another hit until Omar Narvaez singled to start the eighth inning. He allowed two runs and four hits in eight innings with eight strikeouts and one walk.

It was a performance of which the White Sox are desperately in need. Through 70 games, the team’s rotation has also only had a pitcher go at least seven innings eight times. Jose Quintana was the last to do so on Friday. Before that it was Gonzalez on May 28. Over their last 28 games, White Sox starters are averaging a tick over 4 2/3 innings.  

Renteria is confident the trend will turn. Quintana starts on Thursday and has been good in two of his last three outings. Shields just returned from the DL and Rodon is right around the corner, if he stays on track. But Renteria also knows his bullpen can’t keep this up and hope to remain effective.

“It’s not sustainable,” Renteria said. “It just isn’t.”