White Sox fall on extra-inning walk-off in Baltimore

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White Sox fall on extra-inning walk-off in Baltimore

Friday, Aug. 6, 2010
Updated 10:43 PM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

BALTIMORE - He's been portrayed on these pages as an awesome incarnation of Marvel comics character (as Hulque Increible) and has a twin roaming around in a State Farm commercial, but really, no one around these parts thought of Carlos Quentin as much of an actor.

But ultimately the right fielder's newfound dramatic flair on defense couldn't avoid a Chicago White Sox loss to the Baltimore Orioles in a 10-inning nailbiter.

Adam Jones provided the winner on a bouncer to left, plating Nick Markakis for a 2-1 win.

"Great pitching on both sides," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. We couldn't get anything going all night long: no excitement. They pitched well, and we were chasing a few bad pitches."

"It was fun," said White Sox starter John Danks, while acknowledging the game being frustrating at times as well. "It was one of those where we felt any kind of mistake could be the ballgame."

Baltimore starter Brad Bergesen dueled Danks to a standoff, recording five Ks and giving up only five hits over seven innings. He fell short of earning the win, but did record the fourth quality start in four tries for Oriole starters on their current homestand.

Earlier, it was Quentin's dramatic flair on Felix Pie's seventh-inning line-drive-trap-called-out, fashioned with the right fielder's customary slide-tackle dive that was as significant a play in the game as Ty Wigginton's run-scoring duck snort to left to put the Orioles on the board in the first or Gordon Beckham's solo shot in the third that tied the game for Chicago.

Quentins play, a second shanked call by first-base umpire Jerry Crawford on the night, drew newly-restruck O's manager Buck Showalter out to the dance floor for some jawing, as Pie Tazmanian Devil-dusted himself at first base. Showalter show lasted so long, Guillen jogged out to third-base ump Chris Guccione, wondering why Showalter's open-mic stint was getting an extended run. The two longtime enemies glared at one another as they walked into their respective dugouts, promising a lively four-game wraparound set this weekend.

"I think Showalter was out there too long," said Guillen, acknowledging his concern that Danks stay warm. "But he was just doing his job, and I was doing mine, trying to protect my pitcher."

In the top of that frame came and went the White Sox's only true scoring chance beyond Beckham's dinger. With one out, Mark Kotsay turned extended his road-trip binge with a deep blast to right-center that turned into a standup triple (at games end Kotsay stood at a smoking 7-for-20 on the road trip with a double, two triples, a homer and five RBI). But the designated hitter ran himself into the second out when he broke for home on Alexei Ramirez's squibber down the first-base line. While first baseman Wigginton made a dandy play on the ball, the skipper was hoping for a more conservative approach.

"I wanted the ball to go through, Guillen said. "But when Kotsay saw the little roller, he took a chance. It was a fine decision either way."

"The play was for the ball to go through," Kotsay agreed. "But Wigginton made a good, barehanded play, so you just have to tip your cap."

The drama was pinned at a higher pitch from the seventh forward. White Sox Wonderboy Chris Sale started the eighth in relief of Danks-who retired for the night with seven innings of six-hit, one-run ball, chalking up five Ks in the process-but the gangly fireballer walked leadoff hitter Brian Roberts on four pitches, then allowed a jam-shot base tap up the middle to Markakis.

"Bad," was Sale's self-assessment of his major league debut. "I was hyped up and wanted to do well. I just didnt have any feel. I've just got to get more prepared for the next time and take this as a learning experience."

In spite of Sale's shaky debut, Guillen was encouraged.

"I liked what I saw," he said. "I want to see what I have. He's not scared. You're going to see him in those types of situations more often. He's here for a reason."

Tony Pena relieved Sale with two on and none out, and promptly threw a wild pitch to move the runners to second and third with none out. Wigginton was retired on a screaming liner to third, and cleanup hitter Luke Scott was intentionally walked to set up an inning-ending double play. Jones popped to third, and Pena coaxed struck out pinch-hitter Corey Patterson on a 3-2 changeup, extending the tie to the ninth.

Danks acknowledged the oddity of this Baltimore series, sandwiched in-between A.L. Central grudge matches with the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins. But both starter and manager saw the Orioles as a formidable opponent, with Danks applauding the Orioles 10-hit attack (sparked by Markakis' four in five at-bats).

"They have a great lineup on paper," Danks said. "It's tough to face them. But we're hoping to win this series and get on a little roll before we get home and play the Twins and Tigers."

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

Five remarkable Chris Sale stats from his time with the White Sox

Five remarkable Chris Sale stats from his time with the White Sox

While White Sox fans can generally agree that trading Sale was the correct move, he was arguably the most dominant pitcher in franchise history.  Let’s take a look back at his White Sox career with five statsistics:

Since they moved the mound to 60’6” in 1893, Sale has the best career strikeout-to-walk ratio of any pitcher with at least 1,000 innings pitched:

1. Chris Sale: 4.78

2. Curt Schilling: 4.38

3. Madison Bumgarner: 4.29

4. Pedro Martinez: 4.15

5. Mariano Rivera: 4.10

Despite having made only 148 starts, he has more than twice as many double-digit strikeout games as anyone in franchise history:

1. Chris Sale: 35

2. Ed Walsh: 17

3. Juan Pizarro: 15

In the time he was a starter with the South Siders (2012-2016), he has more than twice as many 10-strikeout games as everyone else combined:

1. Chris Sale 35 (in 148 starts)

2. Everyone else: 15 (in 662 starts)

[Complete coverage of the White Sox-Red Sox Chris Sale blockbuster trade]

And consider the fact that he has had to do the vast majority of his work against American League teams, without the luxury of facing a pitcher every 9th time in the order:

 

Chris Sale: 1244 career strikeouts (9 vs. opposing pitchers)

Clayton Kershaw: 1918 career strikeouts (217 vs opposing pitchers)

Sale leaves the White Sox with a franchise season record 274 strikeouts in 2015.  He had five more strikeouts than the next highest total… in 45 percent of the innings …and Sale didn’t even have the luxury of being able to use a spitball:

2015 Chris Sale: 274 strikeouts in 208.2 innings (11.82 K/9 IP)

1908 Ed Walsh: 269 strikeouts in 464.0 innings (5.22 K/9 IP)

Michael Kopech, Luis Basabe, Victor Diaz and the rest of the return for Chris Sale

Michael Kopech, Luis Basabe, Victor Diaz and the rest of the return for Chris Sale

The White Sox return for Chris Sale has been generally praised in the aftermath of Tuesday’s megadeal with the Boston Red Sox, with the headliner being 21-year-old infielder Yoan Moncada

But the White Sox also acquired three other prospects with varying ranges of hype: 20-year-old right-hander Michael Kopech, 20-year-old outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and 22-year-old right-hander Victor Diaz. Baseball America ranked all three among the top 20 prospects in the Red Sox farm system, while MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo ranked Kopech No. 5, Basabe No. 8 and Diaz No. 28 in Boston’s farm system. 

Kopech is a hard-throwing former No. 33 overall pick out of Mount Pleasant, Texas who was rated as a top 100 prospect in baseball by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus prior to the 2016 season. Over three minor league seasons from rookie ball to high Single-A, Kopech has 172 strikeouts, 69 walks and only three home runs allowed in 134 2/3 innings with a 2.61 ERA.

Whether or not Kopech sticks as a starting pitcher (35 of his 36 professional games have been starts) remains a point of contention among prospect evaluators, though he features a power slider and a low-90’s changeup that Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser wrote has drawn comparisons to New York Mets ace Noah Syndergaard. He also reportedly threw a 105 mph pitch last summer with Double-A Salem — and even if that radar gun reading was inaccurate, he’s able to fairly regularly throw his fastball at or above 100 mph. 

[Complete coverage of the White Sox-Red Sox Chris Sale blockbuster trade]

There have been two off-the-field issues with Kopech, though, that are why he’s been dinged in some prospect rankings. In 2015, he was suspended for the final 50 games of the season after testing positive for amphetamine use, and in March of 2016 he fractured his hand following an altercation with a teammate

Basabe — not to be confused with his twin brother, infielder Luis Alejandro Basabe, who the Red Sox traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks last summer — is a toolsy outfielder who hit .264/.328/.452 with 25 stolen bases in 30 attempts between Single-A Greenville and high Single-A Salem last year. FutureSox’s Rob Young wrote that Basabe has “immense upside” as a potential five-tool player, while Baseball America’s best-case is Basabe’s raw talent develops into a "top of the order center fielder" 

Over four minor league seasons, Basabe has a .253/.353/.408 slash line with 21 home runs, 25 triples and 73 stolen bases in 93 attempts (78 percent). 

Diaz has had some control issues, issuing an average of 3.97 walks per nine innings, over his first two professional seasons. The hard-throwing right-hander posted a 3.88 ERA with 63 strikeouts out of Single-A Greenville’s bullpen last year, and with a fastball touching 100 mph, he could develop into a legitimate relief option down the road if he can find the strike zone more consistently. 

What’s worth noting here is the depth of the trade for the White Sox. This is a farm system that lacked both top-end and raw talent when Rick Hahn & Co. woke up on Tuesday, but adding Moncada, Kopech, Basabe and Diaz to a group headlined by recent draft picks like right-hander Carson Fulmer, catcher Zack Collins and right-hander Zack Burdi should have a significant impact on the quality of the White Sox minor league ranks.