As one might assume, less than 24 hours isn’t enough time to diminish the memories of the White Sox wild 7-5, 16-inning victory at Seattle on Wednesday. In fact, Paul Konerko said the memories might last for quite a while longer than that.
“I’ve probably played in a million games like everybody in here, and that one yesterday was one of the most awkward, weirdest games,” Konerko said Thursday prior to the Sox series-opener against Oakland at U.S. Cellular Field. “It was just a very bizarre game. It was pretty comical. You should have heard the fans. It was almost like an (American) Legion game at a few different points in that game. I won’t forget that one. I don’t think anybody will.”
The White Sox and Mariners were part of MLB history as it was the first time two teams had each scored at least five runs after playing nine scoreless innings. After the White Sox took a 5-0 lead in the 14th, the Mariners answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning against closer Addison Reed, who eventually earned the win.
Adding to the craziness was the fact that manager Robin Ventura wasn’t around to watch the victory. He left during extra innings in order to make a flight to California, where he is attending his daughter’s graduation.
“It was one of those things you just couldn’t believe it,” said Gordon Beckham, who tied a career high with four hits. “I had to tell myself to lock back in because as much as we wanted to be on the flight home coming back to Chicago, you’ve got to grind it out.”
Bullpen taxed following extra-inning affair
Reed will be unavailable against the Athletics tonight due to his extended outing Wednesday. He threw 55 pitches in a career-long three innings of work.
“I feel a lot better today than I was expecting I was going to feel,” Reed said. “If it’s a save opportunity, hopefully I’m in there. Ultimately it’s up to them, but I’m going to do everything I can to let them know I’m ready to pitch tonight.”
Acting manager Mark Parent quickly quashed that idea, saying Jesse Crain will be tonight’s closer as Reed gets the night off.
The bullpen, which set a franchise record with 15 strikeouts in 10.2 innings Wednesday, was bolstered by the call-ups of right-handers Deunte Heath and Ramon Troncoso from Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday.
“Without those two new guys we were going to be pretty short if something happened to (starter Jose) Quintana early,” Parent said. “We’ll be all right, but obviously we need a good outing out of Quintana.”
Sox experiencing brief coaching carousel
Speaking of Parent, the second-year White Sox bench coach takes the reins Thursday in the absence of Robin Ventura, who will also miss Friday’s game. Parent has two years of minor-league managing experience in the Phillies organization but none in the majors.
Parent said his 13-year major league playing career as a catcher allowed him to learn managing by watching others. He noted Buddy Bell, Larry Bowa, Jim Riggleman and Tommy Lasorda as influences.
But he said his temperament would not match that of Ventura’s.
“He’s a different personality than I am,” Parent said. “I sort of aspire to be more patient like that, but that’s just not the way I am. But the way he does things is really good for these guys.”
It’s only a one-game gig for Parent, however. He’s heading to a son’s graduation Friday, meaning pitching coach Don Cooper will be the man in charge.
Parent said the revolving door on the bench shouldn’t matter much to the players.
“It’s business as usual,” Parent said. “The guys, they know what to expect and how we do things. They are able to hear the suggestions I have for Robin on a daily basis, so they know kind of what I’m about. And we know what Coop’s about. So it’s not a big deal.”