ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Is it a mere coincidence the White Sox best three offensive days came in warmer temperatures?
Even White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who is not one to make excuses, is willing to concede that games played in cooler temperatures can affect hitters. Perhaps the weather has played a part in the White Sox slow start this season.
The average temperature at first pitch for the White Sox 38 games this season is 58.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Over the past three days, when the temperature at first pitch was 72, 92 and 67, the White Sox hit .330 as a team as they rapped out 36 hits and scored 16 runs, including a season-best nine on Wednesday. During the series, the White Sox team on-base percentage improved from .280 to .287.
“Most hitters do (get affected),” Ventura said. “You play in cold weather, you have to adjust. You just have to figure it out.”
Veteran Paul Konerko hasn’t hid his feelings about playing in the cold. Even after 15 Aprils in Chicago, Konerko -- who the team has used as the designated hitter this season in cooler temperatures to keep his back loose -- said playing in the biting cold hasn’t gotten easier. Ten of the team’s games have been played in temperatures of 45 degrees or less.
Konerko was happy the other day when the team’s extra infield practice happened to take place in mid-90 degree weather in Minneapolis.
“That part was great,” Konerko said. “I don’t think this team is going to complain about heat after what we went through early on. I can tell you that.”
Sale OK after tooth removal
Chris Sale is fine now but was a little “loopy” for a few days after he had an abscessed tooth removed on Monday. Sale doesn’t expect any issues when he faces the Angels on Friday night for a second time this week.
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In his last start on Sunday, Sale needed only 98 pitches to twirl a complete-game one-hitter against the Angels. He said his tooth didn’t bother him much during that outing after he removed part of it on a previous road trip.
“I cracked the tooth in half on our plane trip coming back from (New York) and I bit into something and my tooth went one way, so I actually pulled half of it out on the plane and got the rest of it taken care of,” Sale said. “I wanted to do it after my start so I had enough time to get over it and be ready for my next start so I didn’t want to do it one or two days before I flip a coin on the start day.”