Results tagged ‘ Chris Sale ’
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Low-scoring pitchers’ battles are unusual bordering on unlikely in Arizona, but Monday’s 3-1 victory for the White Sox over the Rockies fit into that category. Here’s a look.
HOME RUN: It’s as rare to see a Cactus League complete game as it is to see a torrential downpour in the desert. But Chris Sale was on that pace Monday, needing just 32 pitches to complete three innings and 50 over five. He struck out two, didn’t issue a walk and allowed one run on three hits over five-plus innings and 58 pitches.
“He looked great,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Sale. “He got it going and stretched it out today, going into the sixth. He feels good and looks fine.”
“Every time that I go out there, my goal in mind is throwing strikes and attacking the zone,” Sale said. “I didn’t walk anybody. So, that’s where I want to be.”
TRIPLE: Another Cactus League game, another long home run for Paul Konerko who served as the designated hitter Monday. Konerko now has five long balls and has been making solid contact since Day 1.
DOUBLE: Jared Mitchell finished 0-for-2 with a walk at the plate on Monday but showed off other parts of his skill-set. Mitchell swiped second in the second and then made a nice running catch against the left field wall to start the fourth on a blast by Eric Young. Mitchell won’t break camp with the White Sox but certainly has impressed with his Spring Training play.
SINGLE: Gordon Beckham knocked out two hits. Angel Sanchez, who started at shortstop, tripled, singled and scored a run.
STOLEN BASE: If you arrived late for this particular contest, you potentially missed a good portion of the action. The time of game was 2:13.
CALLED THIRD: Ramon Troncoso turned in another strong outing, with the veteran reliever finishing the victory via a scoreless ninth. It might be tough for the right-hander to crack the White Sox opening bullpen alignment, barring injury, but he gives the team another strong option if needed.
JUST A BIT OUTSIDE: The White Sox could have scored more than one run in the third if not for Jordan Danks getting picked off third by Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba with runners on first and third, nobody out and Adam Dunn at the plate. Dunn then gave Sale a chance for early postgame stretching, when the left-hander had to contort to catch Dunn’s throw on Todd Helton’s inning-ending grounder to first in the fifth.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. – The story of Friday’s 9-7 victory for the Indians was Chris Sale’s strong debut and a barrage of home runs by both teams. Here’s a look inside the game.
HOME RUN: Oh, if only they gave distances on Cactus League home runs. The folks at Goodyear Ballpark literally would have had to break out the tape measure for Dayan Viciedo’s blast leading off the second against Justin Masterson. It cleared the left field fence, at 345 feet, sailed over the people sitting on the lawn and then cleared the back fence. A best guess was somewhere between 460 to 500 feet.
Brent Morel couldn’t quite match Viciedo’s feat of strength, but hit his own two-run shot off of Masterson following Hector Gimenez’s single. The difference between Morel’s exceptional play this spring and back-pain induced hesitancy last spring is quite noticeable.
TRIPLE: Gimenez knocked out another three hits, leaving him at 5-for-7 in Cactus League action. But of greater importance was the catcher’s ability to settle down Sale after he was out of rhythm in the first. The role of the White Sox catchers is handling the pitchers first and offense second.
DOUBLE: For those who say the White Sox are thin in middle infield prospects, they might want to check out Marcus Semien’s early play. He belted a three-run homer and made a couple of slick plays at shortstop. He has turned in an impressive overall start in Cactus League action
SINGLE: Carlos Sanchez made the defensive play of the game, diving in the hole between first and second to take away a Cleveland hit. Gordon Beckham and Alex Rios had one hit apiece.
STOLEN BASE: Although his sore right elbow is not quite healthy enough to allow him to play the field, Jordan Danks singled and swiped a base as Friday’s starting designated hitter. Danks will need to show a little more than his exceptional outfield defense to help lock down that final roster spot.
CALLED THIRD: Sale wasn’t exactly perfect during his first Cactus League start. But the fact that the 23-year-old was pleased with his effort stands as a good sign, since he’s his own worst critic.
JUST A BIT OUTSIDE: After an impressive start in which he allowed one run over three innings, Erik Johnson was touched up for five runs on five hits over 1 1/3 innings of relief. Matt Carson took him deep.
The White Sox avoided their fifth straight loss by virtue of a 9-7, come-from-behind victory over the Angels Wednesday at Camelback Ranch. They scored two runs in each of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to claim the win. Here’s a look at the action.
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Adam Dunn continues to be the White Sox story on offense.
In four trips to the plate Wednesday, the designated hitter walked twice and launched a two-run homer off of Angels closer Jordan Walden. Dunn leads the team in RBIs and walks and is tied with Tyler Flowers for the long ball lead, after missing Tuesday’s action due to stiffness in his neck.
“Today he felt good enough to go out there and didn’t feel like he would get hurt,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Dunn. “He has had good at-bats all spring. He has looked great even in BP. It’s just, in Spring Training, you just keep it going every day and keep that feeling going.”
Eduardo Escobar, the utility infielder fighting for the final position player spot on the roster, knocked out two hits and delivered the game-winning, two-run single with two outs in the eighth.
WHAT WENT WRONG: Chris Sale continues to build up his endurance in his move from reliever to starter. But as he continues to give up runs, with five scoring in 4 1/3 innings on Wednesday, he continues to be tough on himself.
“Obviously you don’t want to kick yourself around the house about it, but at the same time I’m not going to let it roll off my shoulders,” Sale said. “I take this seriously. Whether it’s Spring Training, Game 7 or a wiffle ball game, I got to go out there and get the job done.”
The more troubling news for the White Sox came off the field, with Jesse Crain being scratched due to a slightly strained right oblique. Ventura played down the seriousness of the problem, but Crain is an integral part of the bullpen and the oblique can be tricky.
WHAT’S NEXT: Philip Humber starts in Thursday’s B game against the Mariners, and Hector Santiago also will pitch. Dylan Axelrod starts in Goodyear against the Indians, with Zack Stewart also pitching. The most interesting note from Thursday is Dan Johnson getting his first look at third base during the B game.
MOMENT TO REMEMBER: Matt Thornton continues to have an outstanding Spring Training run, throwing another scoreless inning on Wednesday and striking out one. The closer’s job, at this point, could come down to him and rookie Addison Reed, with Thornton having the clear edge.
MOMENT TO FORGET: Maybe it’s actually a moment to remember, but Sale and Anthony Carter were the first of many home run victims for Albert Pujols. The first drive launched by Pujols carried so far down the left field line that Sale even admitted to losing track of it after Pujols made contact.
Make it eight losses in 10 Cactus League games for the White Sox, who fell victim for the sixth time against National League teams. Here’s a look at what took place:
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Gavin Floyd looked regular-season ready with four strong innings thrown against the Padres. He fanned five, including Orlando Hudson, Chase Headley and Will Venable in the first, and didn’t issue a walk.
Addison Reed earned praise for his one inning from manager Robin Ventura, who said the closer’s decision won’t officially come down until the final week of Spring Training. Eric Stults and Brian Bruney, locked in a battle with Dylan Axelrod and Zack Stewart for the final two bullpen spots, threw scoreless innings and have been unscored upon in seven combined Cactus League innings.
WHAT WENT WRONG: Charlie Leesman continues to struggle this spring, facing only four batters in the fifth and not retiring any of them, before eventually being charged with four runs. Leesman features plus-stuff but hasn’t been able to harness it since his Arizona arrival.
UP NEXT: Chris Sale takes the mound for Cactus League start No. 2 on Wednesday at home against the Angels. Sale had a solid first start against the Cubs on Friday but was hard on himself for walking Junior Lake with two outs and nobody on base in the second and then giving up a 0-2 home run to Edgar Gonzalez.
MOMENT TO REMEMBER: Jordan Danks’ bloop single to left-center in the third. It wasn’t that Danks crushed the ball, although he did have a good at-bat, but it was more about Brent Lillibridge getting a great jump off of second and making a great read on the fly ball to score easily with nobody out. The White Sox will need to be aggressive on the basepaths, among many other intangibles, in order to be successful.
MOMENT TO FORGET: The Padres’ four-run fifth. Leesman’s struggles started the frame, but errors from Lillibridge and Jhan Marinez on a pickoff attempt contributed to the rally. The White Sox finally got out of trouble on a Marinez wild pitch that bounced back off the wall to catcher Hector Gimenez and allowed him to tag out Nick Hundley before he scored.
Round 1 goes to the Cubs, who claimed a 5-1 victory over the White Sox before 10,327 at Camelback Ranch on Friday. There will be seven more chances for the White Sox to get even, but here’s a look at the highs and lows of this first battle.
WHAT WENT RIGHT: If Chris Sale gets this charged up over his first Cactus League start, one can only imagine the energy he’ll bring to the rotation during the 2012 regular season. The raw stuff is there for Sale, probably the best raw stuff on the White Sox staff.
Like any other pitcher, he’s working on location and building up arm strength as the regular season fast approaches. The endurance is especially important for Sale, who is moving from late-inning relief to the starting five.
And his anger over the two-out, nobody-on walk issued to Junior Lake in the second, which was followed by Edgar Gonzalez’s two-run home run, is reminiscent of the same high personal standard for no free passes held by new staff ace John Danks. Sale felt as if he’s figuring out his pregame routine as a starter, but wasn’t making excuses even in his Spring Training debut.
“It was what it was. You’re still working out kinks, but there’s no excuse at all,” Sale said. “You still got to pitch. But you’re still finding some things out and figuring some things out along the way. But at the end of the day, you still got to be better than that.”
Alejandro De Aza laid down a perfect bunt single in the first, while A.J. Pierzynski, back hitting in the two-hole, moved De Aza to third with a single to left in the first and sacrificed over two runners in the third. Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain, both strongly in the closer’s mix, each pitched a scoreless frame.
WHAT WENT WRONG: Nate Jones, who pitched two scoreless innings during his Cactus League debut, gave up a Marlon Byrd homer in the sixth and a Steve Clevenger home run in the seventh. The White Sox also failed to score with the bases loaded and out in the third against Travis Wood and Randy Wells.
WHAT’S NEXT: It’s a rare doubleheader for the White Sox on Saturday, with both games taking place at Camelback Ranch. Dylan Axelrod gets the start in Game 1 against the Rangers, which will be an exclusive whitesox.com webcast starting at 2:05 p.m. CT, and Philip Humber starts the nightcap against the Dodgers at 8:05 p.m. CT. Brent Lillibridge will be leading off and playing second base against the Rangers in the early game.
MOMENT TO REMEMBER: Adrian Cardenas’ ninth-inning pop out to shortstop Ray Olmedo, as it completed two scoreless innings of relief for Nestor Molina. It was a tough first outing for Molina on Monday, allowing five runs on seven hits over 1 1/3 innings, but the right-hander gave up one hit and struck out two on Friday.
“You can hear him talk and doing things, taking charge, which is nice,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Molina. “To have that first outing and come back, with that impressive performance, it catches your eye.”
MOMENT TO FORGET: Sale’s 0-2 pitch to Gonzalez in the second. It got too much of the plate.
There were no champagne corks popping or raucous celebrations going on in the White Sox clubhouse following Robin Ventura’s first win as a manager on Thursday in Surprise. But the 6-3 victory for the South Siders still had plenty of highlights, as the White Sox improved to 1-3 in Cactus League action.
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Adam Dunn. Adam Dunn. And … . Oh, yes, Adam Dunn.
It was just the fourth game of 2012 for the White Sox and it was Cactus League play in Arizona, after all, where the statistics don’t make their way to the back of baseball cards. But the big slugger still looks locked in at the plate in a way he never did during all of the 2011 season.
“The at-bats are more important for me looking at it,” said Ventura of Dunn, who homered on a 1-2 pitch from Neftali Feliz in the first and doubled home another run in the third. “I see his at-bats, his approach when he does it, instead of if he gets a hit. That’s all I’m really looking for right now, him having quality at-bats up there. He’s in a great spot.”
Gordon Beckham also went deep in the fourth, while Brent Morel’s two hits leave him at 5-for-8 over the first four games.
And let’s not forget about Hector Santiago, who is getting extremely close to locking up the fifth spot in the White Sox bullpen. Santiago started on Thursday and held scoreless over two innings a Texas lineup featuring Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler, Mike Napoli and Elvis Andrus. Santiago struck out Cruz and Hamilton.
“I just worry about the next time to go out there. I try to do the same thing every time,” said Santiago, refusing to handicap his roster status. “I just tried to go out there and not worry about who is in the box and just hit (Tyler) Flowers right in the mitt. That’s all I was trying to do.”
WHAT WENT WRONG: Gregory Infante possesses Major League stuff, but simply has trouble getting it over the plate at times. He walked three over 1 2/3 innings on Thursday.
The biggest trouble spot was the first real injury of camp suffered by Minor League prospect Brandon Short. He dislocated his left shoulder going for a Luis Martinez double in the eighth, running into the center field wall on the attempt. Short was to have a MRI done on the injured area.
WHAT’S NEXT: It’s the first of eight meetings this season between the Cubs and the White Sox, with first pitch set for 2:05 p.m. CT Friday at Camelback Ranch. Chris Sale makes his long-awaited debut as part of the starting rotation, not counting his intrasquad appearance. The two teams hook up again on March 18 in Mesa, before meeting six times during regular-season Interleague action.
MOMENT TO REMEMBER: The handshakes on the field at Surprise Stadium after Anthony Carter, who had good velocity on his pitches in earning the save, retired Martinez on a ground ball double play to end Ventura’s first victory. Ventura also offered up this on-the-mark postgame quote.
“It’s good to get wins just for the psyche of guys walking on the field, shaking hands,” Ventura said. “But you know, most of the guys that you want to see do it are already driving home. It’s good for the young guys to kind of finish it off and do that, but I’m concerned about those first five innings a little more than the end right now.”
MOMENT TO FORGET: Short’s injury. Otherwise, the White Sox had a pretty solid afternoon of baseball.
The White Sox will have to make a roster move in between games of today’s doubleheader in order to bring up expected Game 2 starter, Carlos Torres, from Triple-A Charlotte. That temporary odd man out figures to be left-handed reliever Erick Threets, with the White Sox not needing to go with 13 pitchers, although Threets is out of options.
But with Torres being unavailable for the next four games after his start, the White Sox basically will be down to 11 pitchers and need another arm. They also will be left with one southpaw, in Matt Thornton, so they could dip to Charlotte for a left-hander and send Torres back, as they did with Lucas Harrell after last Friday’s victory.
Randy Williams, who started the season with the White Sox, could come back to the South Siders. Don’t be surprised, though, if Chris Sale, the team’s top pick from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft and 13th selection overall, is promoted.
Sale has been dominant since being moved to Charlotte, fanning 15 over 6 1/3 innings. The White Sox believe he can help out of the bullpen this season, and with a spot open on the 40-man roster, Sale could start helping this week in Detroit.