Results tagged ‘ Dewayne Wise ’

Game 17: Angels knock out Danks

TEMPE, Ariz. – An Angels’ lineup featuring Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and Mark Trumbo, among others, could do damage against many pitchers even at the top of their game. In Thursday’s 12-4 White Sox loss, it was John Danks and his road back to the Majors that got taken down over 3 1/3 innings. Here’s a look.

HOME RUN: Tyler Flowers feels good at the plate and backed up that Thursday morning analysis with a strong game at Diablo Stadium. Flowers drew a walk in the third off of Jason Vargas after being down 0-2 in the count and scored, doubled to center in the fifth and lined out to center in the seventh.

TRIPLE: Although he’s not front and center in the roster picture, outfielder Blake Tekotte hit the ball hard Thursday. He tripled home one run, marking his second Spring Training three-bagger, and then added a second RBI with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly.

DOUBLE: Jordan Danks didn’t start Thursday’s game but knocked out two hits and drove in a run as a replacement for Dewayne Wise. It was Wise who drove home the team’s second run with a sixth-inning homer off of left-handed throwing Scott Downs.

SINGLE: A single for Hector Gimenez in the ninth leaves him at 9-for-16 for the spring. All nine hits have been singles.

STOLEN BASE: As the leadoff hitter in the fourth inning, the left-handed hitting Adam Dunn tried to lay down a bunt on the first pitch from left-handed throwing Vargas. The bunt attempt went foul. Dunn, who has 406 career homers, launched the next pitch toward the left field stands but it was hauled in against the wall by left fielder Vernon Wells.

CALLED THIRD: Danks worked 3 1/3 innings, which represents his longest 2013 Cactus League outing to date, and felt good despite allowing six earned runs on seven hits. He focused on the changeup, using it to strikeout Howie Kendrick and Trumbo in the first, but did so in part because that pitch was working the best for him.

He also benefitted from facing as strong of a lineup as the Angels.

“For me especially, I need to see lineups like this down here. Just because more than anyone else in camp, I’m needing to see reactions, and how guys are taking pitches,” Danks said “I just need to kind of get it going a little more — some of these other guys can go out there and just get their work in, and certainly I’m doing the same thing. But I’m hoping to see progress each time.

“I don’t feel like I can really do that unless I’m facing big league hitters. Without a doubt, that’s one of the better lineups we’ll see this year. Wish it could’ve gone a little better.”

White Sox manager Robin Ventura pointed out the good news is that Danks is not hurting, although the White Sox would like slightly better results from their left-hander.

“Once you start getting knocked around a little, it kicked in and he picked it up a little bit,” said Ventura of Danks. “Even though it’s Spring Training, you’d like to see a little bit better than this.”

JUST A BIT OUTSIDE: The White Sox are 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position over their past two losses. Jhan Marinez also was touched up for four runs on one hit and three walks in the seventh, but they were all unearned because of Tekotte’s dropped fly ball in center.

Game 2: White Sox fit to be tied

There are no shootouts in Major League Baseball to break a tie, and often times in Spring Training, there are no extra innings to do the same. So, the second of back-to-back games between the Dodgers and White Sox at Camelback Ranch Sunday ended in a 2-2 deadlock. Here’s a look.

HOME RUN: Let’s go with the man who actually hit the home run, Adam Dunn. The slugger said coming into Spring Training that he was going to be more aggressive early in the count, in an attempt to cut down strikeouts and raise his average, and there was Dunn driving out a 1-0 pitch from Peter Moylan to left for a two-run homer in the fourth inning Sunday.

“You know, it’s nice to get those,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Dunn’s blast. “If it lingers on too much, not having good at-bats, you are starting off battling from the negative. It’s nice for everybody to kind of get on the board and have a good at-bat. It feels nice to end your day that way too.”

Dunn’s job won’t change from driving in runs, and he won’t suddenly become a .280 hitter and watch his home run total drop to 15. But he’s taking the time at Spring Training to work on subtle improvements.

“There’s one little mechanical thing I wanted to work on, and I didn’t know how long it was going to take me this spring. I knew we had an extended spring,” Dunn said. “But actually I’m able to carry it over from the cage to the game so far. That’s a positive.”

TRIPLE: On his 35th birthday, Dewayne Wise tripled to right with two outs in the third off of Hyun-Jin Ryu.

DOUBLE: Little things continue to mean a lot to the White Sox under the Robin Ventura regime. In the third, Hanley Ramirez delivered a run-scoring single off of Erik Johnson to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead but Dunn cut off the throw home by center fielder Blake Tekotte and threw back to first, behind Ramirez, where second baseman Gordon Beckham was covering to tag out Ramirez, end the inning and cut short any continued rally.

In the second, backup catcher Hector Gimenez fired a perfect strike to Beckham to catch Andre Eithier stealing by quite a margin.

SINGLE: Alex Rios tripled before Dunn’s opposite field homer, giving Rios three extra-base hits in two games.

STOLEN BASE: When I asked Tyler Flowers for pitchers who had looked good during side bullpen sessions, he mentioned both Daniel Moskos and David Purcey. The two southpaws threw one hitless inning apiece.

CALLED THIRD: It was a solid debut for Johnson, who took advantage of an opportunity the White Sox are giving to their up-and-coming Minor League starters during this first week of Cactus League action. Johnson struck out two and gave up one run on four hits over three innings.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity,” Johnson said. “I just wanted to go out there and pound the strike zone and attack hitters and keep the ball down, let my defense play behind me.”

The native of Los Altos, Calif. also seemed to get a charge out of facing the Dodgers.

“Growing up in the Bay Area and watching the Giants growing up, I saw the Dodgers a lot,” Johnson said. “It felt good to go out at these guys and attack them. It was just another great opportunity today.”

JUST A BIT OUTSIDE: After a leadoff single by Steven Tolleson in the ninth, he was caught stealing with Trayce Thompson at the plate and pulling back on a bunt.

Buehrle honored

Mark Buehrle was honored once again on Tuesday night at the start of the Mark Buehrle Appreciation Series, during which the White Sox will be playing host to the Angels. Anyone who has interacted with Buehrle or covered the left-hander over the past decade or so understands that the laid-back and unaffected superstar would rather give up five runs in an inning than have this much public attention.

But with his wife, Jamie, son Braden and daughter Brooklyn at his side on Tuesday, not to mention his parents, Buehrle truly seemed to enjoy this classy ceremony to honor the 18th perfect game in Major League history and his new Major League record of 45 straight batters retired.

Dewayne Wise and Ramon Castro also were honored, with two simple words reading ‘The Catch’ now permanently posted on the outfield wall at U.S. Cellular Field above Billy Pierce’s likeness and his retired number. That spot, of course, was where Wise jumped on the dead run to take a home run away from Gabe Kapler to lead off the ninth and preserve the perfect game.

Castro was behind the plate for Buehrle’s perfecto, catching Buehrle for the first time ever. Each player unveiled a photo directly related to their part of the perfect game, with Buehrle’s framed shot being the most grandiose since he was the architect of this gem. But before that moment happened, a video montage showing all 27 outs was played on the Jumbotron.

White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf gave a brief speech, eloquently praising Buehrle’s historic effort. And with Braden standing with him behind home plate, Buehrle also addressed the crowd and thanked his family and his teammates, among others. The pregame ceremony was capped off by Wise throwing out the first pitch to Buehrle, who usually is the man behind the plate for these first pitches when he’s not starting.

The crowd cheered loudly at every step, providing an especially boisterous reaction when the Wise catch was replayed a few times on the center field scoreboard. The crowd’s feelings for Buehrle were summed up rather nicely by one particular sign in the stands, reading, ‘I wanna be like Mike,’ with the Mike portion crossed off and Mark written in next to Mike.

Anderson traded; Kotsay acquired

Brian Anderson got his wish to be traded, and in the process, the White Sox apparently have added a valuable veteran piece to their bench for the playoff push over the next two months.

Anderson, 27, was traded to Boston in exchange for Mark Kotsay and cash considerations on Tuesday. Kotsay, 33, is a .281 hitter with 110 home runs and 614 RBIs over 13 Major League seasons. He batted .257 with one homer and five RBIs in 27 games for the Red Sox in 2009 before being designated for assignment on July 24.

Kotsay’s arrival now makes either Dewayne Wise or Josh Fields expendable for Chicago. Kotsay ranks third among all Major League outfielders with his 113 assists since the start of the 1998 season, trailing Bobby Abreu (117) and Vladimir Guerrero (115), but also can back-up Paul Konerko at first base.

Of even greater importance is Kotsay’s .373 career average as a pinch-hitter, an extremely weak area for the White Sox at present. Wise had been serving as a defensive replacement and a left-handed hitting reserve outfielder, while Fields had been spelling both Jim Thome at designated hitter and Konerko at first base.

It was just five days ago when Anderson told MLB.com that he would like to be traded so he could get a fresh start at playing regularly somewhere else. For the moment, that start doesn’t look as if it will come in Boston, as the White Sox top pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft will be sent to the Minors. He hit .238 with two home runs and 13 RBIs in 65 games before being optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on July 20. Anderson is a career .225 hitter, with 20 homers and 75 RBIs in 334 games.

Buehrle on Letterman, perfect game recognition

Mark Buehrle has yet to receive the official word confirming his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman this Monday. Buehrle would tape a show staple Top 10 list from Minneapolis, along with teammates Dewayne Wise and Josh Fields, in honor of Buehrle hurling the 18th perfect game in Major League Baseball history on Thursday against Tampa Bay.

Being the consummate teammate, Buehrle wanted chief contributors Wise (the catch) and Fields (the grand slam) to join him in this move into network television. But Buehrle had a second reason for their addition.

“I wouldn’t have wanted to (alone) because I don’t like reading that much stuff,” said Buehrle with a laugh. “My agent (Jeff Berry) is the one who hooked that all up. I don’t like doing that kind of stuff.

“They were trying to fly me out for Conan O’Brien and that’s just too much national television stuff, the camera getting in front of my face. I’m not into all that.”

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen spoke on Friday as to how Buehrle throwing no-hitters and a perfect game is about as far removed from his gameplan as could be expected, with Buehrle not featuring a high-octane fastball and relying more on opposing hitters making contact and putting the ball in play. But getting Buehrle to take advantage of this fame through television shows and commercials…?

Well, that idea is even more foreign to the laid-back hurler with Midwestern sensibilities then the hitless efforts.

“With the no-hitter and success I’ve had, trying to get me out there and doing commercials or different things, they want me to get out there and I turn a lot of them down,” said Buehrle, who admitted with all of the talk and hype surrounding the Letterman appearance, it almost has to happen, at this point. “I like doing stuff, getting stuff and doing whatever, but I don’t like doing all the TV stuff that’s involved in doing it.”

Buehrle does appreciate the love and appreciation shown to him from within the baseball fraternity following Thursday’s perfect effort. A clubhouse video has circulated showing members of the Phillies going crazy when Wise robbed Gabe Kapler of the ninth-inning homer and then the group cheering just as loudly when Buehrle retired Jason Bartlett for the game’s final out.

After completing a round of interviews Friday in the White Sox dugout at Comerica Park, Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera stopped Buehrle to offer his personal congratulations.

Of course, the ultimate sign of respect came when numerous Tampa Bay players stayed in the visiting dugout, while the wild celebration took place on the field, to recognize Buehrle’s effort.

“To me, that was a very classy move,” Buehrle said. “I didn’t see it at the very beginning but a couple of guys said the whole team was out there for the majority of the celebration. Then, I got done with the interviews and there were six or eight guys out there. I gave them a thumbs up and I thought that was a class act by the guys out there.

“David Price wrote me a note and said, ‘Hey, it was an awesome game to watch and to be a part of history. It was an awesome game, congrats.’ Just all that kind of stuff, it makes you feel good that guys recognize it.

“Anytime history is going to be made, guys will tune in and watch it whenever they can. I think the same way,” Buehrle said. “It made me smile and feel good when they showed the (Phillies) going crazy when Wise made that catch. It almost kind of seemed like certain guys were rooting it on for it to happen.”

Historic baseball and David Letterman

A little misinformation apparently has been floating around concerning the whereabouts of the baseball used to record the last out of Mark Buehrle’s perfect game on Thursday. And here’s the official confirmation, as provided by the White Sox themselves.

The ball is in the White Sox offices at U.S. Cellular Field and will be held for future display. Josh Fields caught the final out on a throw from shortstop Alexei Ramirez and had it briefly taken by a Major League Baseball authenticator. But the ball was never lost, and the White Sox actually had it back in their possession directly from said authenticator.

In other Buehrle-related news, Dewayne Wise’s glove also will be going to Baseball’s Hall of Fame along with Buehrle’s jersey. The appearance by Buehrle, Dewayne Wise and Fields to do the Top 10 list on the Late Show with David Letterman from Minneapolis on Monday has not yet been officially confirmed on Buehrle’s end.

But if Buehrle chose Letterman, I applaud his decision-making process. It’s the funniest show on television, in my opinion.

Crosstown Showdown: U.S. Cellular Wrap

John Danks already has earned the utmost respect from his teammates over three big-league seasons, and throwing seven scoreless innings as he did during Sunday’s 6-0 victory over the Cubs only increases that respect.

But Danks also stepped up and showed he had his teammates’ backs by hitting Ryan Freel to open the seventh. Carlos Zambrano already had hit Scott Podsednik and Dewayne Wise earlier in the game, with Wise’s situation causing words to briefly be exchanged between the two in the bottom of the sixth.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen would not go as far as to categorize Danks’ effort as a purpose pitch.

“It’s part of the game,” Guillen said. “I cannot say he hit him on purpose because that’s accusing people.”

When Danks hit Freel in the left forearm, Freel blew on the spot as if to indicate a lack of velocity or pain on impact as he ran to first. But Danks had the last laugh on this particular day.

“To be totally honest with you, I didn’t even see him,” Danks said. “He went to first base and fortunately, we were able to strand him. Whatever he did, that’s something you would have to ask him. It didn’t bother me a bit; I didn’t even see it.”

–This just in: According to a well-placed family source, Danks and Scott Linebrink combined for an all Round Rock, Texas shutout on Sunday. Linebrink, who fanned four in two perfect innings, graduated from Round Rock McNeil High School, and Danks from Round Rock High School. There’s some interesting trivia to amuse your friends.

–Danks made sure to spread the credit to catcher A.J. Pierzynski for Sunday’s victory.

“I didn’t shake A.J. once. A.J. did a great job, he always does,” Danks said. “I know that for the most part, I just have to follow his lead and try to hit his glove with whatever pitch he tells me to throw.”

Pierzynski pointed to Danks’ changeup as his outpitch against the Cubs.

“He kept getting swings and misses and weak ground balls with the changeups,” Pierzynski said.

–As Pierzynski was talking about Chris Getz’s steal of home in the clubhouse, Gary Matthews Jr. swiped home during the Angels’ game on one of the televisions on at the time.

–Guillen showed strong pregame support for the White Sox visiting clubhouse staff amidst Cubs’ allegations that there was a leak surrounding what was said during Friday’s Lou Piniella-Milton Bradley spat. Guillen also shared his thoughts on Mark DeRosa moving from Cleveland to St. Louis.

“It’s funny. Mark DeRosa was my backup (in Atlanta). Now he’s the most wanted guy in baseball,” Guillen said with a laugh. “I was the backup at shortstop and Mark was my backup. I think this guy can help a lot of people.

“He can play every position very well, he’s a great man in the clubhouse. You can play him second, third, you can hit him leadoff. He can do so many great things in baseball. I think Tony picked the right guy. I think he’s going to help him.”

–Finally, here’s Jermaine Dye’s take on the 2009 competition with the Cubs, which has one more makeup game at Wrigley Field on Sept. 3 or 10.

“This series is always great, especially for the city of Chicago and the fans and for us and the clubhouse,” Dye said. “It’s a great atmosphere.

“What a series for everyone. The city of Chicago – three great games and a lot of excitement going on. That’s what you like to see when two teams in the city are playing each other.”

–Actually, one final note. Here’s a closing aside from Wise on Zambrano hitting him after Getz swiped home.

“My thing is just go out and try to get the guy out,” Wise said. “Don’t get mad and throw at someone and hit them. Play baseball and try to get the guy out.”

Crosstown Showdown: U.S. Cellular Field version

Here are a few additional tidbits from the Cubs 5-4 victory over the White Sox on Friday, a competitive and entertaining affair, which sadly is sure to be overshadowed by the dugout outburst from one Cubs outfielder.

–Paul Konerko had his 118-game errorless streak come to an end in the seventh inning, when he bobbled Mike Fontenot’s chopper as Konerko was moving toward second and then couldn’t get the ball to Jose Contreras covering at first base. Geovany Soto followed with a three-run blast to left-center that proved to be the game-winner.

Konerko is an extremely underrated defensive player at first base, and was given the out by one reporter on the miscue coming off of a bad hop. Instead, Konerko explained the thought process on the play.

“That play, it’s one where, as a first baseman, you’ve got kind of a choice when that ball is hit,” Konerko said. “If you just pull up, you can go back to the bag and just get an easy out at first, and then you have a guy at second.

“Then, if there’s a broken-bat hit, you feel sick.You aggressively go after it, and you know it’s kind of a do or die, and I died there. But it’s aggressive. You’re going to make errors. I’d rather make them hard and aggressive like that than laying back. No worries there.

“I wish I would have made it,” Konerko said. “I feel bad when I make an error like that behind Jose because he was pitching so well. I thought he was having a really good day. He threw the ball really well today and battled. You’re sick in that respect, but you’re going to make errors. If I can make them all like that, I’ll be happy.”

Meanwhile, the White Sox might have put a bigger scare into Kevin Gregg in the ninth if not for a great play by Derrek Lee. Pinch-hitter Dewayne Wise hit a shot to Lee, who made a diving stop and flipped to Gregg covering first base, with Gregg beating Wise by half a step for the inning’s second out.

– Ozzie Guillen pinch-hit Josh Fields for Gordon Beckham with two outs in the ninth inning because he wanted to go for the tie with the White Sox trailing by one and down to their last bullet.

“Besides that, the on-base percentage is a lot different,” Guillen said. “Fields had a good at-bat and gave us a chance to get somebody on base, and Beckham has struggled lately.”

Fields drew a walk, after being down in the count at 1-2, before Scott Podsednik took a called third strike that appeared to be a bit outside on a 2-2 pitch for the game’s final out.

– Nobody on the Cubs asked me, but here’s a lineup idea presented by my brother, Jeff, once Aramis Ramirez returns. Move Alfonso Soriano to second base and put Jake Fox in left field. It’s hard to imagine Fox’s big bat going to the Minors or the bench.

And remember, he’s another proud producer from the University of Michigan pipeline.

–Jose Contreras has allowed eight home runs in his last three starts against the Cubs. He also suffered from back spasms during Friday’s game but stayed in the game after the discomfort dissipated.

“I felt a little pinch,” said Contreras through interpreter and White Sox director of public relations Lou Hernandez. “I had to lower myself a little bit to throw the forkball, but luckily it was nothing. It was just a little pinch at that moment.”

–Sight not seen by the masses: As Guillen was exiting his postgame press conference in the U.S. Cellular Field Conference and Learning Center, he paused briefly to exchange hugs and a few words with Lou Piniella outside the Cubs clubhouse, before Piniella went into his meeting with the media.

–And finally, one comment from Konerko on getting a look at any of Milton Bradley’s dugout outburst.

“Not at all. Well, I shouldn’t say not at all,” Konerko said. “I saw some guys move down in the tunnel. I didn’t know why. I didn’t even know who it had to do with. And that was it. And then you kind of caught wind of it later in the game.

“That’s all I know. You tell me. I’m sure I’ll find out. I’m sure some one will let us know. But yeah, it’s not our business.”

–Actually, one final note. Remember, the White Sox lost the first game of the series in Milwaukee and Cincinnati and at home against the Dodgers, but they came back to win all three series. They are 9-7 overall in Interleague Play.

 

Homestand leftovers

One day after general manager Ken Williams talked about the future direction of the White Sox if they don’t pick up the pace a bit in the next few weeks, manager Ozzie Guillen addressed the same topic Thursday.

“Kenny is the GM and my job is to manage the team he put on the field,” said Guillen, when asked if he expected big personnel changes to come for his team. “My job is to make the best ballclub out of that. Kenny in the past and in the future, as long as I’m here, we are on the same page. He gives me great ballclubs to compete. Maybe people don’t believe that, but I do and I’m the one in charge of this ballclub.

“If we continue to play this way, you know something is going to happen. If we do a little better, then obviously we are going to keep the ballclub. We are here to win and we build this ballclub to win.

“Obviously, every general manager will do the same thing or think about it,” Guillen said. “We not playing good, that’s his decision and I respect his decision. I hope players start playing better and we can keep the same people with the ballclub. If not, that’s part of the game. The media has to understand that.”

Guillen added that he doesn’t want to his team get into too deep of a long-term hole, where it will take years to climb out. Williams agrees with that philosophy, and incorporated young players such as Chris Getz, Josh Fields and even Gordon Beckham into the 2009 fold to stay competitive in the present and future.

“I don’t want to get in the hole and suffer for the next 10 years trying to get better,” Guillen said. “If we don’t think we are going to get it done with this ballclub, Kenny has to make the decision. He has a job and he’s doing a pretty good job.

“Some time people don’t like the decisions other ones make. It’s easy to make decisions for someone else. We are not talking about it, but I will do the same stuff.”

As for handling a young team, Guillen sees no problem if the change over occurs.

“I don’t see why not,” Guillen said. “Those guys have a lot of talent. Hopefully, that’s a lesson for those kids. They learn from the best and it’s not because they are my players.

“When you play with Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko and Jim Thome, those three guys, you are not going to be better teammates than those guys. They are professional and go about business the right way. They do everything they can for baseball. Hopefully those kids look up to these guys and play the way these guys play.”

–I had the chance to talk with Dewayne Wise today and asked him if he was safe at home during Tuesday’s 7-6 loss to Detroit in 10 innings. Wise would have been the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth, completing a four-run ninth on Paul Konerko’s three-run double, but home-plate umpire Jim Joyce ruled him out on the definition of a bang-bang play.

Wise respectfully disagreed, holding his palms flat out in response to the question.

“Safe,” Wise said with a smile.

Wise to begin rehab assignment

Dewayne Wise will begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Monday in Columbus, as the center fielder continues to recover from a separated right shoulder suffered while making a spectacular diving catch in a victory over Detroit on April 13. Wise does not expect to play on Monday and said that he will serve as designated hitter before getting into an outfield role by Wednesday.

Wise expects to be gone from the White Sox during their weeklong road trip to Anaheim and Kansas City. The Knights also visit Toledo at the end of this upcoming week.

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