Results tagged ‘ Jake Peavy ’

Game 18: White Sox continue bashing

The White Sox bats continued their recent surge, pounding out 16 hits in a 16-4 victory over the Royals. Here’s a look at the action from this victory over their American League Central rivals at Camelback Ranch Thursday.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: This is beginning to sound like a broken record, but Adam Dunn has had a great run in Arizona. Not only is Dunn seeing the ball great and getting tremendous results at the plate, but he also looks good playing defensively at first base.

Against the Royals Bruce Chen, Dunn hit a two-run homer in the first and then hit a grand slam during a six-run fifth. The fact that Chen is a lefty, a sort of pitcher Dunn rarely connected against in 2011, was just a bonus.

“I feel fine against lefties. I don’t feel any different than I do against righties,” Dunn said. “It’s just, I’m seeing them good and I’m getting a pitch, I’m putting a good swing on them.”

Dayan Viciedo hit three home runs in a Minor League game at Camelback Ranch, with the White Sox hoping those extra at-bats gets their left fielder into a more productive mode. Meanwhile, Jake Peavy threw six scoreless innings in that same Minor League contest against the Rangers’ Triple-A team, while Zach Stewart strengthened his case as a long relief candidate with just two runs allowed on six hits over five innings against the Royals.

WHAT WENT WRONG: With 29 runs scored in the past two victories, it’s hard to find a pitfall.

Addison Reed allowed two runs over 1 2/3 innings, but manager Robin Ventura admitted that his pitch count was extended a little beyond where they had him slotted for the day. Matt Thornton threw another scoreless inning, and Ventura added Thursday that he doesn’t expect to name a closer before the team leaves for exhibition games in Houston on April 3 and 4.

“They were fine. Again, it’s what you see,” said Ventura of his closer candidates. “Addison probably stayed a little longer than we would have liked, but he got stretched out. But I thought he threw great. In the end, he was a little hot and tired. Matt threw great. They were on time with everything and where they need to be in a few weeks.”

UP NEXT: The White Sox have split-squad action in Tucson, where Dylan Axelrod gets the start against the Dodgers in the afternoon affair where all proceeds from the contest will benefit the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation. Gavin Floyd starts the night game against the Diamondbacks at Camelback Ranch.

MOMENT TO REMEMBER: Josh Phegley tripled with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth to finish off the White Sox scoring on Thursday. While Phegley certainly won’t break camp with the team, he continues to move his name up the list for future catching consideration.

MOMENT TO FORGET: That honor belongs to Chen, the Royals starter who gave up more runs on Thursday against the White Sox than he did in five starts total against them last year. Of course, Thursday’s effort was Cactus League related and is more about the work but still a bit frustrating.

“I don’t know what to say,” Chen said. “I mean, it was a tough first inning and last inning. I tried to make some adjustments. I really think my pitches are coming real good out of my hand. I just have to keep working. I’m not going to give in. I’m not going to make too much out of this.”

Game 3: Peavy gives happy all-clear after start

Make it three up, three down for Robin Ventura as White Sox manager in Cactus League competition. Here’s a look at the important factors behind the 10-6 final in favor of Milwaukee at Camelback Ranch Wednesday.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Jake Peavy felt good.

Yes, I repeat, the White Sox right-hander, scheduled to make the second start of the 2012 regular season in Texas, felt no pain—anywhere.

“I did, I did, I really did,” said Peavy of feeling good during his two innings of work. “I can’t help but have a big smile on my face.”

“You want to win the game,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of one of the silver linings from Wednesday’s setback. “But it’s good seeing Jake go out … . Good velocity.”

Brent Lillibridge continues to show himself as the utility infield favorite by playing a solid second base and knocking out one hit. He also swiped a base, presenting a solid right-handed hitting alternative at the top of the White Sox lineup.

Jared Mitchell launched his first Cactus League home run during the White Sox three-run fifth inning, and Brent Morel finished with two hits.

“He has had good at-bats,” said Ventura of Mitchell. “His confidence level coming in his at-bats, you like what you see. He’s making a good impression.”

WHAT WENT WRONG: Sure, it’s only three games into Cactus League play, but the White Sox middle relief spots could end up being a war of attrition. Nestor Molina, who is a long shot to break camp with the team, got hit hard Monday by the Dodgers, while Dylan Axelrod and Zach Stewart combined to give up six runs on six hits over four innings Wednesday, with three walks and two strikeouts. Eric Stults helped his cause with a scoreless frame against the Brewers.

WHAT’S NEXT: Hector Santiago can strengthen his case for a middle relief job during a start against the Rangers Thursday afternoon in Surprise. Gavin Floyd, Will Ohman and Addison Reed all will pitch during a morning B game, also in Surprise.

MOMENT TO REMEMBER: Peavy’s genuine happiness after Wednesday’s outing. It wasn’t exactly a celebration befitting a playoff clincher, but White Sox fans are hoping for about 35 healthy postgame smiles from Peavy this season.

MOMENT TO FORGET: A couple of fly balls hit off of Peavy and Axelrod, looking somewhat routine at first, ended up carrying over the outfielders for extra-base hits. It’s good to remember how hard it is to judge pitching during Spring Training in Arizona, which is what makes it tough to pick a final two or three pitchers somewhat based on performance.

Game 2: Danks gone a little wild

Robin Ventura stayed winless through two Cactus League games following the Angels’ 6-2 victory Tuesday at Diablo Stadium. Here’s a quick look at the breakdown:

WHAT WENT RIGHT: After striking out twice on Monday, Gordon Beckham ripped two solid singles to left in Tuesday’s setback. It goes to show that Cactus League results aren’t nearly as important as the process to get there.

“After yesterday, you come back and you work on things and get him a little more aggressive,” said Ventura of Beckham. “He looked great.”

Matt Thornton threw a scoreless inning in relief, striking out one and giving up Albert Pujols’ double. Ventura praised Thornton’s work and then sarcastically took a jab at the pitch selection to one of the game’s top players.

“He realized Albert can hit a fastball down the middle,” a smiling Ventura said of Thornton. “So we got that out of the way.”

Keep an eye on Nate Jones, the fifth-round selection from the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. The right-hander who fanned 67 in 63 1/3 innings for Double-A Birmingham last season struck out three over two innings on Tuesday. Jared Mitchell also served a ninth-inning single to left.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Call it a good day of work for John Danks, who threw almost 50 pitches in two innings. The fact that almost half of those pitches were out of the strike zone made it a bit of an erratic work day for the southpaw.

“I’m just trying to throw the ball and make the ball do what I want it to do,” Danks said. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t very sharp today.”

The team finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position for those keeping track of such statistics two games into spring, and Brian Omogrosso was touched up for three runs on four hits in one inning of relief.

WHAT’S NEXT: Jake Peavy goes full throttle 19 months after surgery to reattach his lat muscle when taking the mound against the Brewers on Wednesday. Peavy is scheduled to start the second game of the season in Texas.

MOMENT TO REMEMBER: Trayce Thompson and Gordon Beckham both picked up stolen bases in Tuesday’s loss, as the White Sox were much more aggressive on the basepaths. The White Sox don’t have a highly-touted Minor League system, but they do have young athletes who seem to be learning the game.

MOMENT TO FORGET: It’s a toss-up between two: John Danks snapping his glove in frustration on a throw back from Tyler Flowers after walking Bobby Wilson in the first, showing even Spring Training can draw anger, or Beckham’s name spelled as Beckman on the Diablo Stadium scoreboard during his two trips to the plate.

Beckham helps White Sox become more interesting

Anyone watching Wednesday’s postgame interviews with A.J. Pierzynski and Jake Peavy might have been slightly distracted by a cardboard cutout standing behind them but in camera shot.

That cutout featured the likeness of Jonathan Goldsmith, who is more commonly known as “The Most Interesting Guy in the World.”

“Man,” said Adam Dunn, quickly correcting my mistake while sitting in the White Sox clubhouse. “The Most Interesting Man.”

So, how does one of the most brilliant commercial runs in the history of advertising, representing Dos Equis, factor into the White Sox push for the postseason? It has recently become the symbol of the White Sox Player of the Game in victories, as awarded by Gordon Beckham.

The one catch is that the chosen nightly winner must work the word “interesting” into his first answer to the media following the game.

“Hopefully, he’s going to be there after games, after wins, just bringing the people up in this clubhouse. That’s the goal,” a smiling Beckham said. “It’s going to probably rotate around the player of the game, depending on who does well.

“We are going to put him, the Most Interesting Man is going to put himself in the biggest spotlight, I guess is what’s going to happen. The problem is we might not have to move him from (Paul Konerko’s) locker for the next couple of weeks because of how well he has been playing.”

Beckham received “The Most Interesting Man in the World” as a gift from a family member. Beckham brought it into the clubhouse a while ago, but then the Most Interesting Man temporarily was lost with no signs of where he disappeared.

“He finally came back,” Beckham said. “And he’s back here for a bunch of wins, I think.”

About the only way to enhance the power of the cardboard cutout would be to have Goldsmith visit the White Sox in person. Dunn called the idea “awesome,” but Beckham preached patience with the White Sox version.

“This has to pick up some speed first,” Beckham said.

And just think of the marketing gems if this good luck charm’s arrival coincides with White Sox success. Remember, this campaign already has produced the following gems:

“He has been known to cure Narcolepsy, just by walking into a room.”

“His organ donation card also lists his beard.”

“His blood smells like cologne.”

“He lives vicariously through himself.”

“Sharks have a week dedicated to him.”

“Even his enemies list him as their emergency contact number.”

So, let’s say the White Sox go on a roll behind this new addition and win it all. How about this addition:

“He helped the White Sox win a World Series without throwing or hitting a pitch or even attending a game.”

Peavy’s prophecy: Twins have life

Before Jake Peavy left for his rehab start with Triple-A Charlotte Thursday, actually before Tuesday’s scheduled series opener at Target Field was postponed due to inclement weather, the veteran White Sox right-hander delivered a bit of an ominous message concerning the suddenly surging Twins.

“This team is starting to play well, and I think it’s a big series for the boys,” said Peavy of facing the Twins. “Come up here and win 2 of 3 and stop their momentum and win 2 of 3 in their park.

“If you give these guys life, … I certainly don’t want the Twins to have any more life than they already have. To lose a series and let them have life, we certainly don’t want to have to deal with this team down the stretch. We saw the problems that they can create to anybody they play.”

Two Minnesota victories later, a stretch in which the White Sox managed just one run scored, and the Twins have life. This latest Twin Cities debacle can’t be blamed on some three-hop triple off the Metrodome turf or some miraculous late rally inside the Twins’ indoor home.

Instead, the Twins have simply outplayed the White Sox in all four games this year. It was Mark Buehrle, Thursday’s hard-luck losing pitcher, who told a few weeks ago how the Twins could never be counted out—even when they were sitting closer to 20 games under .500 than first place.

Too many heartbreaking setbacks for the White Sox exist in the memory bank to ever think that way. An otherwise pleasant trip to Minneapolis and the Twins’ beautiful ballpark has been consistently ruined by Minnesota victories.

“Leaving the Metrodome would be easy on us here, or that’s what I thought. I guess not,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “They play good baseball when they play at home. They’re not playing good baseball just against us. I think they’re playing good baseball the last few weeks. You have to give them some credit.”

“I like it a heck of a lot better than I did over at the Dome,” said Buehrle of facing the Twins. “It seemed like when we went to the Dome, it was like, ‘Get in, get out.’ If we won one out of three games, it was like throwing a party. But here, I don’t know. I love coming to this place. Good town, good stadium. Just seems like we don’t play too good here.”

Fortunes better improve quickly for the White Sox in the Twins’ home. The South Siders play seven more games in this venue before the season’s end, from Aug. 5-7 and Sept. 5-7.  Ron Gardenhire’s crew is on the roll going into Interleague that Peavy wanted for the White Sox, and Minnesota’s best baseball usually comes after the All-Star Break.

MRI shows mild strain for Peavy

A MRI taken on White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy at Rush University Medical Center Monday afternoon revealed a mild strain of his right groin (adductor). Peavy left Sunday’s start against Detroit after four innings due to this injury, and he will be evaluated on a daily basis.

Ozzie Guillen said before Monday’s series opener with Seattle how he wasn’t automatically ready to view Peavy as a disabled list case simply because of Peavy’s early departure. He also didn’t mind Peavy trying to pitch through the pain on Sunday, although Peavy admitted afterwards the groin issue and his inability to use his legs during the fourth contributed to Detroit’s six-run inning.

Peavy was working on five days rest after pitching Monday in Boston, when he first felt the pain grab in the groin area. He was flip-flopped with John Danks, though, having Peavy move to Sunday and Danks start Monday.

Peavy throws two scoreless

Jake Peavy’s comeback took a major step forward Friday.

The right-hander, who last pitched in a game on July 6, 2010 against the Angels in U.S. Cellular Field, threw two scoreless innings against those same Angels at Diablo Stadium in his return from a detached latissimus dorsi muscle in his right posterior shoulder. Peavy fanned two and walked one during the 2011 Cactus League debut, as White Sox starters extended their hitless innings streak to 10.

Peavy opened with a swinging strikeout of Maicer Izturis, before falling behind at 3-0 on Bobby Abreu. He battled back to a full count, but Abreu drew a walk. Two pitches later, Torii Hunter hit into a 4-6-3 double play, a pitch on which Peavy topped out velocity-wise at 92 mph, from Brent Lillibridge to Alexei Ramirez to Dallas McPherson, ending the frame.

In the first, Peavy threw 12 pitches and six for strikes.

Vernon Wells struck out to start the second, with Peavy reaching back for something extra on a high fastball off of a 1-2 pitch. Howie Kendrick hit the ball hard but flew out to Alejandro De Aza in center. Erick Aybar came closest to getting a hit, lining a 3-2 pitch to left that was tracked down by Juan Pierre.

That effort meant 26 pitches in total, 16 for strikes. If everything checks out for Peavy Saturday following this important outing, then he’ll go with a side bullpen and get ready to face the Giants Wednesday in Scottsdale.

“Relieved, pleased, it’s a big step to get out there in a game,” Peavy said. “You know, I did what I expected to do and hoped what I would be able to do, turn it up a level and get some big league hitters out. And feel normal in doing that. We accomplished that today. I hope we’ve put a lot of questions and issues to rest.”

Jackson deal close, but will he stay in Chicago?

Edwin Jackson could be joining a White Sox starting rotation with a 26-9 record, 2.73 ERA and 36 quality starts in its last 45 games. The question is: will he remain a permanent member or just be passing through Chicago?

The soon-to-be 27-year-old right-hander has become the South Siders’ target with a little more than 24 hours left before Saturday’s 3 p.m. CT non-waiver trade deadline. But Jackson also is coveted by the Washington Nationals, meaning the White Sox could turn around and ship him out as part of a deal for Adam Dunn, the left-handed hitting run producer who the White Sox have pursued.

Asking prices on Dunn have been too high to this point, with White Sox general manager Ken Williams not willing to part with either Gordon Beckham or Carlos Quentin. A deal for Jackson would cost the White Sox their top pitching prospect, Daniel Hudson, but if they were to pursue a Dunn deal, it might save them losing a second highly-touted young player such as Dayan Viciedo or Jordan Danks.

There’s a chance the White Sox could hang on to Jackson, choosing instead to fortify a starting rotation serving as the backbone for this team’s planned deep run in into the playoffs. Jackson carries a 6-10 record with a 5.21 ERA over 21 starts in the National League, including an eight-walk, 149-pitch no-hitter thrown against the Rays on June 25.

Jackson would be pitching for his fifth team overall and fourth team in his last three seasons. He has a career record of 44-49 with a 4.74 ERA but features a 33-30 record over the last three seasons.

A control issue would be the primary glaring problem spot in Jackson for a White Sox rotation priding itself on attacking the strike zone and letting the strong defense behind them do its work. Jackson walked at least 70 in each of his last three full seasons and has 60 walks in 134 1/3 innings during the 2010 campaign. But Gavin Floyd and All-Star Matt Thornton had previous control issues since corrected upon joining the White Sox.

If Hudson was moved today, with a start scheduled for Friday’s opener against the A’s in Chicago, the White Sox have a couple of one-day replacement options. Lucas Harrell pitched Sunday for Triple-A Charlotte and Jeff Marquez pitched Monday for the Knights, with the two pitchers currently on the White Sox 40-man roster. The White Sox also could turn to Tony Pena and work one game in a bullpen by committee.

When the White Sox traded Clayton Richard as part of the Jake Peavy deal on the day he was scheduled to start in 2009, long reliever D.J. Carrasco made the start.

Keeping Jackson, who would not be needed to be lights out as the team’s fifth starter, becomes a viable option thanks to a White Sox resurgence on offense. The White Sox are hitting .300 with 142 runs scored in their last 26 games overall and are hitting .314 with 40 home runs and 127 runs scored in their last 19 home games, of which they have won 18. They have knocked out 21 long balls in their last seven home games.

As part of the Tigers starting staff in 2009, Jackson found success against the AL with a 13-9 record. Jackson posted a 5-5 mark against the AL Central, with a 4-0 ledger coming against the Indians, and had a 5.07 ERA after the All-Star Break.

Guillen speaks on Zambrano outburst

When fans rise in unison and a murmur starts in the stands during the Crosstown Classic at either Wrigley Field or U.S. Cellular Field, usually it means a fight has broken out between passionate Cubs and White Sox supporters.

There clearly was something different going on after the first inning of Friday’s 6-0 victory for the White Sox.

Fans seated near the White Sox dugout and near the Cubs dugout watched Carlos Zambrano let loose on anyone who would listen as he stomped around his teammates, screaming about his team’s performance during a four-run first inning for the South Siders. Of course, nobody on his team hung a 0-2 changeup to Carlos Quentin, resulting in a three-run home run.

Zambrano’s crazy tirade resulted in the right-hander being pulled from the game after one inning, a suspension issued by the Cubs and an embarrassment for an organization already suffering through a miserable 2010 campaign. It was the topic of conversation for much of Ozzie Guillen’s postgame press conference, primarily because of Guillen’s close relationship with Zambrano, Derrek Lee, who had to be kept apart from Zambrano and Cubs manager Lou Piniella.

Zambrano and the Guillen family also had dinner after Friday’s contest.

“He got a lot of time to make the reservation,” said Guillen of Zambrano, drawing a big laugh from the assembled media.

Guillen defended Zambrano after the incident, stating how Carlos is a great guy. It’s a sentiment echoed by many who know the hurler around the city of Chicago, but that off-field persona might not be able to save his on-field temper in this situation.

“A lot of people don’t know Carlos,” Guillen said. “When he puts his uniform on he like to compete, likes to do well. Off the field, he’s a different cat.

“That’s part of the game. That’s the way he is. If I see him, that’s the way he is and you’re not going to change that. Now he has to come back to the team and talk to his teammates I guess. It’s not an easy situation, but he will be alright.”

One of the questions asked of Guillen was whether he could manage someone like Zambrano. He quickly responded, ‘Yes,’ adding how he could manage anyone.

In a credit to White Sox general manager Ken Williams, Guillen hasn’t been saddled with any players causing situations such as Friday’s during his seven-year reign. He has made some disciplinary moves but never had to handle such a disrespectful maneuver toward teammates.

Yet, in theory, Guillen thought he could handle Zambrano.

“I can manage anybody. I can,” Guillen said. “Why not? You go about your stuff, you believe in yourself, you believe in respect. I’m not afraid [to manage] any player in baseball because I’m going to give them all the respect I can to perform for me.

“You can call me lucky because sometimes guys overreact out there. You tell them right away, ‘Cut it down.’ With that situation, I don’t know how I would react because that hasn’t happened to us yet. If that happened to us, that’s different and you would have to see how I would respond. That hasn’t happened yet.

“I’m the one that’s crazy in the clubhouse,” a smiling Guillen said. “I’m not saying I’m a dictator, but I don’t believe in guys going out there and fighting each other.

“Sometimes that’s good for the team. Sometimes they need that, you never know. When that happens, it wakes a lot of people up and they play better. But I don’t think it puts the Cubs in a different situation. They’re going to go out there and try and win the game tomorrow.”

Jake Peavy earned the win on Friday with seven scoreless innings, and the laid-back, good-natured right-hander is a demonstrative force in his own right on the field. Peavy spoke of composure being so important to success, especially in a high-energy, high-profile series like the Cubs-White Sox, after the intense competitor’s victory.

“Composure is everything in this game,” Peavy said. “It’s easy with the adrenaline and atmosphere you have in this series. There’s no doubt about it, when you take the field, when you come to the ballpark, when you wake up, you know it’s a little bit different day than your normal start day.

“That’s fun. That’s what you live for as a player. I can tell you I had a little more nerves going into this game than I did five days ago going when we played in Washington. That’s just the bottom line.

“In a game like this, it’s very easy if things don’t go well on the field or off the field, you can let your emotions get the best of you,” Peavy said. “The biggest thing is channeling your emotions the right way. I certainly haven’t done it all the time but today I was able to do it for the most part. Obviously, I know Carlos had a rough day and had some stuff happen. They’ll get that resolved as a team.”

Keep an eye on Aquino

Sergio Santos still appears to be the clubhouse leader for the 12th spot on the White Sox pitching staff. Rookie Daniel Hudson has earned rave reviews from coaches and teammates alike, including staff ace Jake Peavy.

But don’t forget about Greg Aquino. The 32-year-old veteran of 145 big-league relief appearances entered camp as a non-roster invite and figured to be part of the Triple-A Charlotte bullpen sooner than later. With two more scoreless innings on Saturday in a 6-2 victory over Colorado at Hi Corbett Field, Aquino has now worked 10 1/3 scoreless innings this spring.

Only Randy Williams has pitched more without giving up a run.

“This kid, everything he does is throw zeros on the board,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of Aquino. “Aquino threw the ball good, he continued to do that. It’s going to be a tough call. We have to wait and see what the next step is going to be for us.”

Aquino figures to make the team if the White Sox take 13 pitchers, but that move is unlikely. The right-hander also was helped by a strong defensive play made behind him by Minor League first baseman Greg Paiml to prevent a run in the seventh.

“That’s why I tell you about defense,” Guillen said. “The defense, the first baseman made it in that inning and the ball (Alejandro) De Aza made in the eighth, those things count. That’s why we talk every day about defense, defense and pitching.”