Sox waste good outing by Jake Peavy, lose 2-1 in 10 innings
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org April 20, 2013 10:02PM
The Chicago White Sox pitcher Hector Santiago meets with catcher Tyler flowers during the tenth inning at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Ill., on Saturday, April 20, 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
TWINS At SOX
The facts: 1:10, Ch. 9, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The pitchers: Scott Diamond (0-1, 8.31) vs. Gavin Floyd (0-3, 6.32)
Updated: May 22, 2013 7:11AM
It’s difficult to make any judgments on a team that has played half its games in football weather.
‘‘I think we’re all a little disappointed with how the road trip went,’’ White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Saturday. ‘‘We didn’t expect to go 3-7 on it. There were some positives — we were in essentially every game. After starting 0-4, the fight back [to 3-7] was good to see.
‘‘We’re frustrated with how that thing went. A couple of breaks here or there, a little better execution, and it could have been a winning trip. But with just about 10 percent of the season played, I don’t think you can draw any grand conclusions about where we sit right now.’’
With 145 games left in the season, there’s no doubt about that. But sooner or later, this team is going to have to develop a knack for winning the games they should win. Even with another 43-degree day, Adam Dunn still slumping and Gordon Beckham, Dayan Viciedo, Leyson Septimo, John Danks and Angel Sanchez out with injuries, the Sox should’ve beaten the Minnesota Twins on Saturday but found a way to lose, 2-1 in 10 innings before 22,417 chilly fans at U.S. Cellular Field.
While it’s too early to panic, it’s never too early to lament some old bugaboos that have cost the Sox dearly in recent seasons. They wasted another solid start by Jake Peavy, who allowed only one run and six hits with nine strikeouts in seven innings.
And they still struggle to beat pitchers they’ve never faced before. Twins starter Vance Worley came in with an 0-2 record and 10.50 ERA. In his first three starts, he had allowed 12 earned runs in the first and second innings, a 21.60 ERA. Yet after Alejandro De Aza’s leadoff home run in the first, the Sox had only four singles against Worley. Six of their seven strikeouts against him were called third strikes.
‘‘It was a good day to pitch,’’ first baseman Paul Konerko said. ‘‘He did what he should have done — attack the strike zone.
‘‘We’ve never faced him. He stayed away on everybody, didn’t come in too much. I think that was a little bit of a different look than I thought we were going to see. He definitely made pitches when he had to. Yeah, he’s got a good arm. He comes right at you. Definitely a good outing for him.’’
Worley allowed one run in seven innings to drop his ERA to 7.11 — while the Sox crapped out behind Peavy. With Tyler Flowers on first base in the third inning, Jeff Keppinger hit a ball sharply to center, but Flowers ‘‘misread’’ the ball and was forced at second. After Flowers singled with one out in the fifth, De Aza struck out on a hit-and-run, and Flowers was caught stealing for an inning-ending double play.
The Sox had their moments. The Twins had the bases loaded in the eighth when Conor Gillaspie made a diving stop behind third and threw on his knees to Flowers for a force at home to save a run. And Nate Jones ended the inning by getting Brian Dozier to pop out to Konerko.
But the Sox could muster nothing against Worley and four Twins relievers and finally blinked in the 10th. With Ryan Doumit on second and one out against reliever Hector Santiago (0-1), shortstop Alexei Ramirez handcuffed Keppinger — playing first for Konerko, who had left for a pinch runner in the ninth — for an error on Eduardo Escobar’s infield single that allowed Doumit to score the tiebreaking run.
‘‘We’re just in a little funk,’’ Peavy said. ‘‘These games that we’ve lost, we haven’t been out of these games. We haven’t been blown out one time. Bottom line is making the big pitch, getting the big hit and finding the way to win those games. We’re going to have to [do that] to be a contending team.’’