Ventura gives White Sox backstop Tyler Flowers his backing
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org June 16, 2013 9:39PM
SOX AT ASTROS
The facts: 7:10 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The starters: Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.86 ERA) vs. Bud Norris (5-6, 3.47).
Updated: June 16, 2013 10:14PM
HOUSTON — Manager Robin Ventura is standing behind Tyler Flowers, whose first go at being the White Sox’ full-time catcher has been bumpy. Flowers, batting .220, caught a day game Sunday after a night game.
Asked if Flowers deserves more time to prove himself, Ventura issued a vote of confidence.
“Yeah, catching-wise he’s doing a great job calling a game,’’ Ventura said. “For me, the hitting has become better. He’s going to run into a guy where he does strike out. But the quality of at-bats has gotten better for me. And that’s something we look at, too. It’s hard in this situation when we’re losing games that you pinpoint one at-bat. You look at the quality of the at-bats, and it’s getting better.’’
Flowers, who’s 10-for-30 with two home runs over his last 10 games, has been under the microscope because his predecessor, A.J. Pierzynski, was allowed to walk in free agency. Ventura doesn’t want him to bear the weight of that.
“It’s key for him not to go down that road,’’ he said. “Even for all of us. You can let yourself go down the road of feeling sorry or making an excuse. You can’t point a finger. Just play the game. Make sure you take care of your own business, pick guys up and be a good teammate. As soon as you start looking for reasons, you can’t make it back from that.’’
Jake Peavy, who’s on the disabled list, had a tough time getting his head around the way the Sox have lost three games in Houston. Citing Chris Sale not giving up an earned run Friday, Jordan Danks getting picked off to end Saturday’s game and Sunday’s loss that included a two-run homer by Alejandro De Aza in the ninth inning — trailing by three runs — Peavy said an appropriate (although inappropriate) newspaper headline would be: “You can’t make this s--- up.’’
The Sox are starting to view this bad season as a freak show.
“You can say woe is me, but there are some things that are happening like Sale makes one bad pitch and it’s a grand slam and we lose a game [to the A’s last week],’’ second baseman Gordon Beckham said. “It’s like if things can go wrong, they will. You just have to hope it turns around sooner rather than later. We have to weather the storm right now, unfortunately, and hope we can get better on all ends.’’
This and that
The last time the Sox were 10 games below .500 was May 7, 2011, when they were 12-22.
◆ Over their bad run on the road in which they’ve lost 12 of the last 13 games, the Sox have been outscored 71-41.
◆ Dayan Viciedo, who batted fifth Sunday, has seven hits in his last 64 at-bats. Viciedo tripled and was robbed twice, including center fielder Brandon Barnes’ running catch about 400 feet from the plate.
◆ Conor Gillaspie, who leads American League rookies in hits, is 2-for-28 in his last 10 games. He walked as a pinch hitter.