Jesse Crain overwhelmed by selection; Chris Sale overcomes lack of support
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org July 6, 2013 10:56PM
Updated: August 8, 2013 7:14AM
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — White Sox pitchers Jesse Crain and Chris Sale were named to the American League All-Star team Saturday.
Crain, who is on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder, was selected for the first time but won’t play. He will participate in pregame festivities and suit up, however.
Sale (2.70 ERA) is an All-Star for the second consecutive time in his second season as a starting pitcher. His record dropped to 5-8 in the Sox’ 3-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, a record indicative of horrible run support. Sale, who gave up three runs (two earned) in seven innings while striking out nine, has received nine runs of support in his last seven starts.
Crain was voted in by players. Sale was a manager’s selection.
“I’m speechless on that,’’ Crain said. “I play the game because I love it. For everyone to vote that way, they obviously respect what I do out there, and that means a lot.’’
The players couldn’t look past Crain’s 0.74 ERA and his scoreless-appearance streak of 29 games.
Crain, who is not with the team because of his injury, received word from Sox traveling secretary Ed Cassin.
“When Ed gave me the news, I was close to tears,’’ said Crain, 32. “I was sitting with my wife and family, and it was unbelievable. Being an All-Star is something you will always have in your career, and it never can be taken away.’’
Sale was an All-Star in his first full year as a starter in 2012. He hasn’t won since May 17 and is 0-6 in his last seven starts.
“It would be frustrating for anybody,’’ Sale said. “Not just myself, but everybody in here is frustrated, not only when I pitch, just overall.
Sale will start against the Detroit Tigers and manager Jim Leyland, who picked him, on Thursday. He’ll be well-rested for the All-Star Game five days later.
“It’s an honor,’’ Sale said. “I’m very thankful and fortunate to be in that position. It will be a fun day. I’m looking forward to it.’’
Alejandro De Aza had a rough third inning, getting hit on the right forearm by a Matt Moore pitch and getting doubled off third base on Alex Rios’ line drive to third baseman Evan Longoria, the latest in a seasonlong series of blunders by the team. After the double play, Adam Dunn flied to the warning track in left, leaving the Sox with no runs after having runners on second and third with no outs while trailing 2-0.
Tyler Flowers was back behind the plate, but Josh Phegley will catch Sunday and figures to get more than a half-share of the time behind the plate.
“Phegs is here to play,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “We wouldn’t have called him up if he wasn’t going to play. I don’t know if it’s exactly 50-50, but it will be a split of some sort.’’
As long as he hits, Phegley will get more time, Ventura said.
“If Flow hits, he’ll probably play a little bit more.’’
Flowers was 0-for-3, including hitting into a double play.