Sox pitcher Jake Peavy falls short in fans’ Final Vote
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org July 5, 2012 7:34PM
White Sox mascot Southpaw holds an oversized Jake Peavy head as a Fox Sports broadcaster tapes a segment at U.S. Cellular Field Thursday, July 5, 2012, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
BLUE JAYS AT SOX
The facts: 7:10, CSN+, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
Aaron Laffey (0-0, 2.14 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (6-5, 2.96).
THE REST OF THE SERIES
Saturday: 3:10 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM. Ricky Romero (8-3, 5.35) vs. Gavin Floyd (6-8, 4.91).
Sunday: 1:10 p.m., Ch. 9, 670-AM, 97.5-FM. Brett Cecil (2-1, 5.64) vs. Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 4.91).
Updated: August 7, 2012 6:37AM
A spirited push from the White Sox and their fan base couldn’t deliver Jake Peavy to the All-Star Game. The Sox right-hander with the best ERA — and then some — among pitchers not on the American League All-Star team finished second to Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish in the fans’ Final Vote.
Darvish and St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese (National League) each made it for the first time, thanks to fan balloting which ended at 3 p.m. on Thursday.
“We knew we had a tough fight ahead of us but I just can’t thank the White Sox, friends, family, the fans enough,’’ said Peavy, who has a 6-5 record and 2.96 ERA. “The support was overwhelming. It was humbling. It was incredible. We had so much fun with it.’’
The Ventura way
Robin Ventura cited the Sox’ one-day-at-time approach as the highlight of his first half-season as manager. It doesn’t lend itself to marketing glitz, but it’s working with his players.
“Every day is a different day, no matter what they did the night before,’’ Ventura said. “They still come in with the same energy, every day to win that game, instead of sitting on what they did for the last week.’’
Ventura and his staff emphasized that from the first day of spring training. He and his staff have followed through on it leading by example.
“It’s not something you declare,’’ Ventura said. “They have to see us doing it the same way as a staff that we come in every day. If there are mistakes made the night before, you don’t hold it against a guy for him playing. We’re all doing it together. It’s not something you just tell a guy and they’re going to do it.”
Captain Paul Konerko cautioned teammates to not waver from the plan.
“I hope we don’t,’’ Konerko said after the Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Rangers on Thursday. “That’s not how we got here. We start taking that approach and 72 hours we’ll be out of first place. We didn’t get here chasing results.’’
The Sox’ .988 fielding percentage leads the majors. They have made the fewest errors, 34. After an exceptional defensive game in Wednesday’s 5-4 victory in 10 innings, the Sox were steady, not spectacular. They turned two double plays behind Jose Quintana.
“We can defend in a lot of areas,’’ Ventura said. “I like where we’re at and what we get out of our defense.”
This and that
Ventura said Dylan Axelrod is the tentative starter for Sunday. Axelrod, who threw 107 pitches Wednesday, would go on three days of rest but would probably not exceed four innings.
“It can change at any moment,’’ Ventura said.
◆ The Sox’ .305 average with runners in scoring position leads the majors.
◆ Alex Rios (.316) extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
◆ Alexei Ramirez is batting .409 with 14 RBI and six extra-base hits in his last 18 games.
◆ Kevin Youkilis’ home run was the first allowed by the Rangers’ Matt Harrison since June 3.
◆ Gordon Beckham made his first career start batting leadoff.