Closer Matt Lindstrom celebrates appointment with save
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter March 31, 2014 10:34PM
Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Matt Lindstrom pumps his fist after the Sox's defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-3, in an Opening Day baseball game Monday, March 31, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Updated: May 2, 2014 6:34AM
Twenty-four hours after learning the job was his, Matt Lindstrom got his first save as the White Sox’ closer.
Lindstrom pitched a scoreless ninth in the Sox’ 5-3 victory Monday, allowing a double to Chris Colabello and fanning Trevor Plouffe of the Twins. Manager Robin Ventura and GM Rick Hahn left the door open that bullpen roles can change, but if Lindstrom, 34, holds steady, the job will be his to lose. He got the news after the Sox’ workout Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.
“That was a neat feeling,’’ said Lindstrom, who saved 15 games for the Marlins in 2009 and 23 for the Astros in 2010 and was a setup man for the Sox last season. “I feel like I’m suited for the role, but we have other guys who could do it, too.’’
Last week, Ventura said he favored batting Jose Abreu third, but his lineup featured Conor Gillaspie in the 3-spot. Ventura also started Alejandro De Aza in left over Dayan Viciedo in a lineup that alternated lefty/righty hitters through the first eight spots.
Long lines through security
Many fans’ entry into U.S. Cellular Field was delayed well into the game. New security screening at entry gates, which Major League Baseball is imposing by 2015 with hand-held metal detectors or walk-through magnetometers, was a big factor. The Sox attributed the slow entry to other factors, as well, including the sellout crowd and tailgating outside the ballpark that lends itself to large numbers entering en masse at the last minute.
“There were no lines at the gates at 2:40, then there were crowds soon after,’’ said Scott Reifert, the Sox’ senior vice president of communications.
“Our ballpark-operations personnel constantly monitors all the gates. Once the backlog began, we redirected some fans to different gates and even held other fans north of 35th Street, sending them to Gate 5 rather than Gate 3. It seemed that the issue was resolved for most fans by the third inning, but many expressed frustration.
“The best recommendation is to get into the ballpark early.’’