Robin Ventura praises readiness and versatility of bullpen
BY TONI GINNETTI For Sun-Times Media July 6, 2014 8:29PM
Updated: July 6, 2014 10:52PM
Inexperience is one of the problems for the bullpen as it deals with the absence of injured veterans Nate Jones and Matt Lindstrom.
‘‘You’re dealing with a pretty young group,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘You’re seeing them get their feet wet in situations they haven’t been in before. There will be growing pains.’’
That includes the 14-inning loss Saturday when the bullpen failed to hold a 2-0 lead in the ninth.
‘‘Any time you lose a game like that, there’s a feeling you let the team down,’’ he said. ‘‘You don’t want that [to] carry over.
‘‘I think they’ve done a great job of just being ready. Normally, you can have roles of sixth inning, this guy, and then seventh inning, eighth inning, ninth inning. Right now, it’s pretty mixed up with them needing to be ready at any time. They’ve done a great job at that.’’
Leading the way
Adam Eaton has been just what the Sox were looking for at the top of their lineup and in center field.
He made another diving catch Sunday of Corey Hart’s sinking liner leading off the eighth.
‘‘He’s played great defense,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘This is not a real easy place to play defensively because of the winds.’’
Eaton has reached base in 27 of the last 29 games and is hitting .269.
‘‘‘He grinds out at-bats,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘He’s a guy who if you are the other team, you don’t like to see him get on base.’’
Gordon Beckham is struggling at the plate — hitting just .156 in the last 24 games (14-for-90) — and in the field. He committed his ninth error Sunday. He had 12, seven and eight in the previous three seasons.
Beckham’s day included knocking umpire Dana DeMuth from the game after a fifth-inning collision.