Robin Ventura ejected in White Sox’ 7-1 loss
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Report August 13, 2014 10:23PM
Updated: August 14, 2014 12:39AM
SAN FRANCISCO — This 7-1 loss unraveled quickly for the White Sox and Jose Quintana, who was breezing along with a dominant two-hit performance through six innings. But two bloop singles and an overturned call on a routine out at home plate Wednesday afternoon changed everything.
And you think manager Robin Ventura has no fire?
After Giants manager Bruce Bochy challenged a relatively easy out call on catcher Tyler Flowers’ tag of pinch runner Gregor Blanco, a video-replay crew in New York ruled that Flowers’ left leg blocked Blanco’s path to home plate while first baseman Jose Abreu was making a short throw home. There was no contact on the play, other than Flowers’ tag.
After a five-minute delay, Blanco was ruled safe with the Giants’ tying run, and Ventura, who had unsuccessfully challenged a similar play the night before, sprinted out of the dugout, pointing at plate umpire Chris Segal and kicking dirt on the plate several times.
It was the 10th ejection of Ventura’s three-year career, but he never has lost it quite like that.
“In the spirit of playing baseball and what they’re trying to do with the rule . . . it’s not doing what they intended it to do, which is protecting the catcher,’’ Ventura said. “The guy is out. That was never a question. I don’t know what else you can do. We obviously disagreed with it. We got hosed.”
Instead of two outs and no runs in, the game was tied, and the inning escalated with a walk to Joaquin Arias and a third soft single of the seventh by Angel Pagan, this one off Ronald Belisario, that scored two runs. After two more RBI singles, Adam Dunn dropped Pablo Sandoval’s fly in right-center field when he and center fielder Leury Garcia got their signals crossed. That botched play scored two more runs and capped the nightmarish inning.
“We didn’t handle the rest of it very well,’’ Ventura said. “Q pitched a great game.’’
Ventura got hotter under the collar with each passing minute during the review.
The rule states that unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, he can’t block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If he does, the runner is called safe. Flowers was equally perturbed but gathered himself after the game.
“I had two seconds to get from behind home plate, catch a ball and make a tag, and I’m supposed to be able to make sure I don’t block the plate, catch a ball and make a tag, all within two seconds on an infield dribbler,’’ Flowers said. “It’s just not realistic.’’
The Giants snapped a five-game losing streak, and Jake Peavy won for the first time since April 25, when he was pitching for the Red Sox. The former White Sox righty had lost 12 consecutive decisions, the longest losing streak of his career. Dunn’s second homer of the two-game series, which landed in McCovey Cove, was the Sox’ only run.
The loss for the Sox (57-64) was their ninth when leading after the sixth inning, which is tied for second-most in the majors.
Even after the dust had settled, Ventura went back out to argue that Adam Duvall should go back to second. After a second review, Duvall did. Some consolation.
“If you look at the spirit of the rule of what they are trying to do and what it’s actually doing, it’s a joke,” Ventura said.