Running battle really no contest
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org April 27, 2011 10:30PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
NEW YORK — Opposing
base stealers have been
successful 19 times in 21
attempts against the White Sox this season. On the flip side, the Sox have been thrown out 14 times while being successful on 16 attempts.
“Because we don’t have good leads,’’ manager Ozzie Guillen said. “The leads we’re taking at first base are very bad.’’
Leadoff man Juan Pierre, who had a major-league-best 68 stolen bases at a 79 percent clip last year, is 5-for-11 (and two of those were on pickoff moves by a lefty pitcher).
“We don’t have that many people on base, so maybe we forgot how to run the bases,’’ Guillen said.
Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s throwing might not be his strongest suit, but Guillen suggested his right-handed starters and relievers need to do better at holding runners.
“It could be a combination of things,’’ Sox starter Edwin Jackson said. “Us not being quick enough, giving them good [offspeed] pitches to run on. It could be multiple things.’’
Gavin Floyd admittedly was guilty when he first came to the Sox. He has been better but still has his moments.
“We’ve been addressing it,’’ Floyd said.
“The ultimate goal is to make a pitch. If you make a pitch and don’t hold runners and you get the job done because you executed a pitch, that’s the No. 1 goal.’’
Pierzynski and backup Ramon Castro each have caught one base stealer.
“I want to give A.J. and Castro every opportunity to throw them out because I don’t want them to be on second,’’ Floyd said. “You do everything you can to hold them there. But if you alter something you’re uncomfortable with and miss your spot, you can ultimately get hurt more.
“It’s just the way things are going. It will get better.’’
Keep it down
Jackson has allowed 12 runs and 23 hits over his last two starts. He knows what needs to change when he faces the Yankees tonight in the series finale.
“Try to keep sliders down,’’ Jackson said.
“The past couple of starts I’ve been hurt by offspeed stuff up in the zone. Everything else has been there. Just haven’t been able to put hitters away.’’
Jackson, who struck out 13 Tampa Bay Rays in the home opener, had three K’s in each of his last two games.
“I’ve been feeling good mechanically,’’ he said. “I’m not sure if it’s a matter of arm slot or staying on top of the ball, but it’s definitely a fixable problem.’’
Counting spring training, reliever Sergio Santos has not allowed a run in 18 outings. He hasn’t given up a run in April for the second straight season.
† A plaque to commemorate the Hawk Harrelson Broadcast Level at U.S. Cellular Field will be unveiled Friday when the Sox open their homestand against Baltimore.