One more day off likely for White Sox’ Paul Konerko
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org August 2, 2011 11:02PM
Derek Jeter welcomes Mark Teixeira to the plate after his 2-run homer in the 3rd inning gives the Yankees a 4-0 lead as the Chicago White Sox take on the New York Yankees in the second game of a four game series Tuesday August 2, 2011 at US Cellular Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: November 16, 2011 1:21AM
Paul Konerko likely will miss at least one more start tonight. Konerko, who has missed the first two games of the four-game series with the New York Yankees after he was hit by a pitch on the left leg Sunday, didn’t talk with reporters after the game Tuesday night.
‘‘I don’t think — because tomorrow he’s going to start hitting to see how it feels — it’s going to be hard for him to say, ‘I’m good, let’s go play.’ ’’ Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. ‘‘I said I know we need you, but in the meanwhile I don’t want him to go out there and start getting bad at-bats just to be there.’’
Guillen will make sure Konerko is ready.
‘‘He’s going to start hitting tomorrow then, and we’ll see what happens and how he feels,’’ he said.
When Konerko returns, he’ll play first base, not designated hitter.
‘‘We’re better, obviously, when PK’s at first base,’’ Guillen said. ‘‘I think we need good defense. He’s not the type of guy that’s going to move out there all over the place, but I think if you’re looking for him, he’ll be at first base. If he wants to play but he don’t know if he can tolerate that much pain for three or four hours, then I will change my mind.’’
Tips from the master
Sergio Santos, a budding closer at the time, sought out Mariano Rivera when the Sox were in New York in late April. He wanted to pick the brain of one of the best and had a conversation he’ll never forget.
‘‘It’s amazing,’’ Santos said of Rivera’s nine-pitch — all for strikes — ninth inning Monday night. ‘‘The first thing you notice is how loud the cheers were that he got at a visiting stadium. That’s the respect he’s earned.
‘‘His sustained success is the crazy thing about it. To have that kind of consistency over the years is remarkable.’’
When the two closers spoke in April, Rivera emphasized to Santos the importance of focusing on each pitch, not letting the mind wander, throwing strikes and attacking hitters.
‘‘That’s a conversation I still go through in my head,’’ Santos said. ‘‘To see him go out and do what he said is pretty fun.’’
Santos would welcome another talk. He got his first two saves of the season in New York and has added 20 since.
Santos’ success goes hand in hand ‘‘with experience, not only with closing but just pitching,’’ he said. ‘‘Getting put in different situations, having different feelings and dealing with that. Every inning is a new experience, and you gain something each time to make you better.’’
Gavin Floyd, who will oppose the Yankees’ A.J. Burnett tonight, is 3-0 with a 0.81 ERA over his last three starts. Opponents are hitting .167 (13-78) against him during that stretch.
Floyd pitched the Sox to a 3-2 win against the Yankees in New York on April 26. He gave up four hits in eight innings and struck out a season-high 10.