Sale’s Goal: Get Ninth Straight Win
Thursday, May 19, 2016
The first-place White Sox have a two-and-a-half-game lead over the second-place Indians in the American League Central.
White Sox vs. Astros at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m. CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starting Pitchers: LHP Chris Sale (8-0, 1.67) for the Sox, RHP Collin McHugh (4-3, 5.58) for Houston.
Sale is set to make his ninth start of the season. He has recorded 53 strikeouts and a .167 opponents average over his first eight starts.
Chris is baseball’s only eight-game winner and just the fourth White Sox starter to win each of his first eight starts of a season, joining Eddie Cicotte (12, 1919), John Whitehead (8, 1935) and Jon Garland (8, 2005).
The Sox ace earned the win in his last start on May 13 at vs. the Yankees in New York, tossing a complete game and allowing just one run on six hits with six strikeouts. He has gone 3-1 with a 0.56 and .165 opponents average lifetime vs. the Astros. He is 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA and .155 opponents average at U.S. Cellular Field.
Last Night’s Highlights
Jose Abreu went 2 for 4 with two RBI, Melky Cabrera went 2 for 4 and tripled in a run and Adam Eaton and Dioner Navarro each collected a pair of hits in the Sox’ 5-3 loss to the Astros.
Triple Your Pleasure
The Sox executed their second triple play of the season in the eighth inning of last night’s game. With men on first and second, Todd Frazier fielded a ground ball and tagged the third base bag. He quickly threw to Brett Lawrie for the second out at second base and Lawrie threw to Abreu for out No. 3.
The Sox are the first MLB team to turn two triple plays in a season since the 2007 Phillies. They have now engineered two triple plays in the following years: 1922, 1931, 1944, 2006 and 2016.
Quote of the Day
Jimmy Rollins on the Sox enduring a recent “bump in the road”:
“We don’t expect it to be a fairy tale. We don’t expect it to be easy. It never has. It never will be. So we have to stand strong until things turn around.”
Adam Eaton “Has Quietly Been One of Baseball’s Very Best Players”
White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m. CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game weekend series. Starting Pitchers: LHP Jose Quintana (5-2, 1.54) for the Sox, RHP Dillion Gee (0-1, 3.12) for K.C.
The White Sox surprised two Tinley Park youth teams with a big-league experience on Saturday for the inaugural ‘PLAY BALL WEEKEND.’ The initiative is a league-wide effort by MLB and all 30 Clubs to engage young baseball fans and celebrate the continued support of youth participation in baseball and softball (see video above).
White Sox public address announcer Gene Honda, organist Lori Moreland, Southpaw, Mazda Pride Crew members and the retro racers provided pre-game and in-game entertainment at Guenzi Field.
Matt Windle, commissioner and director of fundraising and sponsorships for Tinley Park Youth Baseball, worked with White Sox staff to coordinate the event. The organization, which began in 1961, currently has 70 teams in the league.
“We had the opportunity to have the kids play a big league game,” Windle said. “It’s kind of neat being up there and keeping the surprise from the kids and watching everyone come around the corner from over the bridge. It’s certainly a unique opportunity for these kids.”
Honda announced each player’s name prior to the game, and the 11 and 12-year-olds lined up down their respective foul lines.
“These are perks that you never see around our field,” Windle added, pointing to the excitement surrounding the pregame ceremony. “This is a unique experience.”
Prior to Wednesday’s game, White Sox manager Robin Ventura spent time getting to know a group of business students from his alma mater, Oklahoma State University.
Ventura, joined by Sox TV broadcaster Jason Benetti, talked to the class about his professional career and even engaged in friendly debate about his favorite Chicago-style pizza.
“What restaurant has your favorite pizza in Chicago?” one student asked. “Lou Malnati’s,” Ventura said. Glancing at a disagreeing Benetti, he laughed and added, “I know, that makes you a little sensitive.”
Ventura talked about his college baseball career at OSU, explaining that the team lived in the dorm closest to the baseball field because they had to move the tarp when it rained.
“That dorm did not have air conditioning back then, either,” he said, prompting much laughter in the room.
Ventura fielded various questions from the class, which also attended last night’s game. Other conversation highlights:
Q: What was it like to be part of Bedlam, the heated rivalry between OSU and Oklahoma?
A: It was crazy back then. You got a lot of people, athlete-wise, who lived in the same quarters, so we would all just walk over together. At Oklahoma State, you feel like you’re the underdog. You fight a little harder and feel like you want to win more. I’ve always felt that and always had that.
Q: What is one of the hardest parts of your job as manager?
A: If you’re not playing a guy, they want to know why. You might have to send a guy to the minor leagues. You earn their trust and respect. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it is more meaningful if you do it face-to-face for all these guys that we have in our organization. You guys might go out working and the guy who’s up-front, being honest, is the guy you want to be working for.
Q: Who taught you to be up-front like that?
A: When I went to OSU, Gary Ward was the coach. He was a tough, honest, up-front guy.
Q: What is the biggest lesson you try to instill in your players in terms of character?
A: Your heart’s going to come out of your uniform because of the pressure. You want them to understand it’s better to play this game stress-free and anxiety-free.
Photo of the Day
Robin and Jason hold court with the students from OSU.