October 2015

Better Days Ahead

Sunday, October 4, 2015

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Today’s News

Season’s End and Looking Forward to 2016

This season certainly didn’t turn out the way we had all hoped, but it still had its exciting moments. Among them were the Chris Sale strikeout records, the abundance of Jose Abreu homers and RBI, the consistency of Jose Quintana, the outstanding second-half efforts of Adam Eaton and Melky Cabrera, the good bullpen work, the emergence of youngsters Carlos Rodon, Trayce Thompson, Tyler Saladino and Carlos Sanchez, plus the second most walk-off wins in baseball (12) this season including the one last night.

What this tells us is that along with some fine-tuning, there’s more than enough to look forward to in 2016.

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field (2:10 p.m. CT, CSN) as the Sox hope to sweep the three-game series and end the season on a winning note. Probable Starters: RHP Frankie Montas (0-1, 5.73) for the Sox, LHP Daniel Norris (2-2, 3.88) for Detroit.

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Last Night’s Highlights

J.B. Shuck‘s one-out, pinch-hit double in the bottom of the ninth drove in Avi Garcia to tie the game at 3-3 and Leury Garcia, who came in as a pinch-runner for Cabrera in the eighth, knocked in Shuck with a single through the infield to give the Sox a dramatic 4-3 walk-off victory…Eaton collected a pair of hits and scored his 98th run of the season, giving him the chance today to be the first Sox player since Jim Thome (108) and Jermaine Dye (103) in 2006 to score 100 or more runs in a season. Heading into the final game of 2015, Adam also owns an nine-game hitting streak (.400) and has reached base safely in 22 consecutive contests…Cabrera and Alexei Ramirez each delivered an RBI and A. Garcia collected a pair of hits and scored the tying run in the ninth after drawing a walk…Erik Johnson bounced back nicely to have an outstanding year at Class AAA Charlotte–where he was the International League’s Pitcher of the Year–and with the Sox. He went 6.1 innings last night, allowing two runs and five hits, and in six starts in Chicago he finished with a 3-1 record and a 3.34 ERA…Nate Jones, who got one out in the top of the ninth, registered his second win.

Here are the ninth-inning dramatics–Shuck’s game-tying double and L. Garcia’s game-winning hit:

http://mlb.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=517126383

http://mlb.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=517151683

Quote of the Day

GM Rick Hahn, speaking to the media Friday, on the 2015 season and beyond:

“It’s important at the end that we put ourselves in the best position going forward, and as we sit here today, we feel like we are in that position. As we sit here going forward, we feel confident that it’s the right bunch to put us back where we want to be.”

Soto Prevails Over Flowers in Foot Race

Geovany Soto outlasted Tyler Flowers in a catchers-only sprint before last night’s game. Full disclosure: Flowers will undergo arthroscopic surgery within the next few days.

The result apparently surprised skipper Robin Ventura: “I would have taken Flowers.”

[tweet https://twitter.com/whitesox/status/650400498693091329]

SoxFest

Look forward to seeing you at SoxFest, January 29-31, 2016 at the Hilton Chicago. Check whitesox.com for details.

Opening Day 2016

The Sox open the 2016 season in Oakland against the A’s on Monday, April 4. The home opener is on Friday, April 8 vs. the Indians at U.S. Cellular Field–see you then and there.

The Blog

With the regular season ending, this is our last daily post. Keep in mind that we’ll be in touch during what promises to be an active offseason.

2005 Flashback

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Sox’ championship season…

The White Sox captured their first World Series title since 1917 with a 1-0 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Jermaine Dye, the eventual MVP of the series, drove in the only run with an eighth-inning single off Brad Lidge that scored Willie Harris. Harris led off the eighth with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Scott Podsednik and to third on Carl Everett‘s ground out. Bobby Jenks pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the save with help from Juan Uribe, who dove into the stands down the left-field line to record the second out of the final frame before retring Orlando Palmeiro on a grounder to end the game. Starters Freddy Garcia for the Sox and Brandon Backe for the Astros each tossed seven scoreless innings. Houston, in fact, was held without a run in the final 15 innings of the World Series. The White Sox went 11-1 in the postseason, tied for the second-best playoff record since 1969 (minimum seven games).

Photo/Video of the Day

[tweet https://twitter.com/whitesox/status/650697601533087746]

Move Aside Ed Walsh, Chris Sale is the New Sox Strikeout King

Saturday, October 3, 2015

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Today’s News

Sale’s Force

With his first-inning strikeout of the Tigers’ Nick Castellanos last night, Chris Sale tied Hall of Famer Ed Walsh‘s franchise single-season strikeout record of 269 set 107 years ago in 1908. The next inning, Sale became the all-time club leader by striking out James McCann for his 270th K (click on link below).

Sale, who is also leading all AL pitchers in Ks and is second to only the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw in the majors, finished with seven strikeouts in his last start of the season. The All-Star lefty gave up one run, five hits and a walk in seven-plus innings for his 13th win of the year. The new Sox mark for single-season strikeouts now stands at 274.

Chris ended the year with 24 games in which he struck out seven or more batters as well as 23 games in which he threw a quality start. He also joined Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez as the only two pitchers to strike out 10-plus in eight straight appearances.

Sale shared his feelings after the game:

“It’s awesome, something that hasn’t set in yet but I know what it means, I know what it is. I’m very thankful for it. Looking over to the dugout and seeing everybody standing and the crowd was going crazy so that took a little to soak in and appreciate that moment. It comes and goes real quick but I’ll never forget that.”

http://mlb.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=513996483

“You Have to Have Fun in This Game”

Just before the record was broken, Sale threw an eephus pitch to McCann and explained it was in honor of teammate Adam LaRoche‘s dad, Dave, who was known for the pitch during his 14-year big-league career.

“Well, the creator of it is in the building. You have to have fun in this game. Talking to the whole LaRoche squad about it is something that came to my mind. I thought if there’s nobody on base and I get a guy with two strikes, let’s flip one in there just for fun. The worst thing that happens is I give up a homer. And I did that before so I got that out of the way.”

Enjoy

http://mlb.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=515020583

More Friday Night Highlights

Adam Eaton‘s two-run double in the third inning drove in what proved to be all the Sox needed in last night’s 2-1 victory in the series opener (click on top link below)…Matt Albers, with his 20th consecutive scoreless appearance (22.1 IP), came on in relief of Sale with the one-run lead, two on and no outs in the eighth, and got out of the jam…David Robertson pitched a perfect ninth for his 34th save…And take a look at J.B. Shuck‘s spectacular leaping catch with two outs in the seventh (click on bottom link).

http://www.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=514072883

http://mlb.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=514279883

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Who Was Ed Walsh?

The following bio of Walsh (pictured above) was written by Stuart Schimler for the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). Walsh pitched for the Sox for 13 seasons and was inducted into the Hall in 1946. He finished his career with 195 wins and a minuscule 1.82 ERA.

“From 1907 to 1912, “Big Ed” Walsh tested a pitcher’s endurance like no pitcher has since. During that stretch the spitballing right-hander led the American League in innings pitched four times, often by staggeringly large margins. He hurled a total of 2,248 innings, 300 more than another other pitcher in baseball. He started 18 more games than any other pitcher, and led the American League during that stretch in games finished and saves, though the latter statistic would not be tracked for another 60 years. His finest season came in 1908, when Walsh became the last pitcher in baseball history to win 40 games and hurled an incredible 464 innings, 73.1 more than any other pitcher in baseball…”

Read more:  http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/3a0e7935

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m. CT, WGN) in the middle game of the season-ending three-game series. Probable Starters: RHP Erik Johnson (3-1, 3.45) for the Sox, RHP Justin Verlander (5-8, 3.39) for Detroit.

Sox Notes of Note

GM Rick Hahn announced yesterday that Robin Ventura will be back in 2016. Bench coach Mark Parent will not return and Harold Baines, at his request, will leave as assistant hitting coach but will stay in the organization in more of an ambassador role. The rest of the coaching staff will remain intact.

Quotes of the Day

Hahn: 

“Robin’s strength is communication and the environment he creates to allow players to maximize their abilities.” He also pointed to Ventura’s open-mindedness, intelligence, creativity and knowing his players and their capabilities.”

“We have been able to add some pieces that we feel will be able to contribute to a championship club.” 

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field (2:10 CT. CSN) in the season finale. Probable Starters: Rookie RHP Frankie Montas (0-1, 5.73) for the Sox, LHP Daniel Norris (2-1, 3.88) for Detroit.

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Fan Appreciation Day Tomorrow

http://m.whitesox.mlb.com/news/article/150795162?partnerId=as_cws_20150922_52836486&adbid=646365547857186816&adbpl=tw&adbpr=53197137

2005 Flashback

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Sox’ championship season…

The White Sox advanced to their first World Series since 1959, defeating the Los Angeles Angels, 4-1, on the road in the American League Championship Series. Jose Contreras tossed the fourth consecutive complete game by a Sox hurler, retiring his final 15 batters. The Angels led 3-2, when Joe Crede hit a leadoff homer in the seventh off Kelvin Escobar. After Aaron Rowand walked and A.J. Pierzynski reached first on Escobar’s error in the eighth, Crede’s slow roller up the middle plated Rowand with the go-ahead run. Paul Konerko who was named the series MVP, added an RBi double in the ninth and Rowand capped the night with a sacrifice fly. The Sox won the sixth AL pennant in franchise history. On to the Series.

Photo of the Day

The authors of the four straight complete games in the 2005 ALCS and their pitching coach: Jon Garland, Mark Buehrle, Contreras, coach Don Cooper and Freddy Garcia.

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Sale Eyes Long-Standing Sox Strikeout Mark, Abreu Reaches Milestone

Friday, October 2, 2015

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m. CT, CSN) in the opener of a season-ending three-game series. Probable Starters: LHP Chris Sale (12-11, 3.48) for the Sox, RHP Alfredo Simon (13-11, 5.18) for Detroit.

Sale is scheduled to make his 31st and final start of the season,16th at home and third against Detroit. Chris needs three strikeouts tonight to break Hall of Famer Ed Walsh‘s single-season club record of 269 set in 1908. The Sox All-Star lefty has tossed 201.2 innings, compared to Walsh’s 464. If Sale breaks the mark, he would join Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer as the only active pitchers to own a club strikeout record.

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Last Night’s Highlights

With his two-run single in the seventh inning (click on link below) of last night’s loss, Jose Abreu joined Albert Pujols as the only players in major-league history with 30-plus homers and 100-plus RBI in each of their first two seasons. Jose now stands at 30 and 101…With a double and walk, Adam Eaton extended his on-base streak to 20 games (.354)…With a pair of hits (and an RBI), Trayce Thompson is batting .419 over his last 10 home games.

http://www.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=513300283

And here’s more of Abreu’s impressive production over his first two seasons:

http://www.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=513550383

Quote of the Day

Robin on Abreu’s milestone:

“It’s a big accomplishment for him. All the guys are proud of him. It’s special for a guy to be able to do that…there’s not a big list. This game’s been around a long time and for somebody to accomplish that just shows to his character and dedication and him coming to the park everyday as a pro.” 

New Video Boards to be Added for the 2016 Season

At the start of next season, three new video boards will be installed at U.S. Cellular Field. Check out the first renderings below.

Sox SVP of Sales and Marketing Brooks Boyer on the new video boards:

“Come Opening Day next year, it’s going to look a lot different. Obviously, this adds a lot of flexibility to our game presentation for our sponsors and to ultimately create a better entertainment  experience for our fans.”

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m. CT, WGN) in the middle game of the three-game series. Probable Starters: RHP Erik Johnson (3-1, 3.45) for the Sox, RHP Justin Verlander (5-8, 3.39) for Detroit.

2005 Flashback

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Sox’ championship season…

In Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park in Boston, the White Sox completed the ALDS sweep with a 5-3 win. Paul Konerko broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run homer in the sixth inning. Manny Ramirez led off Boston’s sixth with a solo homer, his second of the game, and the Red Sox then loaded the bases with no outs against Damaso Marte. However, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez came in and worked out of the jam by retiring Jason Varitek and Tony Graffanino on popups before striking out Johnny Damon to end the threat. In all, El Duque tossed three scoreless innings. The Sox added an insurance run in the ninth inning on a suicide squeeze bunt by Juan Uribe and rookie Bobby Jenks pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save of the series. On to the American League Championship Series.

Photo/Video of the Day

“Stretch Sale” could be yours tomorrow.

http://www.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=485803483

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Abreu ThisClose to Rare Baseball Milestone

Thursday, October 1, 2015

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m. CT, CSN) in the rubber match of the three-game series. Probable Starters: LHP John Danks (7-14, 4.53) for the Sox, RHP Kris Medlen (5-2, 4.30) for Kansas City.

Last Night’s Highlights

By virtue of belting his 30th home run and driving in his 99th run of the season (click on top link below), Sox slugger Jose Abreu is one ribbie away from a rare baseball milestone. He is thisclose to joining Albert Pujols as the only players in history to record 30-plus home runs and 100-plus RBI in each of their first two major-league seasons. Abreu, Pujols and Ryan Braun are now the only three with 30-plus roundtrippers in each of their first two years.

In his last start of 2015, Jose Quintana had another strong outing. He gave up three runs in nine innings and left with the score tied 3-3 at the end of regulation, but the Sox dropped a 5-3 decision in 10 innings. Click on the bottom link to hear Robin Ventura talk about about Q’s performance…Tyler Flowers went a career-tying 4-4 with a run batted in, Adam Eaton added a hit and an RBI and Melky Cabrera, Trayce Thompson and Mike Olt each had a pair of base hits.

http://www.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=511112483

http://mlb.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=511556383

 

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Quote of the Day

Abreuthrough interpreter Billy Russo, on his goal of learning more English (via Scott Merkin, whitesox.com):

“I know if I can learn a little bit more of the language, I can express myself in a better way with my teammates and my coaches. It’s going to help our relationship. It is good, but I think it could be much better. That’s the way I think I can express my leadership. I’m not wanting  just to be a leader as an example. I’ll try to say something…that’s my goal.”

Sox Notes of Note

Quintana set a career high in innings pitched in a single season with 206.1. He has reached the 200 IP mark for the third consecutive season, becoming the first White Sox pitcher to reach 200-plus IP, 30-plus starts and 160-plus strikeouts in three straight seasons since Javier Vazquez accomplished the feat in 2006-2008. He also went 3-0 with a 2.58 ERA over his last eight games (seven quality)…Eaton is among the league leaders with 95 runs scored. He is trying to become the first Sox player to score 100 runs since Jermaine Dye (103) and Jim Thome (108) in 2006. The last Sox leadoff hitter to score 100-plus runs in a season was Ray Durham in 2000 (121)…Micah Johnson is set to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee today.

Top 30 White Sox Prospects

http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2015?list=cws

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m. CT, CSN+) in the opener of a season-ending three-game series. Probable Starters: LHP Chris Sale (12-11, 3.48) for the Sox, RHP Alfredo Simon (13-11, 5.18) for Detroit.

2005 Flashback

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Sox’ championship season…

In Game 162 on October 2 in Cleveland, the newly crowned American League Central-champion White Sox concluded the regular season at 99-63 with a 3-1 victory over the Indians. Jermaine Dye belted his 31st homer, a solo shot, and Paul Konerko and Joe Crede each drove in a run. Starter Brandon McCarthy got credit for his third win and Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez recorded his first save. On to the playoffs.

Photo of the Day

Just four more days of BP…

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