Posts Tagged ‘Jake Peavy’

White Sox notebook, 9/7

September 7, 2011 Comments off

Flowers finally blossoming into big leaguer

By Jordan Schelling /

MINNEAPOLIS — In four games against the Twins this week, Tyler Flowers and A.J. Pierzynski have each been behind the plate twice. As he continues to progress, Flowers is likely to continue to see more time at catcher this month and into the 2012 season.In 24 games (21 starts) for the White Sox, the 25-year-old Flowers has batted .227 with three home runs, 10 RBIS and an OPS of .749. Pierzynski, by comparison, had hit .288 with six homers and 40 RBIs over 110 games entering Wednesday.

“[Flowers] put himself back on the map not just for this year but next year, too,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. “That’s what we were waiting for.”

Flowers’ development has come slowly since the White Sox acquired him as one of six players in a trade with the Braves for Javier Vazquez in December 2008.

But since he was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte, Flowers has been solid in the second half for the White Sox, especially defensively.

“Now he’s more hungry than he was before,” Guillen said. “Signing A.J. and [Ramon] Castro back maybe opened his eyes to, ‘Wait a minute, I’m getting behind.’ We’ve been waiting for this kid for the last two years but couldn’t get anything from him. Now we are.”

Quentin likely to return this weekend

MINNEAPOLIS — Right fielder Carlos Quentin took batting practice this week at Target Field for the first time since suffering a shoulder strain on Aug. 20. He could be back in action soon for the White Sox, but the question is where and in what capacity.

With the Minor League seasons having wrapped up, Quentin will not be able to go through the usual rehab process. He’ll likely have to just jump right back in at the Major League level.

“Pretty good,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of how Quentin looked. “I think he’s ready to go out there. We need to figure out, since Minor League is over, try to figure out how to do something about it. But I like the way he’s swinging. It seemed like he was pain-free.”

Quentin injured his left shoulder making a diving catch in the first inning against the Rangers on Aug. 20, and was eligible to return from the disabled list on Monday when the series against the Twins began.

“Hopefully in the next couple days — I don’t think tomorrow, but maybe over the weekend — he’ll be back in the field,” Guillen said.

Peavy expected to face Tigers on Monday

MINNEAPOLIS — For now, the White Sox will move forward with a six-man rotation that includes right-hander Jake Peavy.

Both Philip Humber and Zach Stewart — who both delivered brilliant performances in Monday’s doubleheader — are scheduled to start against the Indians over the weekend in Chicago, and Peavy is expected to follow them on Monday against the Tigers.

“I think we should keep it the same way,” manager Ozzie Guillen said of the rotation. “I’m not going to throw in the towel.

“I think [Peavy] should prepare himself for his next start. I don’t think there should be any problem with that. I expect him to go out there in the next start.”

If the White Sox decide they’re out of the American League Central race, it’s likely Peavy will be shut down at that point, to avoid any further injury risk.

Peavy said after his start Tuesday night, in which he tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a 3-0 win, that he felt he could continue to pitch, but would leave the decision up to the White Sox.

“I’ll let those guys make that decision,” Peavy said. “All I can do is be honest with them about the way I feel. Obviously, now it doesn’t seem like we’re playing for much.”

Rios putting together solid finish at the plate

MINNEAPOLIS — Center fielder Alex Rios entered Wednesday’s series finale against the Twins with a six-game hitting streak, including a solo home run in Tuesday’s 3-0 victory.

Rios has batted .423 with 11 hits in 26 at-bats while driving in three runs during the streak. Over his past 27 games (23 starts), Rios batted .288, raising his average from .206 on Aug. 2 to .224 entering Wednesday’s contest.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said the key for Rios has been hitting to all fields, rather than trying to pull the ball too often.

“You can see it every time Alex wants to pull the ball … it’s a ground ball somewhere,” Guillen said. “But when he stays in the middle of the field, he does what he’s doing right now. The last couple weeks, that’s why he’s been doing it.”

Rios’ streak ended in Wednesday’s 5-4 loss, as he went 0-for-4 with a sacrifice fly. He struck out looking with the tying run at third in the eighth inning.

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox post second straight shutout

September 6, 2011 Comments off

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s still unclear whether Jake Peavy will start again this season for the White Sox. But if Tuesday’s start was his last, it was not a bad way to finish off a tough year.

Peavy followed a pair of impressive performances by Philip Humber and Zach Stewart on Monday with one of his own as the White Sox picked up their third straight win and back-to-back shutouts with a 3-0 victory over the Twins at Target Field.

“I had a good game plan,” Peavy said. “I followed from what the boys did yesterday and scratched out enough to call it a win.

“I’m not pleased anytime I got out there and go 6 1/3, but at the same time, it’s a shutout win for the boys. And after all I’ve been through this year, I’ll take that any day of the week.”

Peavy, who continues to work his way back from last year’s major shoulder surgery, allowed just four hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out a season-high nine batters, while retiring nine in a row and 15 of 18 at one point. The last time Peavy had at least nine strikeouts was June 25, 2010, when he also had nine against the Cubs.

“Tonight, it was Peavy. … He had all his pitches working for him,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. “He had a great fastball and a great breaking ball. I think you saw that. And we struck out 14 times tonight, and that’s not going to work out too awful well.”

While the White Sox did move into second place on Tuesday with their win and the Indians’ loss, the Tigers still own an eight-game lead in the American League Central. Detroit’s magic number is down to 14 with only 20 games left to play, and 22 left for Chicago.

With such a large deficit to overcome, and with five other White Sox starters available, Peavy is likely to be shut down early at some point. The question is how soon it will come.

“I’ll let those guys make that decision,” Peavy said. “All I can do is be honest with them about the way I feel. Obviously, now it doesn’t seem like we’re playing for much.”

While he is far from 100 percent, Peavy said he still feels good enough to make his next start if called upon to do so.

“I could go either way,” Peavy said. “Whatever they see fit and what they want me to do, I’m going to do that.

“I don’t feel as strong as I’ve ever felt by any means. There’s no doubt I feel worn down and tired. It’s been a grind, there’s no doubt about it. And we knew this season would be.”

Through the first three games of the series, the White Sox have allowed just one run on 14 hits. Their starting pitchers have gone 3-0, allowing 11 hits over 22 1/3 scoreless innings.

The White Sox got on the board in the second inning after Adam Dunn walked, advanced to second on a groundout, and scored on Alejandro De Aza’s RBI single to left. Alex Rios made it 2-0 in the fourth with his ninth home run.

De Aza led off the fifth with a triple and scored one batter later on Brent Morel’s RBI single.

Twins right-hander Liam Hendriks delivered a quality start in his Major League debut, giving up just three runs on four hits over seven innings. Hendriks struck out four batters and walked three.

White Sox closer Sergio Santos posted his 29th save with a clean ninth.

After struggling in his past two outings, Santos bounced back by getting two called third strikes and a flyout to center field.

“We got beat up pretty good down in Detroit,” Santos said. “To come to Minnesota, against a team that we usually don’t play well against, and to be able to put some runs up and pitch really well, we’re playing really good baseball right now. So hopefully, we can just finish off this year right.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peavy, homers give White Sox rare sweep

August 7, 2011 Comments off

MINNEAPOLIS — Given their recent struggles against the Twins, a trip to Target Field didn’t exactly seem like the best solution for the White Sox and their six-game losing streak.

But when they left the Twin Cities on Sunday, the White Sox had completed their first three-game sweep of the Twins in more than five years with a 7-0 victory.

“After that last stretch, we could’ve come in here with our heads hung low and we could’ve mailed it in against a team that really has had our number,” said right-hander Jake Peavy, who was nearly unhittable against the Twins.

“We came in here, we played hard and watched the chips fall where they may, and we came out with three wins. We feel fortunate, but we know we’ve got to make a hard, hard push, and three games isn’t enough if we’re going to make a race out of this.”

Backed by four home runs and a three-run fourth, Peavy delivered his best start since May, while picking up his first win since June.

Allowing just three hits with six strikeouts and no walks, Peavy tossed eight scoreless innings. It was just the second time this season Peavy has gone eight or more innings, with the other being a three-hit shutout against the Indians in his second start of the season on May 18.

“Peavy threw the ball well,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. “The thing about him today, he was throwing more strikes, he was around the plate more, and I think that’s the reason he had that type of game.”

The Twins sent no more than four batters to the plate in an inning against Peavy, who retired the side in order in the second, fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

It was Peavy’s first scoreless outing and his first win since tossing four shutout innings in relief on June 25 against the Nationals. Peavy also won for the first time as a starter since June 22 against the Cubs.

“He was just mixing up all his pitches and making you chase,” said Twins right fielder Jason Kubel. “He’d also get you looking at some good pitches, too. So he was using his sinker, his cutter, his curveball and changeup effectively. I mean, everything was effective, so it was a pretty good job from him today.”

After giving up a double in the first to Joe Mauer, and back-to-back singles in the third, Peavy retired the last 10 batters he faced and 17 of the last 18.

Peavy allowed more than one baserunner in an inning just once, in the third inning. The only baserunner he allowed after that came in the fifth, when he hit Matt Tolbert in the foot with a curveball.

“Just changed speeds, I threw the ball anywhere from 70 mph to about 90,” Peavy said. “I threw some cutters, threw breaking balls, changeups. I was just aggressive. I just can’t stand putting people on base. My stuff was OK, but it makes all the difference in the world when you get a two-, three-run lead early.”

Making his first career start at first base, Brent Lillibridge put the White Sox on the board with a 401-foot solo blast in the second inning. Paul Konerko followed with a solo shot of his own to lead off the fourth, and Carlos Quentin and Alex Rios each doubled and scored as the White Sox took control of the game.

In the seventh inning, Alexei Ramirez added a two-run blast off reliever Alex Burnett for good measure, and Rios put another in the seats an inning later off lefty Jose Mijares. Everyone in the White Sox lineup had at least one hit in the game, while six different players scored a run.

“We have great players here,” Rios said. “We had a good series, everybody did a good job. That’s what we need to get things rolling.”

Twins lefty Brian Duensing lasted 6 1/3 innings, but gave up five runs (four earned) on nine hits with four strikeouts and a walk.

Coming into the weekend, the White Sox had beaten the Twins just once all season, while losing 10 of their last 11 against their division rivals. The sweep of the Twins was the first for the White Sox in a three-game series since April 21-23, 2006, and it’s the first for Chicago in Minnesota since June 29-July 1, 2004.

“Finally, we played better against them,” Guillen said. “Every time we come to town, every time we face these guys, they give us a very tough time. It’s just fun to see those guys play the way they did, especially against this ballclub.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.