White Sox stick together in face of adversity
CHICAGO -- Chris Sale was angry following the White Sox 2-1 loss to Texas Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
No, he was not bothered by striking out 14 over eight scoreless innings, only to watch a 1-0 lead evaporate in the ninth when closer David Robertson allowed two runs. And he wasn't upset over manager Robin Ventura pulling him after 111 pitches, despite Sale striking out the side in the eighth and needing only seven pitches to get through the seventh.
This attitude came from Sale, the White Sox leader and face of the franchise, when a reporter asked about almost needing to throw a shutout at this point to win because of the ongoing offensive struggles. Sale would not go for any finger pointing.
"Easy now. You think I'm going to say something bad about one of my teammates? You're dead wrong," a demonstrative Sale said. "We have a bunch of fighters in here. We have guys that come in here every single day and play as hard as they can, plain and simple. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't.
"Tonight it didn't and it hasn't for a few games. But that doesn't mean that we're doing anything different or trying anything or going to point a finger at anybody. We're a team, we're a family and we're going to move forward. This is going to stop. It is. We're going to win a game. And from that point forward we're going to win some more games."
If only the White Sox results were as strong as their belief.
Friday's eighth straight loss came courtesy of a Mitch Moreland pinch-hit single in the ninth, making it especially gut-wrenching. Sale had been extended to 125 pitches in his last start Sunday against the Rays, and with a steady closer such as Robertson, the move made sense.
But even the stoic Robertson, who is 13-for-17 in save opportunities this season, seemed a little stunned by how things transpired. He took the blame, although the White Sox offense finished 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base.
"As soon as he swung, I knew it was a hit. It's frustrating," said Robertson, who gave up the winning hit on a fastball that didn't get in quite enough. "I feel awful because with how well Sale pitched tonight, and I went out there and blew it. I'm supposed to pick the guys up right here, that's what I'm here for, and I couldn't nail it down."
Maybe Sale stays in this contest if the White Sox were pushing for the playoffs later in the season. But Sale is the team's ace, and must be taken care of as such.
Sale also is trying to keep this team together in the face of great adversity.
"We're definitely pulling from the same rope, on the same side," Sale said. "There's no doubt. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but you can't stop pulling."