When your No. 8 and 9 hitters go a combined 5-for-5 and reach base eight times in as many plate appearances, it likely to be a good day for the entire offense.
Unfortunately for the White Sox, they wasted the efforts of catcher Tyler Flowers (1-for-1, 2 walks, hit by pitch) and Gordon Beckham (4-for-4) in Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Royals.
“It happens every once in a while,” Flowers said. “Hopefully, not more often than not and we’ll be fine. It seemed like we had quality at-bats for most of the day and tip your cap to (K.C. starter Jeremy) Guthrie. He’s a quality pitcher.”
No. 2 hitter Jeff Keppinger, cleanup man Adam Dunn, No. 5 hitter Paul Konerko and No. 6 Dayan Viciedo were a combined 0-for-16 with 9 strikeouts.
“It’s odd you get that at the bottom of the order and you don’t get much out of it,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s the pitching. Those guys find a way to get out of it and that’s the way it goes.”
When asked about his decision to have Alejandro De Aza bunt with two on and no outs Wednesday, White Sox manager Robin Ventura was also informed that sabermatricians questioned his decision to “give away an out.”
Ventura’s response was not surprising.
“Well, they’re not sitting in my seat,” Ventura said. “There are a lot of those guys out there, but they’re not sitting in this seat and they’re not sitting in this dugout, so it’s a different feel when you’re a player or a manager than it is just to sit there and write numbers down on a piece of paper.”
New third baseman Jeff Keppinger was hot all spring, but he grounded into 2 double plays in Saturday’s exhibition finale at Milwaukee and has remained cold through the first three games of the season.
Keppinger is 1-for-12 with 2 strikeouts, not that manager Robin Ventura is worried.
“He’ll be fine,” Ventura said. “He handles the bat fine. (Wednesday), he had a line drive that got caught. He knows what he’s doing. Chalk it up to a bad three games and he’ll keep going.”
Tyler Flowers failed to hit a home run for the third time in as many games Thursday, but the White Sox’ new starting catcher did get on base four times and score the only run.
Through three games, Flowers is batting .571 (4-for-7) with 2 solo homers.
“It’s a good confidence booster that he’s had a good couple days here at home that he can build off,” manager Robin Ventura said. “We have confidence in him that he’s going to be the right guy. You just go from there. I think it’s a little weight lifted off his shoulders and just play and not have the expectation cloud hanging over him.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.