Even though the White Sox have lost most of their battles this season, Chris Sale has been a good, reliable soldier.
The Sox' young ace starting pitcher never once complained about the glaring lack of run support he has received.
While losing 6 straight decisions from June 2-July 6, Sale had a sparkling 3.10 ERA, holding opposing hitters to a .215 batting average during that stretch.
He failed to win because the offense provided him with a paltry 9 total runs of support.
Then, there is the defensive backing.
It has been almost wretched as the offensive support, and in Monday night's 7-3 loss to the first-place Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field, the first of 2 errors by shortstop Alexei Ramirez stuck Sale with 2 unearned runs.
Ramirez's costly miscue came in the fifth inning, and that's when Sale finally said enough is enough.
The 24-year-old lefty didn't direct his anger at Ramirez in particular, although another fielding blunder likely lit the fuse.
Sale had a bigger problem with manager Robin Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper because he was instructed to intentionally walk Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera with a runner on third and two outs in the fifth.
Sale obviously was upset with the decision, even though Cabrera is the most dangerous hitter in the game and left-hander Prince Fielder was on deck.
“A little bit,” Sale said when asked if he was disappointed with the intentional walk call. “I don't like giving people stuff. I like people to earn getting on base. But at the end of the day that's his (Ventura's) call.”
Cooper came out to the mound for an extended visit after the free pass to Cabrera was executed, and Sale could be seen screaming into his mitt.
He proceeded to walk Fielder, and Victor Martinez followed with a 2-run single to put the Tigers in front 3-0.
After he struck out Jhonny Peralta to end the fifth inning, Sale could be seen exchanging words with Cooper in the dugout, and Ventura jumped into the scrum.
“He probably wants to pitch to (Cabrera), but that's my decision,” Ventura said. “It's one of those that with a lefty on deck, really any lefty, I know Prince is a great hitter, Chris against a lefty, you're going to take that anytime just to stay in the game.
“(Sale) does (have passion), but I'm the one making that call, and he needs to have a little more composure and get that guy (Fielder) and not worry about what happened before.
“He's going to get upset. I think he's upset every time he gives up runs, so it's one of those.”
It has been a rocky few games for Ventura and the White Sox. On Friday, Ventura pulled Alex Rios from the game for failing to run hard to first base. The next day, Rios questioned his manager's actions.
Now, Sale, the winning pitcher in last week's All-Star Game, seems to have a beef.
“For the most part all year he's had terrible luck when it comes to us scoring runs,” Adam Dunn said. “I know he's frustrated and I hope everyone in here is frustrated with that, too.”
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