Tagged: Tony Pena

Same Old Story: Offense Fails, Pena Spits the Bit

Once again the White Sox’s inability to get a clutch hit led to their downfall as the Sox dropped a 4-2 decision tonight to the Blue Jays in the second game of four north of the border. The South Siders managed just two runs on five hits with Juan Pierre collecting three of them.

Another familiar story was the ineffectiveness of reliever Tony Pena, who gave up three hits and an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. The fact that he’s counted on more than ever because of the newly-installed six-man rotation is a huge problem.  If the truth be told, he’s been lousy since the beginning of the season and should be called upon only in mop-up situations. It’s as if we fans know something bad is going to happen when we see No. 57 enter the game.

Kenny Williams has said some changes may be made when the club returns from the 10-game road swing. With the Sox record now at 2-3 on the trip with five tough games ahead against the Jays (2) and Red Sox (3), something very well could happen.

KW had the opportunity a few weeks ago to keep Jeff Gray and dispose of Pena. Let’s hope he finds a way to do the right thing this time around via trade or designating him for assignment. In my view, it would be addition by subtraction. I’ll take my chances that his replacement won’t be much worse.

                                        Pena: He Gone? We can only hope.  

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One Big Happy Family

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Yesterday was the deadline for clubs and their arbitration eligible players to make a deal before having to confront each other in a formal hearing.
The White Sox were able to sign three key players to one-year pacts before going into what most times is a contentious process.
* John Danks agreed to a $6 million contract. He made $3.45 million last year.
* Carlos Quentin agreed to a $5.05 million deal. He made $3.2 million in 2010.
* Tony Pena agreed to a $1.6 million pact. He made $1.2 million in 2010.
The Sox payroll is now at $124 million, already a $20 million increase over last season. Maybe this will quiet Jerry Reinsdorf‘s critics, who have made it their mission to criticize the Chairman for being cheap.
Sox Note of Note: SoxFest is this weekend so there will undoubtedly be a great deal to report on Monday.
                                                                                                 

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White Sox Look to Viciedo and Morel as Possible Pieces to 2011 Puzzle

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Dayan Viciedo (above), Brent Morel (below), Tyler Flowers and Alejandro De Aza found themselves in the Sox starting lineup last night as the likes of Paul Konerko, Alex Rios, Carlos Quentin, Alexei Ramirez, A.J. Pierzynski, Manny Ramirez and the injured Gordon Beckham were firmly planted on the bench in the third base dugout.

Ozzie apparently felt that giving the youngsters some playing time was more important than the Sox extending their three-game winning streak and finishing the season a game shy of 90 victories. The Good Guys wound up losing to the Tribe, 7-3, after Tony Pena surrendered three runs in the first.
With so many questions that need to be answered, it’s impossible to predict what roles, if any, the above four prospects will have with the big league club in 2011. In my view, Morel could certainly be the starting third baseman and Viciedo either a DH or maybe the first baseman if Konerko doesn’t return. With his great speed, De Aza is a possible fourth or fifth outfielder. Pun intended, the bloom could be off the Flowers rose. He no longer looks like the blue-chipper both the Braves and White Sox thought he was. I would be surprised if he’s in the picture next season.
With two games remaining, it’s uncertain who Ozzie will put on the field. But there is still something to play for. I would like to see Mark Buehrle get to the .500 mark tonight with his 13th win and it would be a nice sendoff for Edwin Jackson, who has been less than stellar lately, to shine in his last start of the season.
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Sox Postponed, Day-Night Twinbill Tomorrow

fenway.jpgThe last time the White Sox were rained out, a disaster ensued as the Sox played three games in 22 hours and lost two of them. Admittedly, the current situation in Boston is a bit different than it was in Kansas City a couple of weeks ago. 

If you remember, a Joe West error of judgment (He decided to start the game on that Friday night as the rains came and the contest was eventually washed out) cost the Sox the services of Edwin Jackson, forcing reliever Tony Pena to make a start in the second game of a makeup doubleheader the next day.
Whatever the circumstances, playing a day-night twinbill is not ideal for a pitching staff. That said, the good news is that rosters have been expanded and Matt Thornton has been activated from the disabled list. The bad news is that it’s always hard to win both ends of a doubleheader.
So it’ll be John Danks and Gavin Floyd vs. the Red Sox’s Clay Buchholz and John Lackey in a day-night DH tomorrow. Let’s hope for the best.
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Manny Debuts, But Paulie Steals the Show

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While there has been Manny talk all day, all night and all week, when the White Sox needed a boost this afternoon it was South Side mainstay Paul Konerko who had the last word. His eighth inning three-run homer overcame a subpar Sox performance and paced his teammates to a 6-4 comeback victory and a sweep of the depleted Indians in Cleveland.
Paulie, whose season has been nothing short of sensational, is now hitting .319 with 33 homers, 98 RBIs and an OPS of .986.
For most of the game the Sox were stymied by rookie Carlos Carrasco and their own defense, which committed three errors. But a home run by Alexei, not Manny, Ramirez in the eighth and Konerko’s clutch blast later in the inning made up for it. It also didn’t help that Freddy Garcia gave way to Tony Pena after four innings because of a strained lower back.
The game was also highlighted by Alex Rios‘ 20th homer of the season, which gave The Good Guys a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and Chris Sale‘s first save of his career. Manny reached base twice in his Sox debut. He singled and was hit by a pitch.
It’ll be a day off tomorrow, then three games in Boston against two tough customers–Clay Buchholz and John Lackey–on Friday and Saturday. Sunday’s Red Sox starter is TBA. We’ll counter with John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Mark Buehrle. One bit of  good news for us is that Matt Thornton is expected to be ready for action after a stint on the DL.
Oh yeah, I might have buried the lead. Manny will be returning to the scene of the crime.
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Sox Make it Interesting, But Yankee Homers and Walks Just Too Much to Overcome

52963528.jpgIf the White Sox had any chance of beating C.C. Sabathia and the Yankees tonight, John Danks (above) needed to be on his game. Unfortunately for the South Siders he wasn’t, and the Sox found themselves on the losing end of a 12-9 decision. It also dropped them to 4 1/2 games behind the Twins, 1-0 winners over the Mariners this afternoon.
Giving up a trio of two-run home runs in the first three innings, Danks put the Hose in a hole in which they could never escape. Trailing 6-1, the Sox narrowed the margin to a single run on the strength of a Paul Konerko two-run homer in the third inning and a two-run Andruw Jones blast in the fourth, but Danks and Tony Pena opened the flood gates again in the fifth by combining to surrender a fatal four spot. The Yanks, who smashed a total of four homers, padded their lead with two more runs in the final four innings. The Good Guys, resilient to the end, threatened in the ninth and had the tying run at the plate, but it was just too little too late–especially when you’re facing Mariano Rivera.
It’ll be up to Gavin Floyd tomorrow afternoon on Frank Thomas Day to help get the Sox a series win before they head to Cleveland, Boston and Detroit.
Pale Hose Notes of Note: The Sox outhit the Yankees 16-14, but Chicago pitchers walked an unacceptable nine men–which really was responsible for turning the tide…Lucas Harrell, recently recalled from Charlotte, entered the game in the ninth after Carlos Torres loaded the bases with one out. He was impressive, striking out Derek Jeter and getting Nick Swisher to line out to Juan Pierre in left.
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Win or Lose, These Sox Keep Coming at You

55690296.jpgYou’ve no doubt heard all of the details about the circumstances behind last night’s split doubleheader between the White Sox and Royals in Kansas City:
* The  terrible decision to start the game on Friday when umpire Joe West was told a torrential downpour was on its way.
* The fact that Edwin Jackson lost his start and reliever Tony Pena (above) had to start Game 2.
* The Fox Sports edict that the first game had to start at 6:05 CT–with a day game on Sunday.
Those developments set the stage for an eight-hour marathon, which saw the Sox play two extra-inning games–a 6-5 defeat in Game 1 (11 innings) after they blew a 5-1 lead and a 7-6 victory in Game 2  (10 frames) after they came back after blowing a ninth-inning lead.
What can we take from what we saw last night?
–Although he loaded the bases that set the stage for Yuniesky Betancourt‘s game-tying grand slam in Game 1, Freddy Garcia did what he had to do in 6 2/3 innings.
–Bravo to Pena, who made his first start in years, and went seven strong innings in Game 2. Aside from a four-run fourth inning, he was stellar.
–He was the losing pitcher in Game 1, but No. 1 draft pick Chris Sale is a stud. He looked overpowering in his 1 2/3 innings of work. And it was Bobby Jenks who coughed up the winning run.
–Our bullpen has been awful. First it was Santos and Jenks in Game 1, then J.J. Putz blew his third consecutive save in the nightcap after striking out the first two after Scott Linebrink gave up a blast in the eighth. Miraculously, Putz shut the door in the bottom of the 10th.
–The Sox could have very well won Game 1 if Brent Lillibridge, running for Paul Konerko, hadn’t hesitated around second base in the 10th after Carlos Quentin’s gap double to right-center. It was inexcusable for him to be thrown out which would have been the lead run. Lilli needs to be a better fundamental player and avoid the brain freezes.
–In Game 2, Ramon Castro‘s two-run homer, Alex Rios‘s RBI single and Juan Pierre‘s clutch two-out double in the 10th to put the Sox ahead for good, saved the day.
The No. 1 takeaway is that for all of the problems the Sox have had in the past couple of weeks, they keep coming back. They could have packed it in after Game 1 and again after the Royals took the lead in Game 2, but they didn’t and kept fighting. Win or lose, that’s really the legacy of this team.
“To bounce back in the second game and play the way they did, what can be better than that,” Ozzie said in the wee small hours of the morning.
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                  Lillibridge’s blunder: The run that should have scored in Game 1



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