7/27/2013 6:39 P.M. ET
White Sox aim to make most of last few months
By Cash Kruth / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Whether you're a 17-year veteran, second-year manager, rookie or fan, it's been a trying year to be connected to the White Sox.
"Yeah, it's been not the greatest," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said before Saturday's game against the Royals. "The win/loss record's not anywhere where we want it to be and on a bunch of different levels it's been a struggle. But here we are and sometimes it's not fun. You've just got to grind through as best you can and just keep playing the game."
Manager Robin Ventura also acknowledged that 2013 has been a season of adversity. And while Ventura said he has used some of this season's struggles to talk with players and provide learning experiences, for the most part it's about continuing that grind.
"You just continue to do the job and keep going," Ventura said. "As far as it being easy, hard, whatever, you still have to do what you think is right and find a way to kind of make it fun. But it's harder at certain times than others."
And while this season hasn't exactly gone according to plan for the last-place White Sox, that doesn't mean the White Sox are resigned to accept their fate in the American League Central cellar.
"There hasn't really been anything that you can say, 'That's gone exactly how we thought it would go this year,'" Konerko said. "But that's it. Sometimes you're that team and right now we've been that team all year. That doesn't mean we have to be like that the next two months, but that's the way it's gone 'til now."
White Sox puzzled over mounting errors
CHICAGO -- Casper Wells' dropped fly ball in Friday's loss at U.S. Cellular Field was more than an embarrassing ninth-inning moment for the White Sox.
It also was the club's 71st error of the season -- matching the number Chicago totaled all of last season. This year, however, miscue No. 71 came in game No. 100.
"It's perplexing," manager Robin Ventura said. "There's no other way to explain it."
Ventura isn't the only one confused. First baseman Paul Konerko doesn't get it, either -- mainly because the Sox returned many of the same players from a squad that committed the fewest errors in the Majors last season.
Instead, shortstop Alexei Ramirez has committed 17 errors this year compared to 12 a year ago; second baseman Gordon Beckham has already equaled his 2012 total (seven); and Adam Dunn, playing more first base than in years past, has made seven errors after committing only two last year. White Sox outfielders have combined for 14 errors this season after committing 12 all of last year.
It truly is a team-wide epidemic.
"I think it's just kind of gotten contagious," Konerko said. "Certainly didn't see it coming because we kind of had the same group of guys we had last year, where we were not only good, but we were one of the best. So it just shows you, baseball, you never know."
Sox starters keep dealing despite low support
CHICAGO -- Chris Sale gets most of the buzz for a lack of run support, and by now it's clear his win/loss record won't matter much as the White Sox left-hander likely will find his name on many American League Cy Young Award ballots.
But Sale is only one of a handful of White Sox starters whose paltry win/loss record has, perhaps, overshadowed stellar seasons. Among them is lefty Jose Quintana, who held the Royals to two runs in seven innings on Friday while taking the loss.
"I think Quintana's been awesome. I think he's not gotten the runs and support -- he could very well have a great record to go along with the other numbers that are pretty good," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said of Quintana, who has a 3.55 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. "It's nice to see a guy like that who had a good year last year, came out of nowhere, and then he built off of that. And great kid on top of it. So I am happy for him."
Chicago starters have done their jobs this season despite missing right-hander Gavin Floyd and having lefty John Danks open the year on the disabled list. The lack of run support, however, has cost the starting rotation and the team.
The White Sox are 17-19 when their starting pitcher works at least seven innings -- a Major League-low .472 winning percentage in such cases -- even though their starters have a 2.29 ERA and .193 average against in those games.
Although the lack of run support can frustrate some pitchers, Sunday starter Hector Santiago said he believes it helps him focus.
"It definitely makes you stronger because you know you've got to try to go out there and put up seven, eight scoreless," Santiago said. "When you get into jams, you get down, dig deeper, try to make better pitches and better quality pitches. … Hopefully they come back and give you some more run support, but if you give up one or two runs, those one or two runs can hurt you."
Third to first
• Tyler Flowers, who entered the season as the White Sox starting catcher, has lately ceded much of his playing time to rookie Josh Phegley. But Ventura said he hasn't noticed a negative relationship between the two, who spent Saturday playing cards together in the White Sox clubhouse before the game.
"I think they talk and it's enough of a relationship, and competitive, but they understand the job and what we're here to do," Ventura said. "Flo's been helpful, it's not that he's not trying to be helpful, it's just that he wants to play, too."
• Multiple injuries have sullied about half of Beckham's season, but he's been having a career year when healthy, entering Saturday with a .320/.344/.420 slash line. Ventura said he's been impressed with Beckham's progress since the end of last season and through Spring Training.
"The wrist stuff has been flukish stuff, really," Ventura said of Beckham, who returned Friday after missing the previous five games with a strained ligament in his left wrist. "When he goes to the plate I expect him to get a hit, that's where he's at right now, or at least hit it hard."