Notes: Peavy to take mound with heavy heart
CHICAGO – White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy will take the mound tonight against the Minnesota Twins with a heavy heart.
Close friend and San Diego Padres bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds passed away Sunday after a 19-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
“It’s been inspiring,” Peavy said. “To get the news he had given to him, he knew the percentages, he knew what he was up against. Just the attitude he kept. This guy was laying on his death bed sending me texts, encouraging me after a bad start. It was amazing to me.”
Close games: In what is shaping up as a tight race in the American League Central, winning close ballgames is vital to the Sox’s playoffs hopes.
The Sox haven’t been awful in one-run games, but their 8-11 mark won’t help them fend off the Cleveland Indians or Detroit Tigers. Few things bother even-keeled manager Robin Ventura, but those close losses don’t sit well with him.
“They are worse than the ones where you get drubbed by seven or eight,” Ventura said. “Pitchers don’t like it, but I think there are days when you just lose and there are days when you see a lot of situations that could happen.”
Second guessing decisions happen all the time and Ventura isn’t immune to those thoughts. But he isn’t worried about past decisions that he can’t change.
“In the end, the decisions that you make if you think they are sound decisions, that’s what happens,” Ventura said. “You are not going to win them all. You won’t win them no matter what kind of decisions you make, you aren’t going to win them.”
Overworked arms: Although the bullpen features a couple veteran arms, a young core has been the basis for the Sox’s success.
However relying on youngsters, especially two rookies in Nate Jones and Addison Reed, forces Ventura to consider how much he uses the two right-handers who had limited big league experience entering the season.
Reed’s 29 outings are the team’s third-most, trailing Matt Thornton and Will Ohman, while Jones leads Sox relievers with 342⁄3 innings pitched.
“You are guarded with it’s the first time they’ve gone this long and that’s the one thing of having younger guys,” Ventura said. “You are going into an area they haven’t been in yet. It’s about playing the game and for them to stay focused. Instead of having them worry about it, we’ll think about that stuff.”
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