CHICAGO – B.J. Upton homered in the top of the first off Gavin Floyd as Tampa Bay has taken a 1-0 lead over the White Sox in Game 4 of the ALDS.
Before the game one of the issues was whether the White Sox are peeking in to steal Tampa Bay’s signs?
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon brought it up on his own during his pre-game press conference. Maddon, whose Rays start the afternoon up in the series 2-1, was asked whether he was surprised by the White Sox’ aggressive base-running Sunday night when the usually slow ChiSox stole three bases.
“I thought the big play was we had a good chance to throw out (Dewayne) Wise (in the third inning) on that one steal and then he scored on Pierzynski’s single. That was our best chance. That was a high fastball and good location to throw. Otherwise he ran on breaking balls. I don’t know if they’re peeking in or not and getting our signs. I wasn’t surprised. If you permit them to do it, they do it and we know that. And we just have to be better prepared for today,” Maddon said.
Meanwhile, Ozzie Guillen confirmed that Mark Buehrle will pitch Game 5 if there is one.
“Yes, yes,” said Guillen. “That’s the guy we wanted to pitch when we were making out the rotation. He’s the best guy we have.”
Guillen, in talking about Dewayne Wise, who has been quite a find for the White Sox said, “It’s funny because I think the White Sox signed this kid because they were doing someone a favor. I’m not sure. He went through camp late in the minor leagues and then he played well for us in Triple-A. I like players with speed. I like players that bring something to the table. He’s been a big clutch hitter for us. Huge.”…
Injured star Carlos Quentin, who was on the verge of wrapping up the MVP race before fracturing his wrist, took batting practice yesterday for the second time and is hoping he’ll be active for the next series if the White Sox get that far.
While Guillen has consistently said Quentin will not play in the playoffs, Sox GM Ken Williams watched Quentin take BP and wondered aloud whether the White Sox have a decision on their hands if the White Sox advance.
“Yesterday felt great,” said Quentin. “I just hadn’t been out there. I threw long, I hit before BP so it felt very good. It felt just a little bit sore from back to back days. Overall, it felt good. I’m about to hit off the curveball machine. So we’re testing it out and I got a good workload to gauge where it’s at, but it’s responding well.”
Here are more questions and Quentin’s responses:
Sore after hitting sessions?
“It’s sore when I start the session. As BP or whatever I’m doing goes along, it loosens up nicely and it almost feels back to normal.”
Might you take part in simulated games?
“That’s what we were talking about, trying to figure out the best way to go about it. Obviously, get some pitching from some pitchers in a simulated situation. That’s the way it’s going to be.”
How about throwing?
“It’s actually feeling good. It’s the last thing that started feeling good recently. Every time I throw a ball, it leans back on that joint. Of late, it’s feels good.”
Is it tough not being a part of this?
“These guys are doing a great job, playing great, they’ve been battling. I want to be in there. I want to support the team as much as I can. I just want to get in there and help them.”
Is there any way of re-injuring it?
“We all talked about it. We felt that Oct. 1 was the set date where everyone felt comfortable that re-injuring it wasn’t an issue. The bone has been set well and it’s been healed enough that where we feel comfortable we can proceed and feel comfortable.”
At what percent health are you?
“Today I’m at 75-80, increasing greatly every day. It’s all good.”
Here are the lineups:
Tampa Bay Rays
1. Akinori Iwamura, 2B
2. B.J. Upton, CF
3. Carlos Pena, 1B
4. Evan Longoria, 3B
5. Carl Crawford, LF
6. Cliff Floyd, DH
7. Dioner Navarro, C
8. Gabe Gross, RF
9. Jason Bartlett, SS
Andy Sonnanstine, SP
Chicago White Sox
1. Orlando Cabrera, SS
2. A,J. Pierzynski, C
3. Jermaine Dye, RF
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Paul Konerko, 1B
6. Ken Griffey Jr., CF
7. Alexei Ramirez, 2B
8. Dewayne Wise, LF
9. Juan Uribe, 3B
–SP: Gavin Floyd