White Sox pitching coach: 'I don't give a [bleep] what our pitch count is right now'

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Just in case you thought Ozzie Guillen was the only member of the White Sox’s coaching staff who likes giving expletive-filled quotes, here’s pitching coach Don Cooper on Jake Peavy and the rest of his staff struggling:

You can talk about a whole lot of stuff–mechanics, this and that, and the other things–but it’s time to get people out and try to figure a way to help us win games by fighting and clawing.



I can say I love to have low pitch counts, be in the seventh inning with 75 pitches. I don’t give a [bleep] what our pitch count is right now. I want you to go out and give us a chance to win the [bleep]ing game. If that’s five innings like John Danks did Saturday, it’s five innings. If it’s like the time before where Danks gave us eight, we won both games. We need to fight and claw. That’s what’s going on.

Cooper obviously knows far more about pitching than I ever will and has generally done a very good job with the White Sox, but I’m amused by the notion that, for example, Peavy’s struggles aren’t due to “a whole lot of stuff” like “mechanics” and are instead because he’s not “fighting and clawing” enough.
Also, just generally speaking my experience is that it’s never a good sign when someone says “this and that, and the other things.” On the other hand, Cooper is definitely right to single out John Danks as a positive, because he’s 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA and the rest of the White Sox’s pitching staff is 7-15 with a 5.46 ERA.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.