Before and after every loss to the Twins this week, the White Sox players said they would not give up.
Case in point: Paul Konerko getting hit in the face during Thursday night’s 8-5 loss to the Twins and staying in the game.
“I hope our players, not just White Sox players, but players in general, look at themselves in the mirror and see what this guy did,” Ozzie Guillen said after the game. “You know, this guy has a chance to be M.V.P., great numbers, great career. Stepping up like a man and playing the game.”
Konerko took a Carl Pavano fastball right between the mouth and nose in the first inning. He was the ninth White Sox batter hit by Twins pitching this year and in a season where critics and fans have been clamoring for retaliation, the right guy was on the mound for the White Sox.
On the first pitch of the second inning, Mark Buehrle nailed Michael Cuddyer in the back of the left arm. The Twins slugger peacefully took his place at first base and warnings were issued. After the game, Cuddyer said he had a good feeling he was going to get hit.
Meanwhile, Buehrle was not remorseful for the pitch “slipping” away.
“I’m an employee of the White Sox and I try to do the best I can and when I’m told to do something I go out there and try to do it to the best of my ability,” he said. “Obviously you got to protect your guys.”
Konerko got his own revenge when he hit the next pitch he saw in the third inning into the left field bleachers. After the game, Konerko was sporting one hell of fat lip and was physically unable to speak with the media.
His teammates were obviously impressed.
“That’s the type of guys we got,” Buehrle said. “Guys are wanting to battle and be in the situation and play the game. So hats off to that guy for getting hit in the face and staying in the game.”
Unfortunately for the White Sox, the final outcome in the game was not as impressive. The Twins had no problem hitting off Buehrle as they tagged him for six earned runs in five innings. The victory completed a three-game sweep for Minnesota and pushed the White Sox nine-games back of the division lead.
Finally, the players are admitting that the fat lady is singing.
“I think she’s singing,” Buehrle said. “I mean, obviously mathematically we aren’t out of it, but as good as a team as they have and obviously we’re not playing our best ball right now. They’re that good of a team. It’s kind of obvious.”
Get more on the White Sox by following Adam Hoge on Twitter @AdamHoge670.