Last two months are ‘critical’ for White Sox, manager Pedro Grifol says

“I want to clean some things up, the fundamentals,” Grifol said. “This is not a ‘just finish the season out’ type of two months for us.”

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White Sox manager Pedro Grifol during a game against the Txas Rangers in Chicago on June 19, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Getty Images)

Manager Pedro Grifol of the White Sox during a game against the Texas Rangers at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 19, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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CLEVELAND — The White Sox are 43-68 and own a five-game losing streak after they dropped the opener of a weekend series against the Guardians.

The season is lost, but not for first-year manager Pedro Grifol, who wants his team to play cleaner as a stepping stone and tone-setter for 2024 in the last two months.

“We have two months left and they are a critical two months,” Grifol said. “This is not a ‘just finish the season out’ type of two months for us.

“We’re never going to compromise a major-league win because they’re really, really hard to come by. At the same time, there are things we have to correct before we move forward and that’s one of them. We just have to get better at it.”

Such as?

“I want to clean some things up, the fundamentals. The details. Just things that kind of got away from us a little bit. It wasn’t that we didn’t address them. It’s just that they just haven’t gotten better. When I say things are on me, that’s what I mean. Things are on me.”

Grifol said he holds himself accountable for what transpired in the first 110 games and he wants his players to be accountable, too.

“Because we have to get better,” he said.

Defensive issues, chasing pitches and baserunning are just a few items on the table.

“We’ve shown bits and pieces of every -facet of the game,” Grifol said. “Yet we haven’t put it together as one.”

Jimenez out of lineup

Eloy Jimenez has a sore heel and didn’t start for a second consecutive game.

“He needs another day,” Grifol said.

“It’s a heel and it bothers him every once in a while. I want him healthy. He’s not going to be completely heathy because nobody is at this time. I’m certainly not -going to push something that’s not -necessary.”

Bush shakes off debut

Left-hander Ky Bush, acquired along with catcher Edgar Quero from the Angels in the trade for Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, had a rough debut in the Sox organization, allowing seven runs on 12 hits with one walk and no strikeouts in 3„ innings for Double-A Birmingham against the -Biloxi Shuckers last Saturday.

But the 6-6 Bush, who had pitched to a 5.88 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 26 innings with the Angels’ Double-A Rocket City affiliate after coming off oblique and groin injuries, didn’t seem fazed.

“You wanted to be mad about it because of the line but I filled the zone, got ahead of hitters quick but was leaving two-strike pitches too much in the zone,” Bush said -Friday.

Bush’s head was “racing” getting quickly acclimated to a new team three days after the trade, and he was looking ahead to his second start Saturday.

Bush, 23, was a second-round pick by the Angels in the 2021 draft. Some project him as a possible Sox rotation piece as soon as 2024.

“I like to go right at guys, try not to waste many pitches,” he said.

Bush said his velocity has been down a tick but seemed confident a mechanical fix will fix it.

Giolito has allowed 12 earned runs in nine innings over two starts with the Angels. -Lopez has made three scoreless relief appearances with eight strikeouts in four -innings, touching 101 mph.

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