White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen can understand the booing. In fact, he’d be all in himself were he a paying customer watching highly-paid players make errors.
The Bronx cheers, now that’s something that rankles Guillen. Sox fans got their money’s worth with sarcastic cheering Tuesday night every time the Sox caught an Oakland Athletics fly ball, a night after Juan Pierre dropped his second fly ball of the season.
There were more boos in the ninth inning Wednesday when the Sox bullpen failed to protect a 4-1 lead. The A’s sent the game into extra innings and scored three in the 10th against Matt Thornton for a 7-4 victory that dropped the Sox to 7-5.
Chris Sale gave up three hits to start the the ninth inning, Jesse Crain issued a walk and struck out Kurt Suzuki, and Thornton gave up a tying two-run single to A’s ninth-place hitter Cliff Pennington.
After getting Mark Ellis on a groundout to start the 10th, Thornton issued two walks before Coco Crisp lined an RBI single to center and Daric Barton scored two more runs with a single that ended Thornton’s horrid afternoon and sent many fans to the exits.
Sox fans have seen the Sox allow a major league high 12 runs in the ninth inning this season, and a season’s worth of dropped fly balls in 12 games. Pierre has dropped two in left field, Mark Teahan one in left and Alex Rios had one pop out of his glove in center Tuesday night. Three of those four were routine. Lastings Milledge had a tougher one bounce out of the pocket of his glove for a double in Cleveland and misjudged another in Kansas City.
“Hopefully we get better about it,” Guillen said. “I know we will.”
As for booing, Guillen said “I would do the same thing.” It’s the sarcastic cheering that got Guillen’s goat.
“The thing is that bugs me a little bit, you’re booing because we drop the ball, yes, please do. You boo because you make a bad pitch that’s a double, yes. But don’t think this is a little game every time we take fly balls like making fun of the team or embarrassing. Juan Pierre, everyone should be proud if you’re a White Sox fan and you see Juan Pierre play every day. He gives you your money’s worth. This kid plays very, very hard for us. He don’t deserve that. He don’t deserve that.”
Pierre made his third error of the season Wednesday, this one on Cliff Pennington’s single to left leading off the third inning. Pierre moved to his right to field it on the fifth hop and the ball glanced off his glove, allowing Pennington to take second. Pierre made one error all last season.
The Wednesday matinee crowd was easier on Pierre than the previous two nights’ gatherings, but that was before the 2010 MLB base-stealing leader guessed wrong on left-hander Brett Anderson’s move to the first for the second time and was thrown out at second a second time. Pierre was booed coming off the field.
Pierre’s error did not cost the Sox a run. After David DeJesus bunted Pennington to third, Sox pitcher John Danks struck out Mark Ellis. Third baseman Brent Morel then made his third sparkling play of the game, backhanding Conor Jackson’s grounder down the line and throwing him out at first for the third out.
Danks allowed one run in his eight innings of work.
Pierre reached on an error and scored on Gordon Beckham’s double to knot the score at 1 in the fifth. In the sixth, the Sox took a 3-1 lead, scoring the third run on Brent Morel’s squeeze bunt that brought Alex Rios (double) home.