Beckham can't convert opportunities
September, 25, 2012
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesGordon Beckham summed up his rough day Tuesday by saying "It is what it is."CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham couldn’t capitalize when given a chance to make an impact in key plays on both sides of Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
Beckham’s first opportunity arrived on the defensive side in the fourth inning. With runners on first and third base with one out, Thomas Neal grounded to the left of Beckham. He fielded the ball, spun to his left and delivered a rare off-the-mark throw to shortstop Alexei Ramirez.
Ramirez slowed down to catch the ball, quickly leaped over the charging base runner and fired to first base. Despite the miscue, Ramirez still nearly caught Neal at first base. A number of White Sox reacted as if Neal was going to be out, but first base umpire Jerry Layne saw it differently. One run scored on the play, and the Indians added two more runs before the inning was over.
“It is what it is,” said Beckham, who has a .991 fielding percentage. “Obviously you want to turn that double play. I don't know. Yeah, that's not good. Not good.”
White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko believed Ramirez’s throw did get there in time.
“I didn’t feel like his foot hit the bag, but I felt like we had him timing-wise,” Konerko said. “I was told we had him. I didn’t look at the replay, but somebody told me we got him. Even if that’s case, you almost have to go into the games knowing that you got to be able overcome stuff like that.”
Beckham was given a chance to redeem himself in the bottom of the ninth inning. Following two walks by Indians closer Chris Perez, Beckham came to bat with two outs and his team trailing 4-3.
On a first pitch fastball, Beckham swung and hit a hard grounder to Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who fielded the ball and tossed it to second base for the game’s final out.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said afterward he didn’t mind Beckham being so aggressive despite the previous two hitters walking.
“There, you’ve got a chance to tie it up,” Ventura said. “Against a closer, you don’t want to sit there and fall behind just to try and get another walk. You’ve got a guy in scoring position, so I’d rather him be aggressive than sit there and fall behind.”