Thursday, April 21, 2011
As Beckham sits, Vizquel delivers
By Doug Padilla
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It didn't take very long for Omar Vizquel to deliver out of the No. 2 hole for the White Sox.
In at second base for a slumping Gordon Beckham on Thursday, Vizquel delivered RBIs in his first two at-bats for a struggling White Sox offense. Vizquel finished the night with two hits and had his first multi-RBI game since Aug. 27 of last year against the Yankees.
It was finally some good news for manager Ozzie Guillen, who watched a seven-game losing streak increase the discussion about his job security.
“The thing is Vizquel got two good at-bats [early], and helped us in the second slot,” Guillen said. “I think with Juan [Pierre] , the first and second hitter, is very important on this club because you see the guys coming with men on base and have Carlos [Quentin] swinging well and [Paul Konerko] is going good. You got to take advantage of that.”
By the third inning, the White Sox’s five runs were their most since April 12 which was, incidentally, the last time the won a game. Their nine total runs were their most since April 6.
Beckham had just one hit in his last 19 at-bats for a White Sox team starved for base runners.
"I think it's pretty obvious why I'm not in the lineup," Beckham said. "I'm not hitting really well. I think that they are trying to give me a day."
Beckham admitted after his first-half struggles ended last year that he was fighting himself mentally all while working on his swing. He's trying hard to avoid that again.
"I'm a little frustrated right now because I have to answer these questions, but the last thing I can do is get frustrated about this," Beckham said. "I've been really good in terms of the way I feel. It's not like I'm up there flailing at balls. I'm putting the ball in play. There's a miss here or there. [Hitting coach Greg Walker] says my swing is good."
When Beckham returns to the lineup, he could find himself lower in the order. Guillen will consider using Alexei Ramirez or A.J. Pierzynski in the No. 2 hole and even said Brent Morel could be a candidate if he starts hitting again.
"I try to make the best lineup I can," Guillen said. "I look at the guys. I like it when guys have good at-bats. If you don't get good at-bats they failed that part of their game. I might do the same thing we did last year, move [Beckham] down and make him relax a little bit and when he starts swinging the bat better again move him back up."