CHICAGO | How do you feel the next day, after blowing a five-run lead in the 14th inning by giving up a grand-slam homer, then throw a career-high 55 pitches overall to work through the 16th for the victory?
You say you’re available to pitch again.
Many of White Sox closer Addison Reed’s teammates hadn’t arrived 3½ hours before Thursday night’s game against Oakland. Batting practice had been canceled after a marathon exhibition 2,000 miles away in Seattle that was so crazy Paul Konerko compared it to a “Legion game.”
But Reed was settled in, mentally ready to go after the most spectacular blown save of the season, better than a Carlos Marmol special. Acting Sox manager Mark Parent and pitching coach Don Cooper later would respectfully turn down Reed’s request, but surely love his spirit.
“I haven’t gone out there and thrown yet, but right now I honestly feel like I could pitch today,” said Reed, the most improved Sox. “I honestly feel good enough to throw. (Friday) I’ll be 100 percent.
“Last night, going to bed, I honestly thought I’d wake up feeling really sore.”
Reed already had something to prove. After the Sox threatened to go 0-for-the-West Coast, getting shut out for the first 13 innings Wednesday, last-pitcher-standing Reed had been entrusted with protecting the fat lead achieved, amazingly, by some manufactured Sox runs.
Yet Reed became a part of history, serving up Kyle Seager’s grand-slam with two out to cap the five-run bottom of the 14th. The Mariners became the first team in history to tally five runs to tie from the 14th inning on.
“I’m glad they let me go back out there after I gave up the lead. It kind of sucks that it came down to that and wish I could have ended the game in the 14th inning.”
Reed had the most enthusiastic recovery from the crazy game that broke a seemingly interminable eight-game Sox losing streak. They’re seriously in the ditch, and the climb out may be too difficult for even as someone as motivated as Reed.
“I would have rather not had seven at-bats in a game – I’m pretty sore today,” said second baseman Gordon Beckham. That sounds like a strange attitude, given he had four hits, all after the eighth inning, and touched off the winning rally in the 16th. But Beckham had just come back from hamate-bone surgery.
“It’s a little bit harder when you haven’t played games every day,” he said. “My hand’s OK. It’s just the amount of running and stuff.”
Beckham’s a lot younger than Konerko, who could have used a whirlpool on the charter back home to sooth his 37-year-old bones. The Sox captain has seen a lot in baseball, but hardly any that matched the Safeco Field spectacle.
“That one yesterday was probably the most awkward, weirdest game,” Konerko said. “The whole game, the end of the game, the clubhouse after, it was just a very bizarre game.”
That was then. The cold reality of the season once again would envelop the weary travelers.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at DGemsNet@aol.com.