Cleveland closer Chris Perez walked pinch-hitter Dan Johnson and Alexei Ramirez in back-to-back at-bats with two outs in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 4-3 loss, only to have Gordon Beckham swing at the next pitch and ground into a game-ending fielder's choice. Beckham defended that move on Wednesday.
"The ball was right down the middle. I got a good pitch to hit and I missed it," Beckham said. "The shadows were starting to creep in. I got a fastball and I thought that was the best chance I had because I didn't want to get down in the count and have to battle out of it.
"If I got a good pitch to hit, I was going to hit it. I didn't even think about it, to be honest. I know he walked the two guys but I wasn't thinking, 'Well, maybe I should take a pitch here.' I was hitting the whole time and as soon as I saw that pitch, I thought I had a good chance. I thought I took a relatively good swing and I ended up chopping it up the middle as opposed to driving it."
Remaining calm with eight games to play and sitting in a tie with Detroit atop the American League Central could be a reflection of the even-keel demeanor shown by White Sox manager Robin Ventura. But Ventura, in turn, sort of laughed at the concept.
"No. They'd be very boring if they did that. Hopefully, they have more energy than that," said a smiling Ventura. "They've been that way all along. We've had bad stretches before and have been able to get out of it and play well for stretches as well. You continue to play, be optimistic, enjoy, have fun and see where it goes."