Struggling Gavin Floyd rocked again as Sox fall 5-3 to Cards
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Sun-Times Media June 14, 2012 10:58PM
Chicago White Sox v St. Louis Cardinals
Updated: July 16, 2012 6:47AM
ST. LOUIS — As White Sox manager Robin Ventura takes roll call to see which of his starting pitchers are on board for the task of trying to win the American League Central, he finds Chris Sale and Jake Peavy present and accounted for.
John Danks? The Opening Day starter was thought to be on the way, but, with his left shoulder barking at him Thursday, his return date is unknown.
Philip Humber? Missing in action since his perfect game on April 21 and fighting to stay in the rotation.
Gavin Floyd? The big right-hander’s ERA in his last six starts is 10.50 after he put the Sox in a 5-0 hole against the Cardinals on Thursday. Floyd couldn’t finish the fifth inning, and the Sox went on to lose 5-3.
While Ventura patiently waits, Floyd is saying he fully expects to carry his load.
“Absolutely,’’ Floyd said Wednesday. “It’s the attitude you’ve got to have. I feel great. I feel like my stuff is getting better, I’m learning from mistakes.
“You have to control the stuff you can control, keep it simple and give it your all every pitch. You have to think that things will come around.’’
Floyd said he made a small adjustment during his side session after his last start, in which he gave up four runs — including two homers — against the Houston Astros. He felt as if he improved against the Astros, but against the Cardinals, Floyd gave up three doubles, a two-run homer to David Freese and he walked pitcher Jake Westbrook twice.
Floyd struck out five, an indication of his stuff that teammates and coaches rave about. But his issue is about executing pitches.
“Guys don’t want to face Gavin Floyd, especially when he’s got it going,’’ Peavy said before the game.
“Everything that Gavin throws is plus stuff. His fastball, movement, the ball out of his hand, his big curveball is one of the best in the league. Slider, changeup, all of his pitches are above major-league average.
“There aren’t many guys, every pitch they throw is above-average. The big thing with Gavin is location and having a little bit of an attitude. I think he’s starting to understand who he is and being free. He can be his own worst enemy. He understands that. He is going to do good things for this ballclub this year.’’
Floyd was KO’d by Matt Adams’ two-run bases loaded single with two outs in the fifth. Ventura visited Floyd on the mound before he gave up the hit.
Thanks to a lineup that came together in the last four weeks, the Sox have moved into first place and held their ground despite having only a fraction of their rotation in good, working order. Rookie left-hander Jose Quintana has come to the rescue for the disabled Danks, who is hoping to come back next week.
“With the team doing well you want to be a part of the success, you want to succeed when the team is succeeding,’’ Floyd said. “It’s exciting to think that when things do come around we’ll be firing on all cylinders. We can be even better.’’
Adam Dunn, playing left field on a sore ankle, continued to click with his 22nd home run of the season, against Westbrook. Dunn’s line shot to center, with Alejandro De Aza and Gordon Beckham on base with two-out singles, cut the Cardinals’ lead to 5-3 in the sixth. Dunn’s RBI total climbed to 50, eight more than he had in 2011.