CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox offense has been so prolific this season that the little mistakes have flown under the radar.
They have not gone unnoticed, but they have been easier to push to the background -- as opposed to last season, when they were front and center as the losses piled on top of each other.
With the White Sox trailing by two runs, Flowers doubled to right field. Outs were at a premium so late in the game, but Flowers burned one when he took off for third base on Alejandro De Aza's ground ball to shortstop.
The Diamondbacks’ Chris Owings easily threw out Flowers -- who broke the cardinal rule of trying to advance on a ball hit right in front of him. Making the transgression especially egregious was that it left the White Sox with only four outs to play with before the end of the game.
“Yeah, that's not [good],” said acting manager Mark Parent, who was filling in while Robin Ventura attended the college graduation of his daughter. “What I liked about it afterwards was that everybody was a little upset about it. It just doesn't go unnoticed.”
Adam Dunn made a similar gaffe recently, showing that even the most seasoned of players can have a moment of weakness. The White Sox had actually worked on fundamentals before Wednesday’s game against the Cubs.
Gordon Beckham came to the plate after Flowers was thrown out. If he hit a home run, the miscue would have been swept under the rug. If he hit a single, it would only have highlighted the mistake. He ended up grounding into a forceout.
The White Sox tacked on a run in the ninth inning off Addison Reed, their former closer, but Jose Abreu and Dayan Viciedo struck out in the final inning before Paul Konerko grounded out to end the game.
“It shouldn't happen,” Parent said about Flowers’ mistake. “I'd like to say it won't happen again, but that's baseball. He knows better. It's happened twice this year, and that's not good.”