For a "dead arm," Chris Sale said that his left appendage felt alive and well hours before the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 3-2 Wednesday afternoon, taking the rubber match of the three-game series.
Even though Sale is feeling good, that didn't change the fact that manager Robin Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper once again got together and juggled the rotation. They again pushed Sale back, with the hopes of making sure he's fresh for the stretch run in late August and into September.
On Tuesday, the plan was to push Sale to the weekend against the Angels, but now the reliever-turned-starter won't pitch until early next week, when Kansas City comes to the South Side for a series.
That means Philip Humber, Gavin Floyd and Francisco Liriano will be facing the Los Angeles Angels at home this weekend, with Jake Peavy, Sale and Jose Quintana getting the call against the Kansas City Royals to start next week. Small picture? Liriano and Peavy work on regular rest. Big picture is that Humber and Floyd get an extra day of rest, while Sale will now have 10 days in between starts.
Quintana, who is a rookie and also has the staff concerned as far as the number of innings he's been building up, gets an eight-day rest when the pencil is done writing down the list of names on the upcoming schedule.
"When you have six guys, you can push it around this way, because you have the flexibility to have guys go every five days," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Having the two young guys, you try to take care of them and give them the best opportunity when they go out there, they're at their strongest.
"The most important thing is to make sure they're healthy and competitive when they go out there. Make sure they have every bit of ammo when they go out there and pitch."
Cooper had a similar take on it.
"If we win this thing, it's because we're good enough," Cooper said. "And if we don't get in, it's not going to be because we're tired. I'll go on record as saying that right now."
What was on record Wednesday was Peavy once again being the most consistent pitcher wearing a Sox uniform this season. The righty went eight innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits, walking two and fanning eight.
Addison Reed then walked the tight rope again in the ninth, putting two on before retiring the Twins to get out of the jam. Just like that, the Sox left Minnesota as they came into the series -- still in first place in the American League Central.