Longball-or-nothing approach costs Sox
Editor's note: Each day throughout the White Sox' playoff drive, we'll chat with Bill Melton and share his answers to key questions.
Q. The White Sox went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position in Game 1, with DeWayne Wise's 3-run homer in the third the only success. Should anyone be stunned by this?
A. It's the longball or nothing with this team. That's the Achilles' heel they have. That's what we are. But today it really stood out with (Juan) Uribe and (Orlando) Cabrera striking out with the bases loaded in the seventh.
It could have been at least 6-5, but we got nothing.
Q. Speaking of the fateful seventh, what did you think of Cabrera's verbal exchange with Rays reliever Grant Balfour? It seemed to add a few m.p.h. to the fiery Balfour's fastball.
A. It looked like Balfour was showing up Uribe with some kind of language (after striking him out). Cabrera didn't like that and you've got to stick up for your teammate.
But it wasn't going to matter. We haven't gotten a hit off him all year. He just throws fastball after fastball. He's a right-handed Matt Thornton.
And you didn't have to agitate him. As a hitter, what's the sense of getting after a pitcher when he already throws that hard?
Q. Is there a good way to pitch to Evan Longoria?
A. You just can't hang pitches like (Javier) Vazquez did. That's all he did. He threw a fastball down the middle and hung a high curve.
Q. The Sox radio team (Ed Farmer and Steve Stone) struggled to mask their disappointment in Vazquez's showing. Are you a little down on him, too?
A. The game changed completely when Vazquez gave up the 3 runs in the third to give them back the lead. That's generally what happens every time he pitches. Successful pitchers shut down the other team for an inning or two after their offense gives them the lead.
Q. Can the Sox get to Rays starter Scott Kazmir? He's been giving up a lot of home runs recently.
A. He's pitching as bad as Vazquez right now. The one thing with Kazmir is, even if he's going well, he throws a ton of pitches.
He's usually at 90-100 pitches by the fifth inning. He's very hittable. We need to wait him out, get him out of there and get into their bullpen - the middle of their bullpen.
• Former White Sox third baseman Bill Melton is Comcast SportsNet's studio analyst on "White Sox Pre-Game Live" and "White Sox Post Game Live."