White Sox Abreu back to hitting homersContinue reading.
Abreu shakes off bad night, moves on
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Tough to gauge who had the worst night Saturday, Chris Sale or Jose Abreu.
Sale had one bad inning that included a game-tying grand slam by Mike Trout that made him “want to rip my own head off.” Abreu struck out four times, all swinging, at pitches down and/or out of the strike zone.
Sale promised that the sun would come up Sunday and there it was, shining brightly on the Sox and Angels for their afternoon series finale.
Abreu also shrugged off his worst night as a major leaguer, putting it behind him as he prepared for Sunday’s game.
“These things happen in baseball,’’ Abreu said through a translator. “But you know what, to me that day is over. Yesterday is over and hey, that was his [the pitchers] day yesterday and today is my day and I’m looking forward to today. Yesterday is past.’’
Abreu, who was at designated hitter Sunday after playing five straight games at first base since coming off the disabled list with inflammation in his left ankle, is tied for third in the American League with 17 homers, sixth with 47 RBI and second with a .604 in slugging percentage despite missing 14 games on the DL.
He homered in his each of his first two games back against the Dodgers Monday and Tuesday but has struck out in six of his last seven at-bats against the Dodgers.
“They are throwing the pitches and I’m not doing my part by swinging at those pitches out of the zone,’’ Abreu said Sunday. “Things that are not characteristic of me. But that’s what they are doing. The one who has to make adjustments is me. But today is a new day and we will try to do anything that we can, not just for me to get hits or whatever but whatever is better for the team. That’s the most important thing.’’
The Angels have not unearthed an unknown secret to getting Abreu out.
“For the most part they’re doing what they do to everybody else,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “You try to pound guys in and keep them from extending their arms and throw some junk in the dirt and get them thinking inside. The same stuff they do to everybody. He’s making adjustments. They’re making adjustments. He’s a smart enough guy to make adjustments so I expect him to do that.’’
Abreu is wearing a brace and orthotics.
“Right now everything feels great,’’ he said. “I really have to thank the people that helped me in one way or another to get back, to being in shape to play. Thank God I feel really good.
“The equipment that I’m using right now is really good. It’s very comfortable. It’s totally, it expands and it’s easy to wear and it’s holding up pretty good. I think it’s been great for me so far.’’
Abreu also said that having a few minutes with Angels great Albert Pujols has been “amazing.’’
“He was taking BP and he stepped out of BP just to come out and say hello to me and talk to me which is incredible,’’ Abreu said. “That’s one of the reasons why we admire him so much, the kind of people he is, the kind of professional he is. We talk about a lot of things and I’m very thankful for the advice he gives me. He’s definitely a person all baseball players admire and he’s a role model for all of us.’’