HOUSTON -- With the White Sox offense and defense struggling pretty much the entire season, it would be easy for the team's stellar pitching to point fingers. Take Chris Sale's effort Friday as an example for the sixth-ranked staff in the American League based on its 3.74 ERA.
Sale struck out 14 and allowed five singles over eight innings, walking just one, yet still took the loss. The White Sox ace certainly wasn't pointing fingers after the tough setback, and pitching coach Don Cooper echoed that sentiment regarding his staff's demeanor on Saturday.
"I won't accept any kind of excuses like, 'Well, we are pitching good, but we didn't score any runs,'" Cooper said. "No, man. Hang with them.
"You've got your own job to do to take care of. Everybody else has theirs. We are focused on what we need to do and taking responsibility for everything that happens in that game."
Cooper added that everyone knows how tough Friday's loss was without anything being said. The goal is continuing to repeat a starting performance close to Sale's and giving the White Sox another chance for victory.
"On the bench last night, I told Chris, 'Great job, dynamite job, gem. Now we get ready for Minnesota five days from now.' I told him that on the bench," Cooper said. "It's always a game of next. It's always the next pitch for the hitter, not the last pitch.
"It's always the next hitter, the next inning, the next game. It's a game of re-focusing from next pitch to next pitch. Next hitter to hitter, game to game."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.