Kevin Gausman is starting Friday. We’re just missing the Sunday starter.
Showalter couldn’t decide whether he was more impressed with Nick Markakis’ catch a few years ago on opening day at Tropicana Field or the one tonight that robbed Conor Gillaspie of a two-run homer.
Both were game-savers.
Markakis had three hits, including a two-run shot off former teammate Matt Lindstrom.
“The game Markakis had. Are you kidding me? Really?” Showalter said following an 8-2 win over the White Sox.
Markakis will be remembered most for his sensational leaping catch in the seventh inning that preserved a 3-2 lead.
“Reminded me of the one in Tampa on opening day when Kevin Gregg was pitching,” Showalter said.
“I didn’t see a whole lot of it. I saw the tail end of it and I said to myself, ‘He caught that?’ That was big. The score won’t look like it, but obviously that was a big play. Looked like Bud was going to wiggle out of that, and a couple swings later, he’s in jeopardy of being behind.
“That’s big, but really, the second part of that is responding to what they did the inning before. That’s something you see a lot of.”
Markakis would rather avoid the spotlight and go about his business in the usual quiet manner. That business now includes a .415 average during a 10-game hitting streak and a .400 average in August.
“He’s the rock,” Showalter said. “He’s as consistent a guy as you ever want to have. We’ve got a lot of guys who you know what you’re getting when they walk through the door every day. Nick’s one of those.
“I can’t tell you how hard it is for a left-handed hitter to go up there and get two knocks off Chris Sale. You’re going to get some things tested in your gut to hang in there. I think he hit a breaking ball up the middle and a fastball up the middle. That’s not pleasant. I wish everybody could try to stand in there. You’d have even more appreciation for it.”
Jonathan Schoop delivered a bases-clearing double in the eighth. He continues to swing a hot bat at the bottom of the order, and Showalter doesn’t want to jinx it.
“Not talking about it,” Showalter said, grinning.
“You just pick up things along the way. That was probably one of the biggest blows of the night. You gather stuff. I’m not sure where Jon’s going to be at the end of his career, but I do feel more confident every day that he’s going to be as good as he’s capable of being, and that’s the only thing. He gathers information and he makes strides. You know, he’s a college senior. We’ve got to keep that in mind.”
Norris retired 17 of the first 18 Chicago batters and won his career-high 11th game of the season.
“He’s working on, what, five or six days? That’s another reason I wanted to get him out of there, because he’s probably going to pitch on normal rest next time out,” Showalter said. “That’s why I tried to back off the guy yesterday, too, (Kevin) Gausman.”
Showalter briefly considered bringing back Norris for the eighth inning with his pitch count at 82.
“As the inning progressed, it was about a 35- or 30-minute inning,” Showalter said. “Plus, we were going to bring him back on normal rest the next time, so I wanted to shorten him up if I could.”