Monday, September 17, 2012

Through ups and downs, (Gordon) Beckham striving for more

Gordon Beckham admits he's always going to want more.

It's hard for the White Sox second baseman to find satisfaction in his performance.

Even though he went 3-for-11 with three runs and an RBI in a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins, Beckham laments three caught line drives that could have gone for hits.

He wants to be rewarded for good swings.

But Beckham has tried to go easier on himself of late and thinks it has helped him at the plate. Beckham is hitting .333 with three home runs and eight RBIs in 12 games in September. His 1.036 OPS this month is nearly 300 points higher than his best month this season (.744 in May and June).

"Maybe I'm cynical, but here's the way I look at it," Beckham said. "You have to manage it, but that being said, I know what I was rewarded for and I know what I should have had. At the end of the day I can't be upset with that. I lined out once a game and got a hit. That's how you survive and that's how good hitters keep their average. Even on a day like that they manage to get a hit and just survive and I've been able to do that when things haven't gone my way."

Beckham has endured through several periods of struggle this season. He hit .153 in April with two RBIs. He hit .188 in July with four RBIs in slump that went from the end of June to early August.

Knowing he will undergo those periods, Beckham wants to excel when he feels good. Therefore a 1-for-4 isn't as easy to live with when another hit might have been taken away.

"It could have been 2-for-4," Beckham said. "There are a lot of games like that and when you add up stuff like that … there's the games when you feel well and you hit well, you want to have as many hits as you possibly can because it's not always going to feel this way."

Even so, Beckham has also hit a career-high 15 homers and is three RBIs away from 60, not bad numbers when you consider he has batted ninth in 81 games.

With 17 games left, Beckham thinks he has learned to better deal with his struggles.

"I won't forgive myself for not doing really anything in April and I won't forgive myself for really struggling for a month-and-a-half in June to a little bit of August," Beckham said. "The production I have, it's great because I really didn't do anything for 2 1/2 months. … But I want to be better and that's stuff I have to work on. At the end of the day I feel I've turned a corner mentally and just understanding the game and playing the right way. In the last month I think I've really done that."

By Dan Hayes

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