Maddon left to ponder unpredictable weather

Maddon left to ponder unpredictable weather

CHICAGO -- It was supposed to pour all day in Chicago on Monday. Well, actually it was supposed to pour all night. Or it was supposed to pour two hours after the first pitch.

Yes, for Joe Maddon, Chicago weather is officially a mystery.

"I've been looking at it all day," the Rays manager said. "There was a 70 percenter all day and then a 100 percenter starting at 7 o'clock and now all of a sudden it's a 20 percenter. I guess we're in the Midwest. Things change rather quickly. Hopefully we get the game in."

Jake Odorizzi took the hill as scheduled for the Rays, who were hoping to salvage a four-game split with the White Sox, but left the Windy City with three losses after a 7-3 defeat. Odorizzi is 1-3 with a 6.85 ERA and has struggled since tossing six shutout innings against the Rangers on April 4. He has allowed 18 earned runs on 28 hits in his last 17 2/3 innings.

Maddon feels Odorizzi, 24, is relying too heavily on the offpeed pitch he added to his repertoire during the offseason.

"Sometimes you get a new tool in the toolbox or a new toy in toy box and you want to utilize it too often," Maddon said before Odorizzi allowed four runs over 4 1/3 innings. "I like his fastball. I want him to throw his fastball. I like his curveball. I like the idea of maybe overusing [the offspeed stuff] in Spring Training just to get used to that pitch and understand that pitch, but in season, in progress, go out there and pitch. Utilize all your stuff. Fastball still is the best pitch. I like fastball, I like changeup, I like curveball. Those are three best pitches, I think."

Tony Meale is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.