Sox Drawer: Ozzie no bull on the 'pen

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Sox Drawer: Ozzie no bull on the 'pen

Friday, April 15, 2011
Posted: 7:58 p.m.

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

If Ozzie Guillen was hoping that his off day in Miami would help him recover from Thursdays latest bullpen breakdown, it didnt happen.

Just dont ask me about the bullpen, Guillen said as he opened his press conference before Fridays game against the Angels. If were going to make a soap opera out of this (bleep), let me know.

Yep, nothing like the tropical breezes of South Florida to relax the mind and ease the pain of a bullpen that has unfortunately imploded like an old Las Vegas casino in the first two weeks of the season.

The damage has been severe: six blown saves, a 6.14 ERA, and Matt Thornton has been at the center of it all, going 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA.

So whos the teams closer now?

You see (Mark) Buehrle in the (bullpen) in the 9th, thats our closer for the 9th, said Guillen, who is clearly not ready to trust anyone in that role at this point.

If the fans want to know, I dont know, Guillen said. If the media wants to know, I dont know. If the pitchers want to know, I dont know. Whoever is there in the 9th, is the one Ive decided I want to close it down.

The fans choice right now seems to be Sergio Santos, who came into Friday with a perfect 0.00 ERA, throwing 7 23 scoreless innings. He also didnt give up a run in spring training.

I welcome the challenge, Santos said Friday about the possibility of becoming the White Sox closer.

Santos might be the answer today, but what about the rest of the season? Thats what Guillen and the rest of the coaching staff seem to be asking themselves, as they wait, and hope, for guys like Thornton and Chris Sale to come around.

We have a great bullpen. Theyre just not doing what theyre supposed to do, Guillen said. But meanwhile, I have a lot of faith in the bullpen.

White Sox fans seem to have a different feeling. Over the last couple days, many have sounded the alarms, sensing bullpen Armageddon which could derail the whole season.

Leave it to Ozzie to represent the voice of reason.

A lot of people in Chicago are panicking. Everyone. Unbelievable how people are panicking after 12 games. Thats a joke.

Humor is what Jerry Reinsdorf chose to use in describing the bullpen situation. At an event honoring Jackie Robinson Day, the White Sox Chairman was asked Friday if he sees any other social barriers in the game right now.

We seem to have a barrier in respect to relief pitching, Reinsdorf quipped.

Is he concerned about their struggles?

Not me. When Ozzie says hes worried, then Ill get worried, he added.

So if the White Sox have a one-run lead in the 9th, which reliever will we see running out of the bullpen? Who knows. But Guillen will keep going with his gut, even if it means getting kicked there again and again.

I have to make decisions, Guillen said. Maybe theyre not the right ones, but Im not going to make it regards to what fans want, the media, Jerry, Kenny (Williams). I will make decisions about what I think is best for the ballclub. Was I wrong last week? Yes, I was very wrong. I brought the wrong one out everytime. But thats the way it is.

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

Confident Jose Quintana gets 'back to who he's always been'

Confident Jose Quintana gets 'back to who he's always been'

The White Sox said all along they were confident Jose Quintana would rebound and now that he has no seems the least bit surprised.

Quintana provided yet another round of proof that he’s far removed from those May woes when he silenced the New York Yankees on Tuesday night. While the left-hander earned a no decision, he was rewarded when the White Sox rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Yankees at Guaranteed Rate Field. Quintana finished June with a 1.78 ERA.

“We have a very good relationship, very good communication,” teammate Jose Abreu said through an interpreter. “When (Quintana) was passing through that, the first two months, I let him know, just keep your confidence, don’t hesitate, do your job, keep working hard because we have confidence in you. Now he’s just showing us what he’s capable of doing and doing what he’s been doing his whole career. We’re glad he’s the same Jose Quintana he’s been the last couple of years.”

Quintana has gone from a period where many of his mistakes got hit to a spot where he’s been borderline untouchable. He limited the second-best offense in the American League to two hits and four walks in 6 1/3 scoreless innings on Tuesday. With good fastball command and a sharp curve, Quintana had New York hitters out of whack.

This is a much different pitcher than the one who was tagged by the Boston Red Sox on May 30, an outing after which he said he was embarrassed. Since losing to Boston, Quintana has lowered his ERA from 5.30 to 4.37. In that span, Quintana has allowed 21 hits and six earned runs with 12 walks and 30 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings.

“Sometime bad games are going to happen,” Quintana said. “But when it happens, I go check the video to see if I’m doing something wrong and try to make adjustments. But I feel pretty good and I have my confidence high and for me I turn the page and focus on the next one.”

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The 2016 All-Star thrived in the few instances when he got into trouble on Tuesday.

He struck out Tyler Austin with two men in scoring position to end the fourth inning and erased a leadoff walk in the fifth with an Austin Romine double play. After Quintana surrendered a two-out double to Judge in the sixth inning, he got Sanchez to pop out to strand the tying run.

Quintana only threw strikes on 55 of 101 pitches on Tuesday. But, of those 55, 10 were swings and misses.

“It's just been him commanding the zone, attacking,” manager Rick Renteria said. “A lot more strikes. He still had some at-bats today where he got to 3-2, but then he'd execute, he'd finish and make a pitch that induced a very weak fly ball or groundballs. That's who he is, I mean you all have seen him like this before. For us it's just seeing him get back to who he's always been.”

White Sox come back to beat Yankees on walk-off single by Jose Abreu

White Sox come back to beat Yankees on walk-off single by Jose Abreu

Jose Abreu was able to shake off an earlier disappointment once he got a second chance on Tuesday night.

Batting with the bases loaded for the second straight inning, Abreu took advantage of the moment and lifted the White Sox to a much-needed victory with a walk-off single. Abreu’s two-out, two-run single off Dellin Betances helped the White Sox snap a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 win in front of 18,023 at Guaranteed Rate Field. The White Sox also loaded the bases in the eighth inning but only scored once and were down to their final out before Abreu’s heroics brought them back.

“If you just focus on the bad things that happen then you’re just missing opportunities,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “In the inning after that at-bat that I struck out I was just thinking, ‘God, just give me one more opportunity. Give me one more opportunity to do my job’ and I was glad that I got it because I was able to win that game.”

“It was a very special moment. We needed it. We needed this game. We needed the celebration.”

It all came a little too late for Jose Quintana, who earned a no decision in spite of 6 1/3 scoreless innings. But given they had the winning run on board in a one-run loss on Monday and only scored once despite loading the bases with no outs in the eighth, the White Sox will take it.

Abreu, who struck out against Tyler Clippard in the eighth with no outs after three straight walks, got ahead of Betances 2-1 in the count before he singled through the left side to score the tying and go-ahead runs. Alen Hanson, who entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, scored the winning run. Hanson followed a one-out walk of Kevan Smith (the first of his career) with his second free pass in as many trips. Betances hit Yolmer Sanchez to load the bases with one out before he induced a Melky Cabrera short fly out. Abreu finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs and has driven in 51 this season.

“Today I can gladly say we didn’t fall short,” manager Rick Renteria said. “I can gladly say they finished out the game coming back, putting the final run on the board to put them over the top. They should experience that, enjoy it and use it to their advantage in terms of understanding what we are capable of doing.”

The White Sox were 0-40 this season when trailing after eight innings before Tuesday's rally.

Quintana earned the 63rd no decision of his career when the Yankees broke through in the eighth inning against Tommy Kahnle, who had a rare poor performance. Kahnle gave up a game-tying, two-out single to Aaron Judge and a two-run double to Gary Sanchez as the White Sox went from up a run to trailing 3-1.

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The White Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the eighth on all walks, but only scored once. Abreu struck out, Avisail Garcia flew out and Matt Davidson also whiffed to leave the bases loaded. The White Sox lone run came on a two-out walk by Todd Frazier.

The same offensive woes kept them from breaking out with Quintana on the hill. While they provided lavish run support in his previous two starts, the White Sox were back to their old ways with Quintana on Tuesday. They did give him a 1-0 lead when Abreu cued a two-out RBI double off Luis Severino in the third inning.

But Severino was otherwise a machine as he struck out 12 batters and walked none.

Quintana was even better, limiting the Yankees to nothing. He allowed two hits, walked four and struck out six. Though he didn’t earn the victory individually, Quintana was more than pleased to see his teammates pile onto Abreu in between first and second base after the walk-off single.

“That was what we want every time,” Quintana said. “We try to do the best on the mound and keep the games close and something good happens.”