Monday, April 25, 2011
Posted: 8:54 p.m. Updated: 10:12 p.m.
By Brett Ballantini
NEW YORK Undoubtedly, the White Sox rotation has been paying attention to their hitters offensive doldrums.
Who knew the starters were paying such close attention that they determined the only way for Chicago to earn a win was to no-hit the opposition?
Thats nearly what fifth starter Phil Humber did in his first career start at Yankee Stadium, rendering the Bronx Bombers utterly punchless for 6 13 innings with a miraculous outing that could serve to shake the Chisox out of their slumber.
I knew I hadnt given up a hit through the fifth or sixth, but I was a long way away from throwing a no-hitter, Humber said. I was trying to keep them from scoring and give our team a chance to win.
The righthanders mastery did just that, stunning the White Sox into five hits in a 2-0 victory.
He threw a lot of strikes, his breaking ball was pretty good, and he commanded the ball real well, manager Ozzie Guillen said. To pitch the way he did against that lineup, its pretty amazing. He did a tremendous job. He was spotting the ball very well and he threw strikes. He wasnt behind that many guysthats why he had success.
Humber started his seventh by coaxing a groundout from Curtis Granderson, but then walked Mark Teixeira on a full count. Alex Rodriguez then grounded a ball sharply up the middle for the first Yankees hit of the night.
For a while, until A-Rod got that hit, it was almost like this might actually happen, catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. It was cool for Phil to do what he did, especially to come to NY where he was drafted. I couldnt be happier for the guy.
Humber threw an even 100 pitches over seven innings, 66 for strikes. He punched out five, walked two and hit Nick Swisher. The single to A-Rod was his only safety allowed.
Significantly, it was the young guns pairing of Chris Sale (23 inning) and Sergio Santos (1 13) that came on to seal the deal. Santos relieved Sale in the eighth and stayed on for a scoreless ninth, despite giving up a leadoff single to Granderson.
I saw that Guillen didnt get anyone up in the bullpen after the hit and said, Im either going to be the chump or the hero, so lets go for it, Santos said. It was nice Guillen had that confidence to send me out and get three outs.
The way the ninth came together presumably allowed Santos to strap himself in as the new White Sox closer. After the game, Guillen wasnt shying away from that notion.
Santos handled it better than me, I guarantee you that, Guillen said, laughingly adding that after the leadoff hit, he was hearing boo birds and bring in Matt Thornton in his head. Were going to see how Santos feels Tuesday and if the opportunity comes again, well see how he handles it.
Sergio, that was kind of his first time out there, in Yankee Stadium, Pierzynski said. This is it, Yankee Stadium, heart of the lineup, it was now or never, and he fell behind Teixeira 2-0 and got him to roll over for a double play. As soon as it happened, you could see it on his face he could do it.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.