Friday, Aug. 3, 2010
By Chuck Garfien
Bobby Jenks used to have a stranglehold on the White Sox closer position.
Now, hes simply strangling himself. And even his biggest supporter, manager Ozzie Guillen is losing patience.
Right now the situation is not about friendship, its not about I like you or not, its about winning, and Im going to give Jenks the opportunity to come back and do it again, Guillen said before Friday nights game in Baltimore. But in the meanwhile, if he cant do the job, were going to find someone else to do it. If he doesnt see what I see, he better open his eyes.
If Bobby hasnt seen it, he can take a gander at some of his recent numbers. Theyre not pretty.
In the second half, hes 0-2 with a 10.37 ERA and four saves.
During the day, hes 1-2, 9.38 ERA (compared to 0-1, 2.28 ERA at night).
But if youre looking for the most troubling statistic, the main cause for the Jenks ulcer that has creeped into so many of your stomachs when he takes the mound, its probably this:
In Jenks' three losses this year, his ERA is ... 216.00.
You read that correctly.
That sound you just heard were baseball computers around the country blowing up in unison.
How did this happen?
In his three losses against the Blue Jays, Twins, and Mariners (my guess is you remember them), Jenks gave up nine hits and 10 runs, while recording just one out -- a sacrifice in Seattle by Ichiro Suzuki which got Jack Wilson to second, who scored the tying run moments ahead of the winning run by Chone Figgins.
All told, hitters in his three losses are a perfect 9-for-9. Batting average: 1.000.
But as we know, Bobbys struggles arent limited to just these three losses.
There was the three-run homer he gave up to the Tigers' Ryan Raburn on Thursday, not to mention the three he surrendered in the ninth against the Indians on May 26. There were also the two runs he allowed to both Texas and Seattle back in April. The Sox fortunately won all of four of these games, or else Jenks record would be much worse than 1-3.
Guillen can accept it when his closer gives up one run every once in a while. Its the two- and three-run implosions that can crush a baseball team and eventually terminate a closer.
Bobby is currently on life support.
Guillen said before Fridays game that Jenks should be ready to close tonight. But when asked if hes still Ozzies guy, Guillen replied quite cryptically, Today, yes. Then well see what happens today, and figure it out later.
By the way, the team Jenks has the highest ERA against in his career -- Baltimore: 7.98.
Bill Melton and I will be on the set for U.S. Cellular White Sox Postgame live tonight. Hopefully, were talking about a Bobby Jenks revival instead of a man clinging for closing survival.
Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox slugger Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.