Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen watches his starting pitcher go deep into the game and put the team in a position to win. Guillen goes to the bullpen to close out the game only to see a 9th inning lead evaporate and his team eventually lose the game. For the third time on the current homestand the bullpen has been unable to close out a game in which the White Sox had the lead in the 9th inning. Guillen must feel like he has somehow ended up in a baseball version of the movie Groundhog Day. See Ozzie’s post game press conference and notice the look of utter confusion on his face and in his voice.
Through 12 games of the season the White Sox are leading baseball in runs scored (73) and have held a lead in all 12 games played. That’s the good news. The bad news is the bullpen is now 1-7 in save opportunities. Matt Thornton himself is 0-4. He’s only the 3rd pitcher since 1990 to have 4 consecutive blown saves (courtesy of Elias). That’s really bad.
Looking forward the Sox will welcome the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (I still think that’s the dumbest name ever) to the Cell for a 3 game weekend series. The Sox are currently 4-3 on the homestand, but could easily be 7-0 if not for the already discussed bullpen woes. Phil Humber, Gavin Floyd, and Mark Buehrle are the scheduled starting pitchers for the Sox. The Angels will send Jered Weaver, fresh off his 15K performance in his last start, to the mound on Friday. The starter for Saturday has yet to be named, but Dan Haren will go on Sunday. Weaver and Haren are off to incredible starts this season at a combined 6-0 with a 0.79 ERA.
Overall White Sox fans are feeling the same frustration as Ozzie right now. It’s so exciting to see the offense scoring a ton of runs after the horrendous start that they had last season. But ultimately baseball is a game of pitching and defense, both of which the Sox have struggled with so far this season. The season is only 12 games in and there’s plenty of time to fix everything with the bullpen, but let’s hope that it is sooner rather than later.
About the Author
Written by Shaun Balmer
Shaun is a graduate of Purdue University with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering. His love of the White Sox began as a kid in 1993 watching morning replays of games on Sports Channel. To this day he will argue with anyone that the strike of 1994 cost the White Sox a World Series title. Growing up in Indiana he is also a fan of the Colts, Pacers, and of course his alma mater the Boilermakers.