Ozzie has the utmost confidence in White Sox pitching staff
BY TONI GINNETTI email@example.com July 31, 2011 12:04AM
Updated: November 5, 2011 5:19PM
Pitching has carried the White Sox, and that will have to continue if the offense keeps struggling, manager Ozzie Guillen said.
‘‘That’s the reason we are where we are,’’ he said. ‘‘I said early in the season, if we continue to pitch, we’d be fine. Our pitching has been consistent. We’ve been beating those guys like a drum. If you don’t pitch, you won’t win, especially in the American League. I don’t mind throwing my pitching against any team. We can pitch. We’re good at it right now.’’
Sox pitchers have the best ERA in the majors (1.92) since the All-Star break entering Saturday’s game. The bullpen has a 1.05 ERA in its last 26 games entering Saturday. Guillen credited left-handers Will Ohman and Chris Sale.
‘‘Ohman’s numbers are tremendous,’’ Guillen said, ‘‘and I think Sale has improved a lot in his first year in the big leagues.
‘‘Early in the season he was struggling, but what do you expect when the kid just came from college?’’
Guillen’s message to Alex Rios, who was back in the lineup Saturday and went 0-for-3, continues to be to relax.
‘‘I’m not down on him,’’ Guillen said. ‘‘I told him, ‘Why let this game bother you?’ Why not have a little more fun playing the game?’ Every at-bat is killing him. You’re digging yourself a hole, and on top of that, it’s not healthy. Your ability will take over.
‘‘It’s in his hands, how much playing time he’ll get.’’
General manager Ken Williams, who recalled center fielder Alejandro De Aza from the minors Wednesday in a move directed at Rios, said he isn’t singling out the struggling veteran.
‘‘My message was not so much directed at Alex Rios to give him a kick in the pants,’’ Williams said, ‘‘but to everyone that we’re here to win — regardless of contract issues or history in the game.
''He’s obviously the one who’s most affected, but it could be others at any time. That’s just the way it is.’’
Guillen hasn’t been preoccupied with trade rumors and always has told players they shouldn’t be, either.
‘‘I told the guys to make it tough on [Williams],’’ Guillen said. ‘‘Just continue to win games. That’s all you have to do — win some more games and make him think about it. As long as we win games, I don’t expect any moves, add or subtract.’’
Asked about Detroit’s acquisition of starting pitcher Doug Fister from Seattle, Guillen said, ‘‘I worry about the White Sox. We have to worry about it when we face them. They already have a good pitching staff, and we knew they were going to add somebody. Is their ballclub going to be better? Yes, but we’ll see how that works out when we get there.’’