“You go home and it’s stuck in your mind, you try to forget it and you can’t,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “But as soon as [the next] game starts you have to forget about it and think about today.”
The White Sox blew a late 5-3 lead as reliever Sergio Santos had a ninth inning meltdown, allowing four runs. Santos struggled with his slider, but Guillen was more concerned with Santos overthrowing all his pitches.
Guillen, however, said it’s on the entire team, not just Santos, to put yesterday’s loss behind them and move forward. They’ll be relying on John Danks, who earned his first victory of the season after throwing a gem against the Seattle Mariners on Monday.
“Every time Danks is on the mound, we expect great things from him,” Guillen said. “This kid is a warrior, I love to see him pitch, I think everybody on the ballclub feels the same way.”
Danks had been consistent in his previous three seasons with the White Sox, and many expected him to take his game to another level in 2011. Though Danks suffered some tough-luck losses early in the year – four of his first five starts were quality starts – the focus was on his won-loss record. It all culminated in one of the worst outings of his career on May 29th when he allowed nine runs on nine hits in four innings to the Toronto Blue Jays, dropping his record to 0-8.
“A lot of people think that [his 0-8 start] don’t bother him, of course it bothers him, [he’s] a human being,” Guillen said. “But he doesn’t show it to the people, he doesn’t change, he’s the same kid when he’s good and when he’s bad.”
Guillen credited Mark Buehrle, whom he referred to as a "crazy man," for hanging out with Danks and helping him develop his calm demeanor. With Jake Peavy back on the disabled list, the White Sox are still searching for a pitcher to develop into a true ace and help lead this team on a playoff push.
There is no doubt Danks has the ability to be that pitcher. After his most recent start, he’s once again showing signs of becoming a dominant force. Danks’ early struggles epitomize the whole teams’ inconsistencies and underachievement thus far in the season. Big things were expected from both Danks and the team. For the White Sox sake, hopefully their recent success is a sign of things to come.
“[We] don’t [have to] play great,” Guillen said. “Just play good enough and I think we’ll be contenders”
Closer by committee: Guillen said that even though Santos has gotten majority of the recent save opportunities, he will not officially name him the team’s closer. However, he wasn’t worried about Santos after Friday’s tough outing and said he’d continue to use him in those situations.
“I’m not going to unplug him just because of that,” Guillen said. “I’m gonna give him more confidence, I make sure his pitching coach and manager are behind him. It’s not fair for him when he’s pitching well, then blows one game, and he’s done [closing].”
Guillen said he hoped not to use Santos on Saturday and may give him Sunday off as well. Santos has thrown 65 pitches in his last two outings.