Sox try to release anxiety with patience

MINNEAPOLIS -- The anxiety-ridden Chicago White Sox were at least able to make some adjustments to start a three-game series at Minnesota.

Without a walk in the four-game series against the New York Yankees, the first time since 1967 they didn’t have a walk over a four-game stretch, they made changes to their hitting approach.

And leave it to captain Paul Konerko to set the example. When Konerko walked in the first inning Friday against Twins starter Nick Blackburn, it was their first free pass in 133 plate appearances. Adam Dunn followed with a walk of his own.

But in typical White Sox fashion, their bases-loaded, one-out situation in the first inning yielded only one run.

The White Sox weren’t finished with the walks, though, as Juan Pierre worked one in the second inning.

“Should there have been one or two here or there? Sure,” Konerko said about the Yankees series, when he played in just one of the four games. “But when you have a big lead, eight, nine, seven runs, [like the Yankees had] that’s like the cardinal rule of pitching: Don’t walk anybody and make them hit it.”

Guillen admitted that Monday’s Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia isn’t known to walk hitters and those big New York leads lent to pitchers throwing strikes, but he also saw something else.

“When the team’s not playing well, when you’re not hitting, all of a sudden you’re missing PK and you want to overdo [things],” Guillen said. “Then when you go back you start to swing at every pitch, chase bad pitches and that happens a lot. That happened to a lot of people, chasing pitches because they’re desperate for hits.”

The White Sox clearly changed their approach in the Yankees series. Guillen said the difference between a .240 hitter and a .340 hitter is that the latter trusts his approach.

“Everybody that changes their approach at the plate, they have problems out there,” he said.