Heading Into The Break
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Winning Is Fun …
The White Sox bring a seven-game winning streak into today’s final game of the “first half.”
Gavin Floyd allowed one earned run in 7.2 IP yesterday, giving him a 1.25 ERA since June8, while White Sox starting pitchers have a 2.23 ERA in 30 games over that time. According to Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the lowest ERA for White Sox starters over a 30-game stretch in one season since 1972, when they had a 2.11 ERA from July 28 to August 29. Chicago’s starters in those 30 games: Wilber Wood (nine times), Tom Bradley (8), Stan Bahnsen (7), Dave Lemonds (5) and Eddie Fisher (1).
So as tough as it was for me to tell Paul Konerko that he had finished third in the American League’s Final Man voting, it was equally nice to tell him yesterday that he had been added to the All-Star squad in place of the injured Justin Mourneau.
Word came from MLB just 20 minutes before our game started, and I knew it would be announced in-game. Since I didn’t want Paulie to be surprised on the field or at the plate, I headed into the clubhouse to tell him.
Now, normally, I’m not in our clubhouse minutes before the game starts, so people figured something was up. I told KW, Ozzie and Joey and then went looking for PK. He was in the back, and I met him as he was walking through the weight room and into the main clubhouse.
“Congratulations,” I told him. “They added you to the team.”
Mark Buehrle walked by just then and let out a loud whoop.
The reaction from the crowd when the news was announced was just fantastic. Had to make Paul feel great to get that type of reaction from Sox fans.
When Jake Peavy went down earlier this week, a lot of fans questioned why Jeffrey Marquez was called up the next day as opposed to Daniel Hudson.
Now, the decision probably makes more sense. As a starter likely to fill Jake’s spot in the rotation, there was really no need to bring Hudson up before the next scheduled day (today), while our bullpen needed the support over the four other contests … and Marquez got to make his major-league debut on Friday night.
This way, we had protection in the pen in the form of another arm, and we held off on the Hudson move until today, when he will start.
Sergio Santos’ little son was by his dad’s side in the outfield during Friday’s batting practice as pitching coach Don Cooper and I talked near the dugout.
“What a great story,” I said of Santos.
“Unprecedented,” said Coop. “You hear of guys converting in the minor leagues, but this guy is doing it at the major-league level.
“It’s all about getting ahead. That’s true for any pitcher,” said Coop. “If you can get ahead of hitters with good stuff, you are dangerous. If you get ahead with great stuff, you are lethal.”
That stuck with me.