Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Great outing by Phil Humber (pronounced “Umber”) last night, limiting the Yankees to one hit over 7.0 scoreless IP in a much-needed 2-0 White Sox victory. He struck out five and walked only two.
Why we love the Elias Sports Bureau … Humber no-hit the Yankees last night for 6.1 IP, which according to the Elias Sports Bureau is the 18th time since 2001 a White Sox pitcher has carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning or later. In addition to Humber, Mark Buehrle has accomplished the feat five times, including one no-hitter and one perfect game, Gavin Floyd three times, John Danks and Freddy Garcia twice each, and Jose Contreras, Jon Garland, Esteban Loaiza, Javier Vazquez and Dan Wright once apiece.
Comments from Kenny Williams
White Sox general manager Ken Williams was in NYC with the team and offered these comments to the media prior to the game:
“Well, I have no choice but to look at them as 8-14 right now (now 9-14), because that’s what we are. We’ve earned every bit of it. We have not hit, not pitched consistently and have not caught the ball. We’ve played probably as poorly as we could possibly play.”
On the reason of the team’s recent failures:
“If there was an obvious reason, it would be fixed right now. All I can do is come to the clubhouse and offer some hugs and support in that way.
“The good thing is that we have the ability and the talent. It’s one thing when we’ve been down the road where we weren’t playing very well, and we had to look in the mirror and know that we just didn’t have the talent. This is a quite different scenario where we’ve got guys that have proven themselves in the major leagues and proven themselves on a championship club. We just have to weather the storm and come out on the other side of it hopefully sooner rather than later.”
On the coaching staff:
“The coaching staff is not throwing the baseball, they’re not hitting the baseball. They’re doing what they’ve always done. The first 10 games of the season, people talk about how well our offense was performing — we were hitting off the charts in some of the statistical categories. When it turns around, you have to stand up and take the heat. ‘Walk’ (hitting coach Greg Walker) is used to taking the heat, and I think he’s been consistent over the years and the ways the teams have rebounded offensively. ‘Coop’ (Don Cooper) has taken his share, Ozzie, too. You’re in professional sports, if you don’t produce, fingers are going to be pointed your way. But none of them have gotten any dumber in the last number of weeks, they’re the same guys and I’ve got confidence in all of them.”
On this being the worst possible scenario for getting fans to the ballpark:
“I’ve said for quite some time now, Chicago White Sox fans — you’ve got to earn their patronage, and we haven’t earned it. I don’t expect people to show up in droves when we get back until we earn it. I suspect at some point — we have a lot of games, this is the third week of April — we will earn their patronage, but until then, I wouldn’t expect them (to be here).”
On comparing ‘the plan’ going into the season to how things are unfolding now:
“ Call me crazy, but I happen to think we have a pretty good team. We just wait day-to-day for it all to click. That’s the great thing about baseball, we play 162 (games), so I’m not going to draw too many conclusions after this start that we’re having right now. They are what we think they are.”
On what he knows about the slump:
“The one thing that I’m absolutely sure of is that the more pressure you put on guys to turn it around, to flip the switch, instead of building it back up to where you were, that’s a process you have to go through. Going through that process with the GM condemning everyone, or thinking that I’m going to say something that’s magically going to flip that switch? You’re kidding yourself. It’s got to come from them. They’ve got to lighten up, not tighten up.”
On how the Sox go through this sort of slump every year:
“It seems like we’ve got to go through something to get on the other side and to turn the ship around. The good news is, again, if we’re sitting here and we don’t have the ability, the talent to right the ship, then it’s a whole different conversation. But when you do have the talent, you just keep pushing forward, and to keep their head down, and know that I think it will carry you. Whatever difficulties they’re dealing with now, will carry them through the rest of the season, and they will know how to deal with it because they’ve already experienced it.
“It’s not easy, we have… it’s been a collective effort from the general manager, the manager, the coaches, the players, on down… and I think the grounds crew even had a bad day last week in Chicago. We’re all in it together, and right now, we’re not looking too great.”
On personally pledging not to worry about the team until July:
“It’s not working out. I did tell Herm (Schneider), and he called me on it, saying that’s what I told him last year. It’s not working out so well right now. It’s a whole different stress level when you look at what we have. It’s been 22 games and I refuse to be anything more than optimistic.”
On spending two and a half hours at Chicago airport:
“Sox fans were telling me who to get, to trade, to bench. I gave them all Ozzie’s number and told them to call him.”
On Adam Dunn and the rest of the offense:
“I’m not going to say horrible, but he had his spring training. Power hitters have a difficult time anyway starting out. They’ve got to take their hits, they’ve got to take what the pitcher gives them. He was swinging the bat well, had the blip with appendicitis and then he was out. It takes a 6-6, 280-pound guy a little while to get his timing and his swing back. This isn’t unexpected. What’s unexpected is that we were so locked in, particularly staying inside of the baseball offensively, and we lost him. But if you look at the pitchers that we’ve faced, no excuses, but it is what it is. Those are some of the best in the game that we’ve come up against. I would like to run up against them when we’re swinging the bat a little bit better, I think we’re going to come out a little bit better on some things, but we’re still only going to come out so good against a lot of guys that we faced. It’s been a tough road. That has nothing to do with catching the baseball and giving the guys extra outs or being successful on stolen bases and some of the other things that we’ve done. We’ve simply got to play better in that area.”
Congratulations to catcher Blake Hickman of Simeon, who gave his verbal agreement to play baseball at the University of Iowa. Hickman, a veteran of the White Sox Amateur City Elite youth baseball program, has starred at the Double Duty Classic and has impressed scouts nationally with his talent.
Omar Vizquel celebrated birthday No. 44 on Sunday, and we made sure his birthday celebration included a cake. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only one player in major-league history has played a game at shortstop after his 44th birthday … Bobby Wallace of the St. Louis Cardinals was 44 years and 295 days old when he played his final game as a shortstop on 8/26/18 vs. the New York Giants.
Great Chicago Sports Night
Good luck to the Chicago Bulls (Game 5) and Chicago Blackhawks (Game 7) tonight. In addition to the White Sox game on CSN and mlb.com at 6:05 pm CT, set your DVRs to catch ESPN’s E;60 feature on Ozzie Guillen shot during spring training (also at 6 CT).
Adam Dunn and Gordon Beckham are scheduled to stop by MLB’s FanCave in Times Square on Thursday.