Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Sox sticking with Contreras

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ContrerasAP2.jpgOAKLAND, Calif. - Manager Ozzie Guillen said after the 8-7 win over Oakland that he was likely sending struggling pitcher Jose Contreras back out there next week, reluctantly.
The right-hander got the hook after just 4 1/3 innings on Friday, after he allowed seven runs [six earned] on eight hits. Even with the no-decision, Contreras is 0-4 in his last six starts with a 7.62 ERA, last winning a game on July 8.
Yes, the defense did Contreras no favors, but even the pitcher wasn't going to point fingers.
"No, because I didn't make the right pitch in the crucial situation,'' Contreras responded, when asked if he was blaming his defense. "I left pitches high when I didn't need to and when I needed to make a key pitch I didn't do it. No, the six runs are my runs.''
Guillen blamed both the pitcher and the defense in blowing the 6-0 lead.
"Jose didn't pitch good and the defense helped him to not pitch good,'' Guillen said. "He was cruising around and just like the last time. All of a sudden we didn't make a couple plays and everything went south. He got hit pretty hard and I think he lost his concentration. As a pitcher you have to overcome [bad defense], too. If someone doesn't make the play behind him, try and make better pitches.''
As far as what to do now, well Guillen said the options are almost nil.
"I don't have any choice,'' Guillen said, when asked if he would stick with Contreras. "We have to keep sending him out there. Our options aren't that much right now. Maybe [Saturday] we'll change our minds, but right now we have to send him back out there and hope for the best.''

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To keep Contreras in the rotation is absolutely nuts! It takes three data points moving in the same direction to make a trend. We now have, at a minimum, four starts where Jose has gone the wrong way. For Ozzie to suggest that he has no other options for the rotation other than Contreras is just plain stupid. There are always options, especially other that Jose and let's hope that it is not Garcia. Why? Because, like Contreras, Freddy can't hold any one on first either and AJ's arm is not strong enough to throw out all the runners that will be stealing off of Freddy, especially when we play the Twinkies again! Go Sox!!

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