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

Ozzie's take on scuffling pen

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Ozzie Guillen's one-and-half-minute postgame session with the media on Wednesday is getting plenty of radio play today.

Guillen was at a loss after the Sox bullpen blew a 4-1 lead in the ninth inning to the Oakland Athletics, wasting an outstanding effort by his starter for the second time in the three-game series. Mark Buehrle had turned over a 1-0 lead to the pen on Monday night only to see it go up in flames. John Danks left with a three-run lead and poof, there it went.

Guillen said he didn't know who to turn to next. Inside the Sox clubhouse, worked-over relief pitchers Matt Thornton and Chris Sale, to their credit, answered questions under difficult circumstances. The players know it's too early to panic because they trust the relievers' talent. But these are the kinds of losses that take something out of a team's hide, even in April.

"You need to have the bullpen,'' captain Paul Konerko said. "Obviously, winning teams that get to the playoffs have that and I believe we will.''

Here is the Guillen post-game.

"When you have a bad bullpen, that's what happens. That's what happens. That's the third time it happened. I wish I know who I can bring in the ninth. I mean now we try everyone in one inning. No more excuse.

"Three-run lead and [Sale] said he can go. That's the reason we put him there.

"I go to Miami right now, the closer situation, I don't have any closer. I don't. Then we will see. This point on, it's just, you are just scratching your head and second-guess yourself what you are doing wrong, bringing people to the mound with three-run lead for a third time and we can't hold the lead. That's not a good sign. Have we got the people out there with the arms? Yes.

"Have we got the people that can do that? Yes, there's no doubt in my mind. We have some people out there who can do the job. They can't get it done, I doubt myself right now.

"I see what you guys see. Next. What the hell am I going to see? I see the same [expletive] you guys see.

"It's not about Thornton. It's about all of those guys out there. I put three different guys out there and nobody do their job.

"[Sergio] Santos throw two innings [the previous night] and I might call [former Sox] Bobby Thigpen to help us. You know why? When we play good, they send those guys to this [expletive] table and talk to them like heroes. When we [expletive] it up, I'm the one who has to [expletive] sit here and talk to you guys.''

And with that, Guillen stood up, his chair tipping over behind him, and stormed out toward the first flight he could find for Miami.

While Guillen sorts things out in the Florida sun today, he knows the storm clouds could be even darker if not for his starting rotaton and lineup. Sox starters are 4-0 with a 1.85 ERA in the first seven games of the current homestand and his batters are hitting .284 and averaging six runs a game this season.

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And without those bulllpen blowups, the Sox starters would be 7-0 with that same 1.85 ERA....and the team would be 10-2 instead. They'll get it "right", but these games blown now are going to be looked at in September when they are 2 games back instead of a game ahead in the standings

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on April 14, 2011 11:24 AM.

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