Shutdown pitching helps Guillen relax

August, 21, 2011
8/21/11
6:11
PM CT
By Sahadev Sharma
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


It’s been a while since the Chicago White Sox have had an easy victory, especially at home. After Sunday’s 10-0 blowout victory over the Texas Rangers, manager Ozzie Guillen was unaccustomed to what he was feeling.

“I’m shocked,” Guillen said with a laugh. “I’m not stressed today.”

[+] EnlargeGavin Floyd
Scott Boehm/Getty ImagesWhite Sox starter Gavin Floyd threw seven innings of shutout baseball on Sunday.
The Sox ended up taking the last two games of the series to end up with a 5-4 homestand. Though that doesn’t seem like much, it came on the heels of a seven-game home losing streak.

Gavin Floyd followed up John Danks' gem from Saturday with an impressive outing of his own. Floyd went seven-plus innings, allowing no runs on only three hits as he shut down one of the stronger offenses in the game.

Guillen was thrilled with the team’s pitching -- not only the starters, but the bullpen as well.

“Our pitching has been great most of the year,” Guillen said. “I think those two guys that start the game for us the last couple days did a tremendous job. The bullpen continue to do great. I don’t know if somebody has as good of a bullpen as we have, I have a lot of confidence in the bullpen. If the starters give us what they’re supposed to give us, we’ll be in good shape.”

Floyd was happy to get some backing from the offense, but knew he still had to do his part.

“Obviously, regardless if you get good offense or not, you have a job to do,” Floyd said. “You try to go out there and keep on making pitches and we had some real good offense today. Just continue to try to keep my focus.”

Floyd’s catcher Tyler Flowers had a feeling Floyd was on point before the game even started.

“He was pretty good warming up. You knew he had pretty good stuff today,” Flowers said. “We kind of went with the game plan that I was talking about before, being real aggressive early, fastball command. He was doing that and it set up everything for the rest of the game. We had them kind of looking hard for the first few innings and then started dropping a lot of breaking balls early. He was able to throw them for strikes and we were able to get them to chase them in the dirt. It worked out great.”

The win was all the more important as the first-place Detroit Tigers won again and the White Sox remained within striking distance at five games back. The Sox now head to Anaheim for a pair to take on the Los Angeles Angels and two tough pitchers in Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver.

“It's a big win, especially going on the road and against a good team like Texas,” Flowers said. “We threw the ball outstanding, we hit the ball pretty darn well and made plays, so it's definitely good momentum going on the road trip.”

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jose Abreu
BA HR RBI R
.299 31 83 56
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 31
RBIJ. Abreu 83
RJ. Abreu 56
OPSJ. Abreu .981
WC. Sale 10
ERAC. Sale 1.88
SOC. Sale 122