Originally Posted by thomas35forever
Welp, it appears the 2007 Sox have returned: only being able to do one thing right at a time.
I don't know where you get 2007. Saturday's game gave me a 1977 flashback. And, really, this team is 19-22, one game off of last year's 20-21 record at this point. The 2007 White Sox were 22-19.
For whatever reason, Santiago seemed to be pitching better when the game was scoreless. Maybe he tired coinciding with the White Sox scoring. Fans complain about sluggish offense putting too much pressure on pitchers, but I wonder if Santiago relaxed in the fourth, not having the pressure pitching in a scoreless game. As Yogi Berra once said (a week after Tom Poquette was quoted as saying it in The Sporting News, 90 percent of this game is half mental.
There is a tendency to look at each game as if it defines the season and the team. Major league managers don't think only of single day's game when they manage. They manage in a bigger context.
Jones really has nasty stuff, but has been having trouble locating the strike zone this season. His biggest trouble has come in after returning to start another inning. His first two losses, two have come in the 10th after pitching an easy ninth. Bringing him in with the bases loaded and one out with a two-run lead seemed rather strange, but it forced him to throw strikes. He again had problems in his second inning but stayed in for an easy third. He may have been tiring in his fourth when Ventura brought in Veal.. I don't know if Jones pitching into four innings and Veal coming in was to save the bullpen from being overworked or if it was to stretch out Jones while resting other relievers. For this bullpen to be as strong as it can be, Jones is going to need to be able to throw strikes and pitch in multiple innings.
Veal probably would have finished the game if the Sox hadn't make it close. Veal probably only started the ninth because Lindstrom wasn't warmed up.
Sometimes when pitchers stay out to take one for the team, as it were, it is because they are about to be sent down or cut. You get innings out of a pitcher you won't have to worry about tiring. I don't know if that was the case with either Jones or Veal. Jones has such awesome stuff. He really looks like he could be a potential closer.
I don't think this game is the microcosm of the season some are making it out to be, any more than the Tigers behind their three best starters losing the first two of three in Arlington, Texas, where the Sox won two of three on the last roadtrip, is a microcosm of their season. The Sox could have won if they had pitched better. The Sox could have won if they had scored more of the runners they got on base.
Ultimately, I think the White Sox lost because Santiago couldn't go deeper into the game. It seems obvious that resting the bullpen was a priority Saturday, although no one really knows what Ventura knows about the state of the bullpen, and outside of the coaches and bullpen, no one really should. But it looks to me like Saturday for the White Sox to win, Santiago needed to be more than a three-inning pitcher.