Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Marlins has to be just the kind of win Ozzie Guillen imagined he’d be getting out of his team when he put it together back in March. First, a solid start from Gavin Floyd (6.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) got the ball rolling. Allthough Floyd was touched up a bit early–three hits and two walks in the first three innings–he was able to keep the Marlins under wraps with four strikeouts.
Second, an early run that came around in the true style of “Ozzie Ball.” Gordon Beckham reached on a single–just his third in the last 20 at bats–then stole second. A wild pitch allowed him to reach third and a two-out single from Alex Rios put the Sox on the board first.
Third, a two-run homer from Alex Rios in the fifth helped put some space between the two clubs. (After going two for three with a homer and three RBI, Rios may have broken out of a mini-slump. He was just four for his last twenty with one homer and one RBI.)
Fourth, was 2.2 innings of one hit baseball from J.J. Putz, Sergio Santos and (can you believe it) a save in a perfect inning from Bobby Jenks who may, or may not, still be the closer.
After the game Gavin Floyd attributed the success of his outing to staying more focused and simplifying his approach. He’d been trying to control too much ont he mound, he said, and was able to boil it down to a pitch-by-pitch basis Saturday. Santos–who might be just as surprised at his phenomenal success as anyone–said that he’s been able to keep on an even keel this year. He’s only given up one run in 16.1 innings of work so it begs the question; How much stress has he really been under?
One thing is for sure. In talking to the coaching staff, people are very, very excited about Santos’ capabilities and potential down the road. It seems as though he’ll be protected this year by not being asked to throw too many high-stress innings and not being asked to pitch back-to-back days very often, but there’s no doubt that the White Sox see a potential closer in Sergio Santos.