Crain: Sox Bullpen ‘Building Off Each Other’
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Sports Fan Insider
(WSCR) One of the biggest White Sox storylines during the first two weeks of the season was the White Sox bullpen. Today, the bullpen is also a significant storyline, but for different reasons.
The White Sox bullpen blew six saves in the first 12 games of 2011. The pen had a 6.14 ERA and .310 batting average after the first dozen games and Ozzie Guillen had bailed on Matt Thornton as closer.
Now the White Sox bullpen is arguably the best in baseball. White Sox relievers collectively own a 0.66 ERA (3 ER/41.0 IP) in their last 15 games and a 1.01 ERA (9 ER/80.1 IP) in their last 26 games. More importantly, Ozzie Guillen has found a reliable eighth and ninth inning combination with Jesse Crain as his right-handed set-up man, Matt Thornton as his left-handed set-up man and Sergio Santos as his closer.
“We just kind of put it together the last couple months,” Crain said on The Mully and Hanley Show Tuesday. “We work hard. We have confidence. You have to have confidence when you go out there. And we’ve been on a good run so far.”
LISTEN: Jesse Crain on The Mully and Hanley Show
Hitting is often described as contagious, but Crain also thinks pitching can be contagious in a bullpen.
“I think we like building off each other,” he said. “You know, have one guy go out there and the next guy go out there. If there are runners on, keep them from scoring and it’s worked out pretty good. We’ve got a good group of guys. We get along and we’re all out there trying to do the same thing.”