The rotation has a little competition going these days. Nobody wants to be the first pitcher to ruin the streak of quality starts, which has reached six games.
Manager Buck Showalter hasn’t seen a poor start since he got here.
“I understand, I watched,” he said. “I know it hasn’t been the case all year, but it’s not like these guys have never pitched well this year. And they seem to be feeding off each other. They want to keep the quality starts going, and I’m OK with that. I really am. I’m OK with that.”
Showalter debated whether to let Guthrie return for the eighth. Guthrie rewarded his manager’s faith with a 1-2-3 inning that included a sensational diving stop and throw by shortstop Cesar Izturis.
“The tough (decision) was the eighth,” Showalter said. “He was doing a real good job of hiding from Kranny between innings. Kind of told me how he felt.
“You kind of trust him. He’s been very honest, Rick said, during the course of the year. That’s where you trust conditioning somewhat. We knew that was going to be the hump inning. Of course, the home run made it interesting, too, but you get one more than they do when the smoke cleared.”
Showalter had an interesting take on the apparent baserunning blunder by Jake Fox. He approved of third base coach Gary Allenson sending Fox.
“I like the send because that ball’s deflected, he (Gordon Beckham) has a short-hop throw to the plate. (Ramon) Castro made a good play picking up the short hop with two outs,” Showalter said.
“I don’t mind pushing the envelope there. There’s a mindset there that, just because somebody’s out doesn’t mean it was a bad send. It’s like the minor league manager, I asked him one time, ‘How did you like coaching third base this year?’ And he said, ‘I had a great year. I didn’t get anybody thrown out at third base.’ I said, ‘No, you had a bad year. You had a bad year.’ You’ve got to be aggressive sometimes. Just because a guy is safe or out doesn’t mean it was a good or bad send.”
White Sox starter Mark Buehrle was asked whether Chicago should be beating the Orioles.
“We should,” he replied. “You’re playing one of the worst teams in baseball. We should come in here and beat these guys.”
On the other hand...
“When you look at their lineup, it’s like, how is this team that bad?” he said. “They got (Brian) Roberts back and that makes their lineup better, and their pitching staff has done a good job of holding our guys down.”
Paul Konerko added: “They’ve got some talent over there. I don’t think they’re as bad as the record indicates. They’re a capable team. You can’t be arrogant and think you should beat certain teams. This is the big leagues and any team can beat any other.”