Ozzie Guillen displayed a full range of emotions after the White Sox pulled together and beat the Nationals 3-0 Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field.
First, the manager’s happiness with the win nearly moved him to tears.
Second, Guillen was overcome with annoyance when he was badgered about Jake Peavy.
Let’s get to the first item.
Worried about a potential collapse after Friday night’s frustrating 14-inning loss to Washington, Guillen’s fears really escalated when starting pitcher John Danks strained his right oblique and had to leave Saturday’s game with two outs in the second inning.
The Sox’ bullpen was spent from the night before, when all six relievers had to be used and Sunday’s starter, Phil Humber, was the final option had the game moved into the 15th inning.
When Danks went down, Brian Bruney stepped up first and Jake Peavy second. Along with Sergio Santos, they combined for the unlikeliest of shutouts.
“All these games I’ve been managing in my career, I think this one I’m not going to forget,” Guillen said.
Give credit to Bruney, who bounced back nicely after allowing 2 runs on 3 hits in a walk during 1 inning of relief Friday.
The right-hander went 2⅓ innings Saturday and then turned the ball over to Peavy.
Making his first major league relief appearance after 238 starts, Peavy wound up getting the win after 4 innings of 1-hit ball. He also had 7 strikeouts.
That’s one of the reasons why Guillen was so emotional — the injury-prone Peavy came to him before the game and said he was available to work out of the bullpen.
After Danks went down, starters Mark Buehrle and Gavin Floyd also volunteered their services.
“When Danks went down, everybody knew what a struggle we had in the pen,” Guillen said. “We could have used a couple guys and then all the sudden three guys come up and say, ‘I’m ready to go if you need me.’ That’s a class act.”
And it was a classic performance from Peavy, who threw 104 pitches in Wednesday’s start against the Cubs after coming off the disabled list with a groin injury.
Peavy threw 55 pitches against the Nationals and wanted to come back out for the ninth inning.
“We knew we were short from last night,” Peavy said. “I came in today and played catch and obviously told them I felt good. I came out of the Cubs start fine.
“Today was a day I would have worked on the side; obviously us being as short as we were we just put off to the side.
“I told them I could throw 2 to 3 innings absolutely, if need be. Obviously losing John, we needed it to happen, and things went well. I feel fine. I felt better today than I did in my start the other day vs. the Cubs. Better stuff, everything.”
Given Peavy’s recent string of injuries, the heavy workload over a four-day stretch caused some to question Guillen.
In turn, Guillen became predictably irritated.
“I’m always concerned about the pitchers that throw 2 innings or 3 innings,” Guillen said. “I have to take care of the players the best I can.
“One thing about my philosophy, make sure I don’t have that many guys with arm problems. I think over the years, I’ve done a pretty good job of that, me and the trainers.”
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