Not that White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't trust his bullpen, but …
Tuesday night Jon Garland was allowed to throw 122 pitches—the most for a Sox starter all season—one day after he suffered flu-like symptoms and the imploding bullpen nearly blew a nine-run lead.
Garland did his part, leaving with a lead, but, oh, that bullpen. It again was the culprit in a 6-5, 11-inning loss to the Indians.
Bobby Jenks blew a ninth-inning save, then Dewon Day, in his second inning of relief, blew the game when Jason Michaels led off the 11th with a double and Ryan Garko singled him home.
"It's almost time to get a live chicken down there [in the bullpen]," Jenks said. "If not somebody else, it's me. We have to turn something around."
Trying to save his second straight game, Jenks allowed a two-run homer to Garko—only his second in 39 innings this season—in the ninth inning, accounting for his fifth blown save of the season and third in his last seven appearances.
It was a second straight night for Jenks, and that has been bad news all season.
On the second or third straight day of pitching—which he has done 13 times—Jenks is 0-3 with three blown saves and a 5.84 ERA.
Why the disparity?
"I made better pitches the first day," Jenks said with a smile. "There's nothing to that [second-day stuff]."
Garland made it through six innings and left with a 4-3 lead, thanks to a two-run single from former Indian Jim Thome, a single from Paul Konerko and the fourth homer in five days from a resurgent Jermaine Dye.
"I wasn't 100 percent, but I went out and battled," Garland said. "I don't think it was the flu. I think it was something I ate in Baltimore. But I didn't feel like throwing up at any point."
Garland gave way to knuckleballer Charlie Haeger, the only reliever who didn't appear in Monday's fiasco. And Haeger threw two scoreless innings, a rarity for the Sox pen. But he couldn't have done it without the defensive help from Dye, who ended the eighth inning with a double play catch and perfect peg to home plate.
Haeger, who had been a starter at Triple-A Charlotte, entered the game with a 13.50 ERA in his only other appearance with the Sox this season.
By the time Jenks entered the game, the Sox had added an insurance run, courtesy of A.J. Pierzynski being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
"The bullpen threw better [Tuesday] than in the past," Guillen said. "We didn't have the clutch hitting and [the Indians] did. We should have won this game."
The game Tuesday was much different from the night before, when the Sox bullpen changed an 11-2 lead into an 11-10 victory and set off their manager, who said it felt as if they had lost.
A night later, Guillen was apologizing.
"I was wrong," he said. "I was wrong because I was so upset and we won the game. That's not me. When I win a game, I don't care [how it] happens. But I look and see these things everyday. I should be happy because we won. But [the bullpen] was driving me crazy."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times