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Thornton confident in stuff, game plan

Thornton confident in stuff, game plan

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Thornton confident in stuff, game plan
CHICAGO -- The raw 2011 statistics aren't as overpowering for Matt Thornton as they were during his All-Star effort of 2010.

But according to the hard-throwing left-hander, those numbers don't tell the full story of his current campaign.

"Luck just hasn't been on my side this year," said Thornton, who entered Wednesday's contest with a solid 3.53 ERA and a .281 average against. "I feel like I've thrown the ball pretty well all season long. The ball hasn't been bouncing my way.

"Some hits have gone off of gloves or just barely out of the reach of defenders, and a lot of broken bats. So, I just continue to believe in myself and going after guys and making them put the ball in play."

Thornton, 34, worked two scoreless innings during Tuesday's 8-7 victory over the Indians in 14 innings, meaning five of his last six appearances have been scoreless. He struggled out of the gate as the team's closer, with some of that bad luck he talked about factoring in. The 12 unearned runs he has allowed leave Thornton tied for third-most among American League pitchers.

There won't be a .191 average against like 2010 or the 81 strikeouts recorded in 60 2/3 innings. He still has been a productive part of the White Sox bullpen, working with Chris Sale and Jesse Crain in getting the ball to Sergio Santos.

That strikeout dip doesn't seem to bother Thornton, whose average fastball velocity is just a tick down from last season but nothing significant.

"I absolutely feel I have as good if not better stuff," Thornton said. "I've continued to go after guys. I've added a cutter to my repertoire, and I've been working on a changeup I haven't broken out yet because of the situation I'm pitching in.

"It's one of those things where I feel like I'm in a pretty good place right now. My velocity is there, my stuff is there. I'm looking for getting those quick outs, like yesterday. It's just a matter of keep on believing in everything I worked for the in the offseason, during the season and Spring Training and going after guys."

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