CHICAGO -- The 2012 version of the White Sox is not a team big on making bold proclamations regarding its season-long fortunes.
So when Matt Thornton was asked prior to Saturday's game if the White Sox were as good as the American League Central favorite Tigers, the veteran reliever chose to take a big picture approach to his response.
"We are as good as anyone in baseball, I think," said Thornton, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning in the 5-1 win. "No doubt. If you don't think you are as good as everyone in baseball, then we are kind of wasting our time here. We are going to go out there and give it our all every time.
"I don't think you worry about that kind of stuff quite yet. Yesterday was a great game for us. We pitched well. Our defense was amazing and we had clutch hitting. That's what it takes to win games, period. You are working out there trying to do what you need to do to win games."
Thornton admitted that the addition of Prince Fielder obviously makes an already solid Detroit lineup even tougher from top to bottom. And Most Valuable Player candidates such as Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander give the Tigers a little extra dimension. Then again, the White Sox have Paul Konerko, and if Adam Dunn and Alex Rios can return to their old form, Thornton pointed out that the White Sox would have a pretty potent middle as well.
"They have a great team," Thornton said. "But at the same time, we feel if we go out there and play our game and don't beat ourselves, we are going to be in every game against them."
One mantra of the Robin Ventura regime has been to focus on the game at hand and not much more. So, the White Sox manager has spent more time figuring out the avenue to be traveled for his team to find success, as opposed to how it matches up with the vaunted Tigers.
"You can't get too far ahead," Ventura said. "The season has too many momentum swings and ups and downs. I'm worried more about what we're thinking and feeling right now."