White Sox not playing tight in tight ballgames

White Sox not playing tight in tight ballgames

White Sox not playing tight in tight ballgames
CLEVELAND -- The last seven White Sox games prior to Wednesday's 8-1 victory over the Indians all had been decided by two runs or fewer.

Their record of 2-5 during those seven games certainly wouldn't be considered optimum, but playing so many tight contests could help the White Sox, if they get into a contending situation where every inning could decide the team's fate. If nothing else, the White Sox are confident they are close if not quite there in terms of becoming a solid team.

"It's almost like you get used to them," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, whose team has had one game decided by more than three runs since April 27. "Some teams, close games, you don't know how to react.

"Last night, that's what made it a nice win. We've been close. Sometimes we get the tying or winning run on and sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't happen. When it does, it gives you that momentum to realize you can do it a lot."

During Tuesday's 5-3 victory in 10 innings, the White Sox watched a 3-0 lead evaporate in the eighth inning and were one hit away in the ninth from losing in the opposition's final at-bats for the third time in this seven-game road trip. Instead, the White Sox prevented the Indians from going ahead and pushed across two in the 10th.

They haven't found a way to consistently win these contests. But they've played enough tight finishes to not carry the bad over into the next day. It's all about that day's competition for Ventura's crew.

"Momentum or the lead swings fairly quickly in close games," Ventura said. "With that, and taking it day to day, the ones you lose you don't really take with you into the next day.

"These guys are learning how to take the good stuff with it, showing up every day with that feeling you're going to win that day. That's what they've come with, which is what you are striving to get first and then get the results."