ARLINGTON -- The White Sox bullpen had an informal meeting prior to Thursday's contest against the Red Sox, coming on the heels of Wednesday's 15-walk affair. Matt Lindstrom, the veteran leader of this crew, had mentioned the meeting on Wednesday night and said the message centered on attacking and being aggressive.
"I told the guys yesterday, 'Let's try to limit the traffic on the bases,'" Lindstrom said. "It gives the other teams momentum, especially with lineups today. Give a team momentum with these lineups, it's going to be tough. Swinging bunts, balls down the line, doubles in the gap when they do start hitting you, so you've got to limit the traffic."
Lindstrom talked about walks being bigger momentum changers late in the game than hits, with the White Sox bullpen having issued an American League-most 40. He also focused on relievers using their best stuff to put hitters away when they get ahead, a category that includes Lindstrom himself.
"That's my biggest nemesis in my career," Lindstrom said. "I can get guys with two strikes, but I don't know what to throw to punch them out or put them away and let them get back in the count.
"Then you have to go back in the zone, and instead of cutting the plate in half, it has to go to thirds and even corners. That's a big thing for us. Like I said, we need to cut down those walks. As long as we can focus on getting guys to two strikes and putting them away, take a shot out of the zone and then go right back in the zone. You have to make teams earn their way on base."
Staying a little looser as a group was discussed, before White Sox relievers turn their focus completely on the job at hand from the fifth inning moving forward.