10/23/05 12:29 AM ET
Ozzie Guillen postgame interview
Manager discusses Game 1 pitching performances
By / MLB.com
OZZIE GUILLEN: Well, I think he really had a tough year. We expect a lot for him. He swings the bat real good at the right moment, especially when we need it. There was a struggle when he came back from DL, and he had a broken finger for a little while. He swung the bat good and helped this team be where we are.
Talk about what Jenks was able to do in the last two innings for you?
GUILLEN: That kid has been doing the same stuff all year long. A lot of people ask me about the layoff he had, didn't pitch a little while. But that's the way we play all year long.
We make cuts, and all of a sudden Jenks, he earned that spot and those two kids, they're huge for us, especially Cotts. Cotts was huge for us all year long, and they did a tremendous job.
Can you talk specifically about that sequence with Cotts; he gave up the base hit, but you left him against the right hander and he came up big for you?
GUILLEN: He's been great, I guess righty, looking the match up and he had a little trouble with the lefty. I think he's .230 left hander and .280 against right hander.
Can you talk about the growth of Jenks' in Double-A this year, ends up doing these types of things in the World Series?
GUILLEN: Well, I believe to give him opportunity. The first time I saw him was the first day of Spring Training. I saw the kid throwing the first time, and I said, you know what, you stay healthy and do what you're supposed to do in the Minor Leagues, you have a great chance to finish up the year with the White Sox. And he did. I think it's one of the best moves we made. And this kid came to the big level to help win this day.
Do you feel fortunate about this win, despite that you left so many runners in scoring position?
GUILLEN: Well, we did a tremendous job, making him throwing pitchers. Although we had a great chance to score more runs, but you just saw a Chicago baseball game. It's the White Sox, the way we run. We had the opportunity to break it up and we did. They turned the big double play, and you can do nothing about it.
On the other side, flip side of that, you guys have been known as someone with a lot of clutch hitting through the year, but you had more tonight than Houston did, and that was the difference in the game as well?
GUILLEN: In the playoff, the World Series and short series, I always say whoever got the clutch hit, whoever get the base hit with two outs, that's the one that has a better chance to win. Because you're going to see a lot of good pitching. I think when you execute well and get the clutch hitting, you will have a good chance.
GUILLEN: I don't know. The only thing about Oz, I don't let those guys say you've got ten days without pitching, I don't know how you're going to feel. I say don't worry about it, just go out and perform, stay concentrate on what you're going to do, throw strikes. And when you try to do too much, you're going to fail. But I think those guys, they're throwing a lot, we had similar games, and I don't have any worries about my bullpen.
Now they say we don't see in the playoff before, they don't see the bullpen, now we see it. I have a lot of faith in my bullpen. We win a lot of games because of them, I think.
I apologize if you answered this: Can you talk about the defensive work your guys did today, especially Crede at third?
GUILLEN: Well, this kid's -- that's our game. We play pretty good defense almost every day. And Joe is a Gold Glover. One thing about it is, that's why I told my pitchers, make sure we keep it in the ballpark and we have a chance to catch it.
Can you talk about the job Contreras did after struggling early?
GUILLEN: Well, that happened the last two starts for him. When he was pitching California it was a struggle, and I think today was he was not sharp like he was in the past. I think he was trying to throw the splitfinger fastball down here, and he should be throwing up there, and that's the reason why he got in trouble.
Crede not only had the home run but he had the two great defensive stabs. In your mind, you're a well rounded baseball guy, what is the big contribution he made to your team, offense or defense?
GUILLEN: Defensively. We're going to rebuild this team around pitching and defense. And Joe has been a big part of that.
I think a lot of people say, you have a good second baseman, you've got a chance. But you've got good infielders to help the team, and we will make your pitching staff better. You've got a lot of clutch hits during the season. But I think he always brings defense with him to the ball field.
You've mentioned about what kind of competitor Clemens is, were you surprised he was gone so early tonight?
GUILLEN: I don't know, something happened to him. I don't know if it's an injury. I guess he was. Roger is going to be there. We did a pretty good job making him throw pitches. It was a little wild, something you never see too often. I think our offense worked him real well to get him out of there.
Can you talk about the sign you made for Jenks when you went out to the mound and called for him?
GUILLEN: (Laughter.) I've got two righties, I've got little one, and I don't want to make the mistake I made last year in my career, I called in the lefty to bring in the righty. And I want to know the guy I want to do. So that's the trademark, now. I don't want to embarrass the kid, but I want the big boy (laughter.)
Can you talk about your hitters' patience at the plate and how they made the Houston pitchers work today?
GUILLEN: Well, we got a lot better. We're the type of team, we swing a lot of tough pitches. The way they win today, you see them bunt. They will do everything to get on base, because when we're on base, we see a lot of good things happen. We put a lot of pressure on the defense, and I think this is the approach we should take every day.
Were you relieved to see Clemens out early?
GUILLEN: Not today. Maybe before, yes. He keep moving his legs. I don't know about his legs. But of course, this guy is a Hall of Famer, he's the best pitcher ever in the history of baseball. When you make them leave in the second inning, no matter what you bring in from the bullpen, it's not going to be better than him.
In the second with Berkman up, you visited Jose, what did you tell him?
GUILLEN: Big mistake, I should have let him go. I say, hey, don't let this guy beat you. They try to throw a splitfinger fastball left and right of the plate and I just, I don't want him to beat me.
I apologize if I'm reasking this, but the importance of Neal Cotts tonight and how much he's been so important to your ballclub this year?
GUILLEN: Great kid. This kid's come, last year I just bring this kid to be part of this team. I take a chance last year, I think, because the way we let him pitch last year, he build up to this year. This kid, has potential to be a closer pretty soon. This kid brings a lot of good things to our ballclub this year.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.