White Sox notes from Aug. 27.
That little letter next to Jose Contreras’ name in the box score might look unfamiliar there.
Give it a minute.
It’s a “W.” It stands for win. As in “winning pitcher,” something Contreras hadn’t been as a starter since June 18 until Monday’s 5-4 win over Tampa Bay.
Though it’s by no means all his fault — the right-hander has suffered from poor run support and tough match-ups while also throwing some stinkers — it was a drought long enough to draw a smile when he was asked how it feels to finally get a win.
“First of all, I feel good that the team won, and second, sure I feel great that I won a game,” Contreras said. “I feel better that I helped the team win a game. I felt like I really helped the team win today.”
Contreras allowed four runs on eight hits over seven innings and left trailing 4-0, but the Sox rallied for five in the bottom of the seventh to break Contreras’ streak of nine consecutive starts lost.
“Great game,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I’ve seen Contreras climbing every game. The last three games have been better. It seems like he’s pitched real bad because we didn’t score any runs when he’s pitching, but I think his fastball location is fine.
“I like what I see. His fastball is coming around. When you throw a strike with the fastball, your split-finger fastball is going to be good enough to put people away.”
Contreras tied a season-high Monday with eight strikeouts, all of the swinging variety.
“I definitely saw that he was better today,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “His ball had more life, was coming out of his hand better and you could see the difference with the strikeouts and with the swings and misses he was getting.”
“I felt all my pitches were working -- forkball, slider, changeup -- and I was throwing strikes,” Contreras said.
Day 2 of the Josh Fields experiment in left field produced no exciting results as not a single fly ball was hit out there until he was replaced by Darin Erstad in the eighth.
In fact, Fields has had just one opportunity to field a fly ball since moving to left Sunday, and misplayed that one.
“I’d like to get that first one out of the way. I guess I could have done it yesterday, but ... ” the rookie deadpanned. “Then I get out and the first one’s hit to Darin. Before long, I hope to get an easy first one to ease the tension.”
It’s Sox, not Sawx
The South Siders finally heard some cheers Monday with the Red Sox Nation, which dominated the crowds over the weekend, having left town.
“It’s nice not to play in Fenway at home,” closer Bobby Jenks said.
Pablo Ozuna (fractured right fibula) hopes to start hitting in Texas, where the Sox play a three-game series beginning today.
Scott Podsednik (strained right ribcage) says he’s feeling better.
Silence is Golden
The Sox held a moment of silence before Monday’s game to remember Chuck Comiskey, grandson of Sox founder Charles Comiskey, who died Sunday.
More White Sox news is at www.dailysouthtown.com/sports.