Ozzie Guillen made several questionable decisions Thursday as he and Freddy Sanchez teamed up to snap the Pirates 13-game losing streak.
Jose Contreras did his share to help the Pirates cause too. He looked fine in his first two outings coming off the DL, where extra runs crossed home thanks to unturned double plays, but he's been very hittable since then, allowing 48 hits in his last 37.2 innings pitched. I can't say what's wrong with Contreras, since I've missed his last 3 starts, but he's not the same pitcher he was from August '05 through May '06.
Jose had allowed 12 baserunners in his first 5 innings when he strode to the plate with the Sox down a run and the tying run in scoring position. I don't know what Ozzie saw in Jose's first 5 innings that led him to believe that sending him back out there in the 6th was a good idea, but he did it anyway -- probably because he's far too concerned about Jose's streak, and he wanted to give him every opportunity to win the game. Unfortunately, sending Contreras back to the mound, and not pinch hitting for him in the 6th, hurt the White Sox chances at victory.
I held my breath when Cliff Politte entered a tie game, thanks to Jim Thome, in the 8th. He escaped with a perfect inning, but wasn't what I would call impressive. He struck out one, but recorded one at'em ball for one of his other outs. I breathed a sigh of relief when he escaped unscathed. But when the Sox failed to push across a run after two walks in the top of the 9th, Ozzie pushed his luck and ran Politte back out for a second inning of work.
Predictably, the game ended a scant few seconds later. Ozzie and Cliff are the only two who were surprised that they lost a game in which they tried to sneak in two innings of work late in a tie game from a reliever with an ERA well north of 7.