It's safe to say that in years past, Jon Garland wouldn't have lasted as long he did Fridayand even he wasn't sure he should have this day.
"Truthfully, I don't think there are many managers who would have let me stay in there that long and sit back and watch as I threw 12 straight balls," Garland said after his eight-inning, seven-walk, four-hit performance in the 9-3 White Sox victory over the Yankees.
"That's not the best thing to do in the major leagues."
Normally, pitchers don't survive an inning like Garland had in the Yankee fourth, when he walked fourincluding the first three batters on 12 pitches.
Not only did Garland get out of the inning without giving up a run, thanks to defensive gems from Miguel Olivo, Joe Crede and Paul Konerko, but there wasn't even anyone throwing in the Sox bullpen.
Garland made the mess, Garland was going to have get out of it.
"In the past, [Garland] would have been out of that game," Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "We've been talking for a while about getting him to the next step. How do you get to that next step if you're never given the opportunity to show it?"
Former Sox manager Jerry Manuel kept Garland on a short leash, seldom letting him pitch out of jams.
Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said from the start of spring training that he was going to have confidence in Garland and he proved it Friday by keeping the bullpen quiet while Garland was all over the strike zone.
"He has the talent, he belongs here," Guillen said. "You have to believe you belong in the big leagues. You have to believe you can be a No. 1 starter in the future. That's how good his stuff is."
After Garland wiggled out of the fourth, the Sox bats came alive against Yankees starter Jose Contreras.
The Sox didn't threaten much until the fifth, when Contreras also lost his control.
Unlike the Yankees with Garland, the Sox made Contreras pay.
Timo Perez's leadoff single, followed by a stolen base, a wild pitch, a walk to Olivo and a Willie Harris sacrifice fly tied the game 1-1. After a walk to Jose Valentin, Magglio Ordonez drilled a 2-2 pitch down the left-field line for a three-run homer and a 4-1 lead.
With the wild fourth out of his system, Garland settled down and faced the minimum over the next four innings with the help of two double plays.
"I just started throwing the ball," Garland said. "If they were going to hit it, they were going to hit it."
They didn't, but the Sox did, knocking out Contreras and reliever Felix Heredia with a five-run sixth highlighted by a Joe Crede solo home run and a two-run single by Ordonez.
The Sox were also aggressive on the bases, which led to a couple runs and uncharacteristic Yankees miscues.
Olivo came around to score from second after Perez knocked the ball out of catcher John Flaherty's glove at the plate on a Harris ground ball. Harris then kept running to second when Flaherty was slow reacting to the play.
Valentin scored from first on Ordonez's single, and on the day the Sox stole three bases.
"We took advantage and when we took a chance we scored some runs," Ordonez said.