It is part of what makes a manager's job so difficult.
Even after Felix Diaz allowed one run in six innings Sunday during a 6-2 victory over Seattle, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said the bullpen was in Diaz's immediate future.
The reason is Freddy Garcia will be ready to pitch Wednesday, and when a player makes $9 million a year, some decisions are easier than others.
Pitching decisions, like the one with Diaz, have been the hardest part for Guillen in his first season as the manager.
"The question mark about me as manager was how I would handle the pitching staff," Guillen said. "But everybody has the same amount of innings and has thrown good. When we came out of spring training, I didn't think we would have as great a bullpen as we have. It's a nice positive thing about this year."
Despite the victory, Guillen realizes the playoffs are only a very remote possibility, so he can reflect before the final three weeks.
"I've enjoyed it," he said. "I've had a lot of fun. Everything I did I would do the same way. It was a great test for me the first year, because a lot went great, some OK, some bad.
"It's easy when you're winning. You face everybody with a happy face. It was a great experience for me. And we play pretty good. We weren't healthy, but overall [it was good].
"I know the team, I know the organization and now I don't have to listen to anybody to make decisions."
So the decision is made on Diaz, whose job was made easier by facing the Mariners, who are 30 games out of first place in the AL West.
Diaz even stopped Ichiro Suzuki in three at-bats, although the Mariner singled in the eighth inning against Jon Adkins. Suzuki finished the series with seven hits and needs 33 hits in the last 26 games to break George Sisler's major-league single-season hits record of 257.
With the three-game sweep, the Sox moved within 81/2 games of Minnesota in the AL Central. But before you order playoff tickets, be advised that the last three-game sweep for the Sox came against the Mariners on July 9-11 at U.S. Cellular Field.
The offense for Diaz (2-4) came from Joe Borchard and Paul Konerko, who each followed a Jamie Moyer walk with a home run. It was the 35th homer for Konerko, second in the league to Manny Ramirez, and the eighth time he has hit home runs in back-to-back games.
With their two homers Sunday, the Sox have hit at least 200 for the fifth straight season, joining the present-day Yankees as the only clubs in history to do so. They also lead the majors with 122 homers at home.
"Hitting 200 home runs without Magglio [Ordonez] and Frank [Thomas] for most of the year is pretty good," Guillen said. "Obviously, I'd rather be in first place with less than 200 homers, but it is a pretty good accomplishment."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun