Matt Thornton stinks in save situations. Badly. For his career, Thornton is 22-for-50 when trying to convert a save. His won-loss record in those spots is 3-13. Loss No. 13 came Thursday night as the White Sox dropped a 3-1 decision to the Boston Red Sox.
Every Sox fan in the world knows Thornton cannot close. He's proven it time and time again. Yet there he was out there in the ninth inning Thursday, trying to protect a tenuous 1-0 lead. Anyone actually think Thornton was going to be successful? Anyone?
You have to feel for starter Jose Quintana, who fired eight scoreless innings. I think he should have been allowed to start the ninth, but if Sox manager Robin Ventura didn't feel comfortable extending him, he should have gone to closer Addison Reed.
Carl Crawford, who has had good success against Thornton in his career (6-for-19 with a double and a triple), singled to start the inning. It was his second hit off Thornton in this series alone. Even though the Sox were still winning 1-0, you just knew they weren't getting out of Boston alive at that point. After Dustin Pedroia grounded into a fielder's choice (that could have been a double play), Adrian Gonzalez singled off Thornton. Now, both the tying and winning runs are on.
Ventura finally summoned Reed, but it was about three batters to late. Reed gave Cody Ross a fat fastball. 3-run homer. Boston wins.
There's nothing but an overwhelming sense of dread whenever Thornton comes in to try to close a game. Wouldn't you think the guys in the dugout feel the same?
If Reed is available to close, he should close. And he should start his own inning. No more Thornton in the ninth. I don't care if left-handed batters are coming up. Thornton has proven he isn't that effective at getting lefties out anyway.