OAKLAND -- White Sox starting pitchers lead the American League in strikeouts (105), shutouts (two), complete games (two) and opponents average (.202). They rank third in ERA (3.09) and are third with 11 quality starts.
Those numbers aren't too bad after 17 games for a front five entering the season without a clear ace-hurler. That ace absence certainly doesn't bother general manager Ken Williams.
"I think I said that in Spring Training that I've never looked, well, I don't currently look at this group anyway as a one through five," Williams said. "They are all capable on a given day of pitching against anyone's No. 1. If they are on their 'A' game, they can pitch like a No. 1.
"You have a bunch of guys that can just go out there and grind it out and shut down a team on a given day. I think, overall, it sets you up well for the grind."
Peavy's spring struggles a distant memory
OAKLAND -- Remember when Jake Peavy was getting knocked around during Spring Training, allowing 13 runs on 19 hits over 13 1/3 innings?
Well, the right-hander certainly recalls the concern over his Arizona struggles. But he could only offer up a resigned smile when talking about the importance of Spring Training to a veteran hurler after his dominant Monday night showing against the A's.
"I tried to tell you guys the only question that should be asked in Spring Training is, 'How do you feel?'" Peavy said. "That should be asked all around the clubhouse with guys who have been in the Major Leagues.
"Spring Training is an absolute non-factor, non-issue. You use it to get your arm in shape. This same A's team in Spring Training beat me around the ballpark. I do laugh about that, and I hope now people understand Spring Training numbers really, really mean nothing all around the board."
Peavy put those Cactus League struggles further behind him with a three-hit shutout against the A's. The effort dropped Peavy's ERA to 1.88 and reduced his opponents' average against to .172. He leads the White Sox with 26 strikeouts and 28 2/3 innings pitched.
Of greatest importance is that Peavy felt great the day after throwing a complete game. He played a little long toss, did his shoulder work and added in cardio.
"Hopefully, those days of worrying how I'm going to feel the next day are over," Peavy said. "I really feel as normal as I should. I'm excited for Saturday and the ... big challenge ahead of us coming back home."
At 21 months removed from surgery to reattach his lat muscle, Peavy feels he's returned to the needed level of mound normalcy. It's not a quick process, though, as Peavy illustrated by mentioning early-season struggles by Josh Johnson and Adam Wainwright after surgery.
"Those guys are great. And as time goes by and the longer removed they are from surgery, they will grow their way back into [being] that guy," Peavy said. "It has been here for me for the first few starts. It's fun to be the guy that [White Sox general manager] Kenny [Williams] traded for me to be.
"I'm really not feeling like I owe it to anybody, but I want to give that to Kenny because he stepped out on a limb and got me over [here], and has taken some scrutiny in taking me and Alex [Rios]. But Kenny wants to win, and he scouted me and knew what I used to do. And now I'm excited that I'm able to give a little back and help."
Father-to-be Humber returns to Chicago
OAKLAND -- Philip Humber has temporarily transformed from perfect-game media sensation back to expectant father.
The right-hander, who threw the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history on Saturday against Seattle, returned to Chicago on Tuesday afternoon to join his wife, Kristan, for the birth of their first child. Humber still is scheduled to start Thursday night's series opener against Boston at U.S. Cellular Field, when tickets will be discounted in honor of and in conjunction with Humber's perfecto.
"He's fine. He was [going to be] flying home [on Wednesday] anyway," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Humber. "He's no good to us today, so he can go home."
Williams caught end of Humber's perfecto
OAKLAND -- Although White Sox general manager Ken Williams was taking part in an amateur scouting trip this past weekend, he still managed to watch the end of Philip Humber's perfect game after getting word of the pitcher's brush with greatness on Saturday.
"Boy, did I get word of it," Williams said. "I knew someone either, there was something really, really bad happening or something really good happened. My phone started blowing up.
"So, I saw the tail end of it. It was exciting. I'm glad I didn't have to agonize over the whole 27 outs."
Third to first
Dayan Viciedo finished 0-for-3 during Tuesday's 2-0 loss to the A's, giving him just 1 hit in his last 22 at-bats. Viciedo is hitting .180 overall.
Alex Rios' 11-game hitting streak, which was snapped by a 0-for-3 effort on Tuesday, was the second-longest active streak in the American League behind Derek Jeter. Rios batted .415 during the streak.
Paul Konerko has reached base safely in 16 of his 17 games played after being hit by a pitch in the seventh inning.