As the White Sox front office moved to bolster their playoff chances by acquiring James Shields from the Padres, their on field staff slightly hurt those chances by falling to the Tigers 7-4 Saturday. Despite what seemed like an obvious mismatch on paper, Mike Pelfrey stymied the White Sox bats and Chris Sale was slightly off as the Sox dropped to 3-11 against non-Twins AL Central teams.
- Sale was far from dominant Saturday, and while he was still largely effective through five innings (1 ER despite just 2 strikeouts), he ran into trouble in the sixth as J.D. Martinez blasted a two-run home run to put the Tigers ahead 3-2. Despite a clear lack of stuff, Sale was allowed to start the seventh already 100 pitches deep and promptly gave up a Jose Iglesias double and Cameron Maybin single put the game out of reach at 4-2. After going undefeated in Sale’s first nine starts, the Sox have now dropped three in a row (though he was very good in one of those three).
- Despite coming into Saturday with a 4.96 ERA and a 6.86 DRA, Mike Pelfrey spun a quality start, scattering eight baserunners over six innings and allowing just two earned runs.
- The loss brings the Sox to an abysmal 3-11 against non-Twins AL Central clubs, who have been the teams the Sox have predominantly played since their tailspin began in mid-May. Clearly, this is not a good way to win a division.
- For the second consecutive day, a White Sox starter left trailing by two runs, and for the second-straight day, the bullpen turned the game into a blowout as Robin Ventura let its best relievers sit. After Tommy Kahnle and Matt Purke got shelled last night, Matt Albers was left in to throw 34 pitches over 1.1 innings, putting the game too far out of reach for a two-run ninth to matter.
- The Sox will send Jose Quintana against Justin Verlander Sunday in attempt to salvage the series and cap their 10 game road trip that has started off at 2-7. After that, they will come home to face the NL East-leading Nationals.
Team Record: 28-26
Next game is Sunday at Detroit at 12:10pm CT on WGN
Lead Image Credit: Rick Osentoski // USA Today Sports Images