What started out looking like it might be a see-saw affair end up being a one-sided beating despite large amounts of offense from both teams. The Sox dropped back below .500 as they were unable to get quality starting pitching yet again.
1. Robin Ventura’s lean towards speed at the top of his lineup paid quick dividends when Tim Anderson smacked a double to lead off the game and Adam Eaton saw fit to take advantage of a wet infield by laying down a bunt. It proved successful and then some with Anderson able to score – and Eaton able to move into second – with a throwing error on the play. Next time around Anderson notched himself another double, moving to third on the play as J.D. Martinez had trouble corralling the ball in right field. Once again, Eaton laid down the bunt. A decent attempt to drag it up the first base side was thwarted by a good defensive effort by Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann, getting Anderson caught up trying to score, and effectively ending that inning’s threat.
The offense did surface at other points. A two-out rally in the fourth notched three runs, and another run was added in the fifth. After being down 10-2, the White Sox eventually brought themselves back within three in the ninth inning thanks to a two-run home run by Tyler Saladino, surely leading to some light PTSD for Tigers fans. It was for naught, 11 runs was ultimately too much too overcome.
Adam Eaton scored twice on sacrifice flies, going 2-for-5 on the night. He’s 6-for-10 in this series after having hit .158/.289/.263 in June prior to the Tigers’ arrival.
2. Coming off of an excellent start in which he walked no batters over six innings against the Nationals, Miguel Gonzalez was unable to find that touch again. He was hit hard out of the gate and struggled with keeping the ball in the zone. Four walks – one of which was intentional – over three innings isn’t a great strategy for run prevention. Weaving them between base hits is even worse as it turns out, unless your goal is to exit the game early, in which case it is great and highly effective.
3. Just a night after working seven innings, the bullpen was again asked to contribute heavily. As the freshest arm available, Matt Purke was first up, looking to soak up as much of the workload as possible. He may have allowed three runs in his two and two thirds innings, but 63 pitches in relief when the bullpen sorely needs it carries some value. Then again, those runs allowed were the difference in the end. Michael Ynoa made his MLB debut which served as an encouraging portion of the evening, allowing no hits, two walks and also striking out a pair in his two innings of work.
4. The Tigers managed nine extra-base hits without any homeruns. The last time Sox pitching was hit so frequently without allowing any long balls was a 1979 loss in Kansas City. As you can imagine, this was a fun one to watch. Every lineup spot in the Tigers order reached base, with an Ian Kinsler ninth inning triple completing the…I don’t know what you call that. “Thorough owning,” perhaps. Miguel Cabrera predictably led the attack with four hits on the night.
5. The managerial complaint department isn’t too busy on this one. The bullpen deployment was…fine. If one was going to cherry pick Robin’s call for the first of the two intentional walks could have caused more damage than was necessary, as loading the bases up for Justin Upton resulted in yet another walk to force a run across. The gamble on his second intentional walk, this one of Miguel Cabrera, yielded positive results, allowing justification for those that are looking for it.
Team Record: 32-33
Next game is Wednesday at 7:10pm CT vs. the Detroit Tigers on CSN.
Lead Photo Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski – USA Today Sports Images