• For those paying little attention, Shields entered Tuesday’s game riding a surge of positive momentum. For those paying serious attention, Shields and his lack of strikeouts entered today’s game like a ticking time bomb. Unfortunately, that bomb went off in the fifth, and, when it went, it sure wasn’t pretty. Shields managed to dance around hit batsmen, walks, and hits for four innings, but in his typical fashion, allowed long fly balls and struck out only one. In the fifth, his luck ran out. Said fly balls found gaps, line drives found the base of the fence, and, seven hits later, the White Sox found themselves facing a 6-1 deficit. There were exploding hamstrings (see below), misread fly blls (looking at you Melky Cabrera), and general hard contact all around. This was not the recipe for success.
From there the Tigers and Sox would trade blows but the game was already out of reach. Miguel Cabrera struck first taking Matt Albers deep to right. In the top of the seventh, Mini-Miggy responded with a blast to deep left. The Tigers would tack on three more in the seventh and eighth, with the Sox countering with solo blasts from Todd Frazier and again from Avisail Garcia in the eighth and ninth. Michael Ynoa did his best Daniel Webb impression, allowing a two run single after a walk and two hit batsmen. Future ace Carson Fulmer came in and surrendered a bomb to Victor Martinez. He now sports a 12.79 ERA. All and all, not a good day for Sox pitching.
• The White Sox major trade deadline haul, Charlie Tilson, had himself an interesting day. He led off the third by banging a ball through the infield for his first major league hit. Two innings later his hamstring gave out on him while trying to run down a long flyball, and Robin Ventura said there might be more wrong with his knee after the game. He is almost assuredly headed to the disabled list. At least he can take comfort knowing he made it five innings longer than Kevan Smith.
• The Sox offense didn’t have an abysmal day. They banged out eleven hits, three home runs, and four walks while only striking out three times. Unfortunately they went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, grounded into two double plays, and “smartest man on the team” Tyler Saladino got picked off second. One step forward, two steps back.
• Garcia entered as Tilson’s injury replacement and made the most of his abbreviated appearance. In his first at-bat he pulled a hanging slider to deep left for his seventh home run. In the ninth he turned on a Mark Lowe fastball, and the ball he connected with is projected to re-enter orbit in early 2017. White Sox nation has been forced to endure far too many scuttled Garcia plate appearances to hold out any hope for his development. At this point watching the big man do typical big man things, like turning on pitches with authority, is almost exacerbating the pain.
• And finally in today’s episode of Random Nonsense Hawk Says: “Abner made the game for lefties. ” Hawk said it, and he invented the batting glove. It must be true.
Team Record: 51-55
Next game is Wednesday at 6:10pm CT in Detroit on WPWR
Lead Image Credit: Rick Osentoski // USA Today Sports Images