White Sox 6, Tigers 3: Sox rough up Zimmerman to dodge Detroit sweep

Like much of Detroit’s roster, Jordan Zimmerman looks like a troubling asset going forward. He’s owed $92 million through 2020 after this season, and his strikeout rate had collapsed to a career-low 15.2 percent coming into Thursday afternoon’s finale. Despite all this, like much of Detroit’s roster he had been effective in 2016, and healthy enough to eat over six innings per night.

Now he’s neither; Zimmerman’s first start in over a month after returning from a neck strain injury saw him roughed up, record zero strikeouts while allowing all six of the Sox runs on the day, and was followed with an MRI to examine the cause of his reported lat tightness.

1. Zimmerman started out the Thursday getaway day affair with no semblance of control. He nailed Tim Anderson on the hand (X-rays were negative) to start the game, walked Jose Abreu to load the bases, and was lucky to escape the first with only a Justin Morneau sacrifice fly against him.

He followed up in the second, by simply flashing no stuff. Avisail Garcia led off and continued his home run barrage by taking a 90 mph fastball out on a moonshot to dead center field that put the Sox back up 2-1. After following that up by allowing a single to backup backstop Omar Narvaez and walking Tyler Saladino, Zimmerman allowed Melky Cabrera to put the Sox up 3-1 by punching a high 0-2 fastball up the middle for an RBI single, and Adam Eaton got it barely deep enough to allow Saladino to slide under Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s tag to score on a sac fly. Abreu ripping another flat 90 mph fastball out to left for his first home run since June 23 finally signalled that things were unfixable.

2. Despite their huge offseason signing leaving after recording five outs and allowing six runs, the traditionally maligned Tigers bullpen strung togethers 7.1 scoreless innings and just six baserunners between Alex Wilson, Kyle Ryan and Mark Lowe. That’s a strange thing to have happen during a near-rout.

3. Jose Quintana certainly wasn’t overwhelming or dominant as he tried to defend his No. 1 position on the White Sox starting staff ERA leaderboard. He led off the game by allowing a solo shot to Ian Kinsler, struck out just three over 7.1 innings while his wipeout curve remained mostly absent, and was chased in the eighth by another solo shot to Miguel Cabrera. Between that, he pumped strikes, cruised by on weak contact, and probably could’ve steamed into the ninth if he had any of his secondaries working.

4. Fully rested thanks to all the losing, Nate Jones and David Robertson worked in tandem, combining for 13 pitches to nail down the final five outs and sent the Sox home with their first road win in Detroit since, uh, forever.

5. Robin Ventura moved Eaton down to the No. 3 spot to try to spark the offense, and promptly got Eaton, Abreu and Morneau to go 5-12, HR, 2 2B, BB. So, he’ll either stick with this arrangement well past the end of its effectiveness or just never use it again.

After going 1-for-3 with a walk, Narvaez remains at .412/.500/.500 hitters through four games.


Team Record: 52-56

Next game is at 7:10pm CT vs. Baltimore on CSN


Lead Image Credit: Rick Osentoski // USA Today Sports Images 

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