Game 60: Tigers at White Sox

PREGAME: Remember when I said not to make too much out of any one game? Well, if I were tempted to make too much out of a game, this would be it. The Tigers are looking to avoid a sweep against the White Sox. If they lose it would be their 6th straight to the Sox, and would also slide them out of first place.

At least in this series, the gap between the White Sox and Tigers doesn’t seem insumountable. Two 4-3 losses are tough to take, but they aren’t devastating. The pitching has been solid against a good offensive team in a good offensive park. The offense continues to sputter, but they are having better at-bats. They are working deeper into counts and typically restricting their swings to pitches near the strike zone. I’m also not particularly concerned about the 0-12 with runners in scoring position. It isn’t good, but I don’t think there is anything fundamentally different than two weeks ago when the Tigers were performing well in those situations.

All that being said, I would love to see the Tigers pile on Jon Garland early and keep this game from even being interesting.

I’ve done okay picking Tiger stars the last two nights. Tonight I’m going with Magglio Ordonez.

POSTGAME: The Tigers didn’t pile on Garland early, but they put enough seperation to make the game uneventful. And Rodney and Jones did their part in keeping the late innings boring.

For those that wondered by Kenny Rogers, who pitched excellent, was removed it appeared to be that his back was stiffening up. He’s come out of several games around the 7th inning for the same reason. What I though was impressive, and odd, is that inthe 6th innings with a foul ball back behind first base Rogers sprinted over and was right alongside Shelton and Polanco.

As for the hitting in scoring position, the Tigers got hits tonight. They didn’t hit the ball hard, but the hits dropped in. Also, the bigger factor was that while the team was 0 for 12 the first two night, I believe they had 11 ABs with RISP last night alone. The previous games were a general offensive funk, not just a problem of clutch hitting.

In any case, that whole “they can’t beat the White Sox” thing is off their backs.

And yes – Hawk Harrelson is awful – but please no swearing in the comments. Thanks guys!