PREGAME: The Tigers blow into the Windy City to take on the Wild Card leading White Sox. The Sox are coming off of 3 straight 1 run games against the Yankees where they came out on top twice. Over the last 10 days or so their has been quite a bit of shifting in the Central with the Tigers seeing their lead expand to double digits and the Twins briefly overtaking the White Sox. However all 3 teams are 6-4 in their last 10 so everyone’s right back where they started from.
Jose Contreras will be taking the ball for the Sox tonight. His best start of the last 4 was against the Tigers when he went 7 innings and allowed only 2 runs. Since then he’s still been effective lasting into the 7th inning in each of his last 3 starts, but a little more hittable allowing 4, 4, and 6 runs.
Justin Verlander who was given a free pass his last turn in the rotation, should be well rested for the Tigers. As Mack Avenue pointed out, the Tigers altered their rotation and bumped Verlander ahead of Rogers. While I don’t get into labeling starters #1, #2, etc., I did like the way Rogers was sandwiched between the 2 hard throwing righties. I’m not sure for the reasoning behind the move, except maybe to set a record for pick-offs in a game when Kenny Rogers takes on Mark Buehrle tomorrow.
Game Time 8:35pm
POSTGAME: Talk about a butt kicking. Jose Contreras owned the Tigers easily slicing through the lineup on his way to a 101 pitch complete game. Curtis Granderson and Carlos Guillen saw 30 of those 101 pitches. They also accounted for 3 of the 4 Tiger baserunners. Coincidence? Probably.
Meanwhile Justin Verlander was pitching from the stretch all night. The White Sox batting average on balls in play was .550. It seemed anything put in play was turning into a hit. Oh yeah, and there were those 2 bombs.
Craig Monroe made a nice play gunning down Alex Cintron.