PREGAME: Jose Contreras and Dontrelle Willis. I’d put the over/under on pitches thrown tonight at 400.
The Tigers trade one set of Sox for another one. They arrived in the Windy City around 3:30 this morning. They will send out Willis who’s spring training control issues carried over into his first start. He walked 7 in 5 innings last Saturday while only allowing 1 hit.
The White Sox send out Contreras who had his own issues last Friday in Detroit. He allowed 14 baserunners in just 5 innings of work.
Gary Sheffield sits tonight due to finger swelling. Jacque Jones is your DH and Clete Thomas is your left fielder. Critique away.
1. Thomas, LF
2. Polanco, 2B
3. Guillen, 1B
4. Ordonez, RF
5. Cabrera, 3B
6. Jones, DH
7. Renteria, SS
8. Rodriguez, C
9. Inge, CF
I will say putting the Jones behind Cabrera isn’t a bad move to make Contreras think a little about pitching around Cabrera to get to a left hander.
This one is on FSN+, and by now you should know the drill.
Game Time 8:11
POSTGAME: For the second night in a row the bullpen is the story, but boy did they flip the script. Pressed into duty in the first inning, they picked up all 27 outs while allowing just 4 hits and 2 walks while fanning 10.
Aquilino Lopez who was supposed to be the Mud Hens closer went 4 innings and allowed the only run. He also wiggled out of a 2nd & 3rd none out situation allowing only 1 run to score.
Jason Grilli had an awful inning with a HBP and 2 walks, but wiggled out of it and chased it with back to back 1-2-3 innings.
Denny Bautista allowed a hit, but some bad baserunning and an excellent throw from Clete Thomas took care of Jermaine Dye’s single.
Todd Jones even pitched a 1-2-3 inning striking out the last 2 batters. Unreal. It was his first save opportunity of the season. Also unreal.
Offensively the Tigers plated 5 runs, and they probably deserved some more. There were multiple liners hit right at White Sox infielders. There were a couple rushed innings against Contreras, but they were generally patient.
The Tigers also got a hit with the bases loaded from Magglio Ordonez. Plus, Miguel Cabrera came up with a 2-out RBI. It’s starting to click like we had all hoped it would.
The only downside is that Willis may be out. Cabrera is becoming more hobbled. And Carlos Guillen’s hamstring started barking late in the game. There may be no bench tomorrow.