Game 2009.009: White Sox at Tigers Redux

PREGAME: The weather didn’t cooperate yesterday, but things look much better for today with things drying off around game time and even a little sunshine.

The rainout did have one effect and that was to provide the Tigers with a match-up that at least looks more favorable on paper. Instead of going up against the Sox staff ace John Danks (and really, he’s a better pitcher than Buehrle), they will be facing Jose Contreras.

Contreras allowed 10 base runners in 5 innings of work in his first start of the year. Current Tigers hitters have an 841 OPS against Contreras in their careers.

The Tigers will skip Rick Porcello and instead send Armando Galarraga to the mound. On Opening Day Galarraga shut down a hot hitting Texas Rangers and went 7 innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits with 8 K’s.

Game Time 1:05

Chicago White Sox vs Detroit Tigers – April 15, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: What’s my favorite part of this win you ask? It is putting to rest for the time being the talk of “the Sox own the Tigers.” If they lose the series, then it starts to become “a thing” and then it starts to become annoying. For now anways, they are all square.

As for the game, I caught the first 5 innings of this one on the radio, and missed the rest while in a meeting. So I missed the part where it turned into a laugher and banged my keyboard a little too hard when every pitch was a moment of tension.

Unlike his firsst start, he had to work through this one. I’m not saying he wasn’t good, but listening to the game it sounded like the command wasn’t quite as good at times and it required a few more pitches, many under duress where it seemed that one run might be enough to win or lose this game. but when he needed a strike out, he found a way to get it. He pitched out of a runner on third one out situation and a 2nd and 3rd one out situation. In the end it was a 6.1 inning 4 hitter with 5 K’s and 2 walks. Tremendous stuff.

The Tigers only had one real scoring chance prior to breaking through in the 6th. A 2nd and 3rd none out situation that they weren’t able to take advantage of when Ramon Santiago struck out and Curtis Granderson popped out. And Contreras was cruising. Through 4 innings he only needed 52 pitches. So in my mind the at-bat of the game was…

Josh Anderson’s 10 pitch walk. It was the first at-bat where Contreras really had to work, and it put him in the stretch. It led to a Placido Polanco 2 run double blasted to centerfield. And while the game would get out of hand, it was all the Tigers needed.

  • Bobby Seay faced a batter and got 2 outs. Fernando Rodney pitched a 1-2-3 9th, just trying to get work in. Ryan Perry? He pitched a scoreless inning but a walk and 2 wild pitches made things a little interesting.
  • Josh Anderson and Ramon Santiago were both outstanding again today. Santiago got the start when Adam Everett was told to stay home with the flu.
  • Curtis Granderson is really fighting it right now but he did pick up his 3rd hit of the homestand.
  • Miguel Cabrera not fighting it at all, and he teamed up with Galarraga to turn in another nice defensive play. It’s too soon to make stat based defensive judgements, but the eyeball test has him improved in my opinion.
  • That Brandon Inge play in the 3rd was sick. The highlights are here.

88 thoughts on “Game 2009.009: White Sox at Tigers Redux”

  1. From memory Contreras is very inconsistent, having both horrible games and dominating games. Let’s hope he continues to struggle. But more importantly, we have to keep Chicago’s hitters in the stadium.

  2. What’s a good place to get the starting line-ups before the game? I’ve never figured this out…

  3. yahoo is best:
    Chi White Sox
    AB R H RBI BB K LOB Season Avg
    B. Lillibridge 2b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .100
    J. Fields 3b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .318
    C. Quentin lf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333
    J. Thome dh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .217
    J. Dye rf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .370
    P. Konerko 1b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .346
    A.J. Pierzynski c 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .182
    A. Ramirez ss 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .160
    B. Anderson cf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .167
    Totals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

    AB R H RBI BB K LOB Season Avg
    C. Granderson cf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .206
    P. Polanco 2b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333
    M. Ordonez rf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .276
    M. Cabrera 1b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .467
    C. Guillen dh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .200
    G. Laird c 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .318
    B. Inge 3b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .269
    J. Anderson lf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .182
    R. Santiago ss 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .385
    Totals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

  4. Andre – Jason Beck’s blog is my source for pre-game lineups. He usually posts them soon after Leyland puts it up.

  5. From internet text, those 2 K’s looked pretty impressive, after having a runner on 3rd with 1 out. So many day games…

  6. I don’t know how many of you guys have to put up with Hawk Harrelson during the ChiSox games, but it literally makes me want to kill myself. At school in central Indiana so all of the Chicago games are always blacked out here and I can’t get the FSD feed on 🙁

  7. Ryan – if you’ve got an iPhone, stream it on your phone with At Bat. Else, use your subscription to just listen to the Tigers radio broadcast.

  8. Nothing drives me more crazy (at least since the days of Jason Grilli) than the inabiity to sacrifice. Huge missed opportunity there.

  9. Armando hasn’t had a K since the first inning, sure glad he got one here. Right when he needed it.
    Glad the Sox can’t hit to the right side when they need to, just like the Tigers,

  10. Nice escape by Armando. Looks like we might need 9 outs from the bully today.

    Now how about a little run support?

  11. Tigers had 2 & 3 no outs, we shoulda been able to sacrifice in at least 1 run.

    But great inning by Armando.

  12. Great job by Polanco. Magglio is sticking with his MO of swinging at alot of first pitches. I know Billfer determined it was statistically a good thing last year, but I wonder what his average is now on first pitch swings. Maybe too early too tell, though.

  13. If that’s Magglio’s MO, then fine. The situation however may have called for some paitence, Contreras was struggling with control and his pitch count was rising with a long inning. But the pitch looked pretty fat on Gameday, and no one would be complaining if Maggs hit it out.

  14. That was a great shutdown inning from AG after getting on the board. Does JL bring him out for another out or two or is he done? Pitch count is at 98.

  15. Pitch count is 98 for Armando, it took him 6 pitches for each batter in the sixth. He would be over 110, maybe even over 120 to go 7. Too much for just the second start of the season.
    Who’s warmed up?

  16. why even have a bench if you never use it! bases loaded, thames on bench and you leave in santiago…come on leyland

  17. Mario Impemba’s opening day call of Cabrera’s grand slam should replace April in the D for the remainder of the month.

  18. I’m following on ESPN game cast….how did Santiago score from 3rd on a groundout to the pitcher?

  19. Yeah just leave Perry in he’s got enough of a cushion, no sense using more of the pen unless someone really needs to get some work in.

  20. Watched a little bit of this on WGN at lunch. The Ol’ Hawkeroo sounded like somebody stole his lunch money after Santiago’s bases loaded single. This is a McDonald’s game – I’m lovin’ it.

  21. I agree with you there Dave. I never really understood why we got everett, ramon showed signs of actually being able to hit last year and is above average defensively. Plus if we let anderson take over left we can have carlos shift to DH setting him up for the possibility of playing second next year if we let polly go. That way Carlos will have SS, 2B, LF, DH, 3B and 1B all covered.

  22. it’s early in the season Anson…santiago may or may not last, everett is good insurance IMO

  23. Anson…Is Carlos going to sell hot dogs as well? I never thought about moving him to 2nd base. I think Carlos is quickly becoming a DH. I think he is bothered by his leg, and the fact pitchers don’t have to pitch to him b/c of the bottom 3rd of the order.

  24. I’m sure many of you are aware of how much I despise Hawk Harrelson, but it’s worth mentioning again. I hate that man, I wish he would just go away.

    However, I will enjoy watching the replay of this game tonight, if only to hear him crying in his milkshake.

    Great job all around, though it would be nice to get Granderson and Guillen going a little bit. Grandy I’m not so worried about, but I have a fear that Guillen’s skills have declined at a rapid rate and he can no longer produce like he has in the past. Hopefully it’s just a slow start.

  25. Whoa nice game guys. I can see Guillen increasingly getting more time at DH as the season progresses. I mean if we are going to get better defensively aren’t we better off with Anderson/Thames in left? I haven’t seen Guillen or Anderson play the field but I’m assuming Anderson is pretty good defensively based on his speed and Guillen is hobbled by his knee problems making Thames the better defensive choice.

  26. Jeff
    the ground ball to the pitcher, he didn’t field it cleanly ,it got behind him and his only play then was to first as Santiago scored

  27. @greg: I wouldn’t be surprrised to see Inge lead the league in BB if he continues batting in front of the weakest hitter in the lineup the entire season. With low GIDP threats at the end of the order like Everett, Anderson, and Santiago, this could lead to a lot of extended rallies.

  28. Mark in Chi- I know what you mean about Hawk- you have to be a White Sox fan to like the man. Maybe its just me, but every time I hear that home run call of his, I feel like ripping his larynx out- especially when he does it with the Sox losing by 10 runs in the 9th inning.

    Maybe the most encouraging thing about the start to this year, other than the ‘pen is the bottom of the lineup, which looks to be far more productive than last year. They may not put up a ton of home runs, but they seem so far at least, to have the ability to extend rallies, which is something that part of the lineup did not do last year at all.

  29. Agree about the bottom of the lineup Chauncey. As long as these guys aren’t a total black hole, this lineup can be dangerous. Seeing Anderson take a couple walks today was very encouraging. With his wheels, he needs to be on base as much as possible.

  30. Just got back from the game, and it was a great day all around. Our Tigers clobbered the Sox, always a good thing, PLUS they scored 9 runs, which means FREE PIZZA! And our section won the donut race, so free donuts too! And a very nice, very classy tribute to Fidrych before the game.

  31. Mark,

    Thanks for reminding me of the replay tonight…that’s ALWAYS must see TV when the Sox lose heavily. I’m gonna listen vewy cwosely for the sound of beer cans being opened and chugged.

  32. Great game. Galarraga looked fantastic, and the Tigers got production from everyone in the lineup. Who’s excited to see Verlander against King Felix on Friday night?

  33. Did anyone see ESPN tout Brandon Inge as the top fantasy catcher of the season so far? I think it was yesterday, but it might have been over the weekend.

    I like him @ 3B.

  34. Galarraga just works. The man is like Linux. He doesn’t get all the sleazy stats, but he just gets hitters out.

  35. Galarraga defeats the stat geek almost every single game. He simply gets ahead of hitters, then gets them to hit his nasty little slider into easy outs. Just a repeat of the the same old unhittable stuff of last year. Call him lucky if you want, but those pitches are still outs, even when he had Renteria and Guillen backing him up. He’ll be even better this year.

  36. One of the things I noticed is that Alexei Ramirez (who absolutely killed us last year) got a steady diet of sliders during both games. It seems they have finally figured out the scouting report on the guy, I hope he can’t adjust. I only “watched” on Gamecast at work, so somebody please correct me if I’m mistaken.

    Sadly, Andre, the game was on WGN today, so there is no replay. You’ll have to settle for listening closely during highlights. As for the sound of opening beer cans, well, I think you know what to do about that…

  37. Mark,

    If you don’t mind my asking, do you know what bars are still considered “Michigan/Detroit” bars in town? I heard Gin Mill turned into a HighTops, so the only one I know of is Duffys.

  38. @Mr X –

    The stat geek loves what Galarraga is doing this year. He’s fanning a batter an inning, walking only one for every four he K’s, and is keeping the ball in the yard. It was last year when his peripherals early on weren’t special and he was getting lucky that the stat heads were confounded.

  39. @Ryan P –

    Yeah, but Seattle’s offense is anemic. No more Ibanez to kill us. Instead, just Griffey, who didn’t hit Tigers pitching last year. The other names – Balentein, Jose Lopez, Yuniesky Betancourt?
    Nobody too special there.

  40. Hey Andre,

    Like you said, Gin Mill is now High Tops, but my understanding is they kept the MSU theme, so it’s very possible they stuck with a Detroit theme also. I can’t confirm, though.

    Ones that I know of are all MSU bars (since I went there):
    Tin Lizzie (Clark, north of Fullerton)
    O’Malley’s West (Lincoln south of FUllerton)
    Kendalls or Kelsey’s (I forget which one, they are right next to each on Lincoln near O’Malley’s)
    Higgins (Racine south of Belmot)
    Gannon’s (Lincoln South of Montrose)

    There’s also Avenue Tavern on Broadway south of Wellington, but from my experience it’s not a good sports bar.

    I am pretty certain Wings and Tigers games will be on just about every day at Hi-Tops, Tin Lizzie and O’Malley’s. For the other bars, it’s a little dicey since they generally aren’t as crowded. You’ll have to battle Cubs and Sox games, too, for the locals.

    Hope that helps. I’ll probly try and grab some people to get to a Sox game when the Tigers are in town, let me know if you’re interested!

  41. They told Everett to get the flu? I didn’t know he was that bad. I mean, if they want to get rid of him, they should just say so.

  42. Ohhh! He already had the flu and THEN they told him to stay home.
    Keep those nasties out of the clubhouse I say.

  43. Mark in Chicago,

    Definitely be down for some bar-time if you get a group together. I’ll probably check out Tin Lizzie, heard some decent things about it and it’ll give me a chance to catch the game Friday night.

  44. If Mark in Chicago saw Hawk Harrelson in a dark alley on a cold and blustery night, would he a) ask for his autograph, b) ignore him, or c) sucker punch him ?

  45. Mark in Chi,

    Just woke up from a post Game-1 win for the Wings. Tin Lizzie’s = Great bar, thanks for the recommendation. I’m going back to bed now…

  46. glad you had a good time, Andre. I haven’t been down to Lizzie’s in a loooong time, glad to hear it’s still a fun bar.

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