PREGAME: It was about a month ago I downplayed the significance of a series in the Metrodome. I’m not going to downplay this one. A sweep by the White Sox would be pretty devastating. So let’s not get swept okay?
Justin Verlander is going for the Tigers which is usually a good thing. But the Tigers starter hasn’t been a factor lately, except in the sense that the performances get wasted.
Lately it has come down to a lack of offense, and today that offense gets a boost, but will it be enough to knock down Jose Contreras? Contreras has been up and down of late. One of the ups was an 8 inning 1 hitter against the Tigers. In his last 7 starts Contreras has a 2.62 ERA with 39 K’s and only 10 walks in 48 innings with only 4 homers allowed.
Your new Guillen-ized lineup:
POSTGAME: This definitely qualifies as a big win. If the Tigers lose this afternoon they are relying on Eddie Bonine to try and muster a win. And it’s not that he isn’t capable, it’s that you’re putting a whole bunch on him and the rest of the series. Ideally the Tigers win the nightcap, but now the don’t have to.
And what makes it even bigger is that Justin Verlander went the distance, preserving the entire bullpen. Verlander was awesome. He battled control a little bit early on and his pitch count was in precarious shape after 4 innings when he was sitting at 73 pitches. But the White Sox got swing happy and started lofting lazy fly balls early in the count allowing Verlander to throw the final 5 innings on just 54 pitches. The last fastball coming on pitch 125 was clocked at 99.9mph.
The offense? Well they didn’t really kill the ball, and they struck out too much, but they scored. The hits were bloops and tweeners and things that fell just out of reach, but they fell. It’s like a week’s worth of cheap hits all fell in a span of 9 innings, but they fell. The Tigers were aggressive on the bases and kept putting themselves in scoring position which helped to pull the defense out of position and open up spots. Everybody take a breath and get ready for the night game.