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Game 2009.094: White Sox at Tigers

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:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Thomas, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, DH
  6. Raburn, LF
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Laird, C
  9. Everett, SS

Chi White Sox vs. Detroit – July 24, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

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.

Posted by on July 24, 2009.

Categories: 2009 Season, Game Post

97 Responses

  1. Booo. I was hoping Verlander would pitch tonight, as I am going to that game.

    by jason on Jul 24, 2009 at 12:35 pm

  2. maybe Contreras can have an un-perfect game where he doesn’t get anybody out.

    by Mark in Chicago on Jul 24, 2009 at 12:41 pm

  3. The usual strategy for a double-header is to put the A-team on the field for game one and take your chances with the reserves in game two.

    by Vince in MN on Jul 24, 2009 at 12:43 pm

  4. Gameday showed pitch 6 to Getz as being right down the middle…

    by Tbone on Jul 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm

  5. Looked great to me, too. Glad to see Verlander get the next guy, but that had “disaster” written all over it.

    by scotsw on Jul 24, 2009 at 1:30 pm

  6. They don’t look much different at the plate today. Pretty flaccid at-bats.

    by scotsw on Jul 24, 2009 at 1:37 pm

  7. is this where Thome hits a 3-run HR?

    by Mark in Chicago on Jul 24, 2009 at 1:45 pm

  8. Really need to push some runs across the plate.

    by Dave T. on Jul 24, 2009 at 1:56 pm

  9. Granderson shoulda been on 2nd there.

    by Kevin in Dallas on Jul 24, 2009 at 1:57 pm

  10. A sacrifice! A real, live sacrifice! It brings a little Twinkie to me eye, it does…

    by Tbone on Jul 24, 2009 at 1:57 pm

  11. A sacrifice fly! A sacrifice fly! A sacrifice fly!

    by Vince in MN on Jul 24, 2009 at 1:57 pm

  12. sweet, we’ve met our 1-run quota for the day.

    how long does it last? my guess is until the 5th inning when Dye hits a 2-run HR.

    by Mark in Chicago on Jul 24, 2009 at 1:57 pm

  13. whose pitching for the chisox tonight?

    by Dave T. on Jul 24, 2009 at 1:58 pm

  14. mmmmmmm, Twinkie…..

    by Mark in Chicago on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:00 pm

  15. Holliday traded to Cards for three prospects.

    by Vince in MN on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:09 pm

  16. Colon

    by Vince in MN on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:12 pm

  17. Gameday does indeed show Verlander throwing 6 sliders in that past half-inning, 4 of them for strikes. The pitch seems to be working just fine for him, and he saves it for fastball hitters (Quentin, Beckham).

    by scotsw on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:12 pm

  18. Verlander at 73 pitches already. Cabrera’s boot hurt there, but Justin is making it hard on himself.

    by Vince in MN on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:15 pm

  19. ESPN.com:

    “The Athletics and Cardinals have completed a trade that sends outfielder Matt Holliday to St. Louis in exchange for third baseman Brett Wallace, outfielder Shane Peterson and right-handed pitcher Clayton Mortensen, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney. ”

    Dombrowski couldn’t beat that deal, eh?

    by scotsw on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:17 pm

  20. Guillen moved the runner over. Can’t fault him for that; something we’ve been lacking. Raburn! Let’s scratch out at least one more.

    by Ken in Vegas on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:18 pm

  21. A runner on third with less than two out……. and they score! Twice in one game – an accident or start of something new?

    by Vince in MN on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:18 pm

  22. Did Raburn really just steal 3rd?

    by Ken in Vegas on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:19 pm

  23. I heard a rumor the Tigers are interested in Scutaro from Toronto. Has anyone else heard this?

    by Brenden on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:24 pm

  24. Thanks Laird. I can’t say that I expected anything less from you.

    by Ken in Vegas on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:24 pm

  25. jeeeeez, ANOTHER GIDP. this is unbelievable.

    by Mark in Chicago on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:25 pm

  26. Laird lets Contreras off the hook. He must have missed that special ‘Runner on 3rd with less than 2 out’ BP session today.

    by Tbone on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:25 pm

  27. I guess the third time was the charm (for the Sox).

    by Vince in MN on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:26 pm

  28. Ah, Laird is what Laird is. It’s not like he’s paid to hit. Still… You want to see a spark from time to time.

    by scotsw on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:28 pm

  29. It makes sense if Inge is going on the DL. Otherwise what other position player goes down? We’ve already gotten rid of Anderson. Or do they finally cut Maggs? On the other hand it is just a rumor.

    by Vince in MN on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:34 pm

  30. It wasn’t that much of a rumor. A reporter around the batting cage saw JP Riccardi pick up his cell phone and then heard him ask for Dave Dombrowski. JP said it wasn’t about Halladay and the reporter guessed it might be Scutaro.

    That’s not really what I’d call a rumor.

    by billfer on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:40 pm

  31. With 2 runs in the first game I’m worried that tonight’s game might be a shut out.

    by billfer on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:40 pm

  32. Billfer! You are supposed to be the voice of reason around here…

    by Tbone on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:43 pm

  33. Just curious, had heard it and wanted verification.

    by Brenden on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:44 pm

  34. It wouldn’t suck to see someone on this team hit one out. I’ve heard rumors that a few of them have HR power.

    by scotsw on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:48 pm

  35. 1-0, just to rub it in?

    by Vince in MN on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:48 pm

  36. Are we only capable of playing in 2-1 ball games? I won’t complain as long as we come out on the better end of things 60 percent of the time.

    by Ken in Vegas on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:52 pm

  37. A quick inning for Verlander and another excellent game from our ace. Do you bring him out to pitch in the 8th? I imagine he’s probably done for the day. Gulp.

    by Ken in Vegas on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:53 pm

  38. Dye, Thome and Konerko coming up in the 8th. Tough call, but I think I would bring him out.

    by Tbone on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:56 pm

  39. I’m not saying firesale or finish in last place. I’m just a little cynical :)

    by billfer on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:56 pm

  40. NOW the ice cream kid gets a hit…

    by Tbone on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:57 pm

  41. Adam “Clutch” Everett is back!

    by Matt on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm

  42. Hey, let’s have a round of applause for Everett, who just came through in a pretty big situation in a pretty darn big game.

    by scotsw on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm

  43. I let Verlander face Dye. If he gets him out, then he stays, other wise go Seay then Lyon

    by billfer on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm

  44. I’d leave Verlander in, too, given the fact that Bonine is starting Game 2 tonight, and you’d like to keep most of the pen fresh for the weekend. Plus, Verlander looked very strong in the 7th.

    by scotsw on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:01 pm

  45. Another run! OK, so Everett does have a little “clutch” left in him. By recent standards this is turning into a blowout.

    by Vince in MN on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:01 pm

  46. I was just having this conversation with a co-worker. Yeah you have to bring Verlander back out (especially now that it’s 3-1). He’s your horse, he’s better than anyone in the bullpen even after 100 pitches, and frankly, he looks like he’s settled in better with his command. He’s set down 7 straight, I believe. That and you’ve got the double header today, save the pen as best you can.

    by Mark in Chicago on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:02 pm

  47. Nice to see a few extra base hits mixed in with all the singles we’ve had lately. Doubles today, homers tonight!! (one can dream, no?)

    by Mark in Chicago on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm

  48. Terrible tag by Ramirez. Sit down Ozzie.

    by Kevin in Dallas on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:05 pm

  49. Add-on runs! I remember this team, barely…

    by Tbone on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:06 pm

  50. The Tigers are dinking and dunking their way to 4 runs. They’re not killing the ball, but with the way things are going who is going to complain (other than Hawk).

    by billfer on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:06 pm

  51. It feels like years since I’ve seen an offensive rally from our team. I almost didn’t recognize it… And now we’re getting into the Sox bullpen! Perfect.

    Now if only Miggy could get a big hit…

    by Smith on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:09 pm

  52. This lead might change Jimmy’s strategy as to how he pitches the rest of this game.

    by Ken in Vegas on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:10 pm

  53. I certainly don’t mind wasting Dotel.

    by Ken in Vegas on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:11 pm

  54. billfer,

    please explain how we are going to score negative-2 runs tonight to keep our 1 per game average up.

    by Mark in Chicago on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:11 pm

  55. Ummm. Yeah. Not Sure. Maybe we get shut out for the rest of the series?

    by billfer on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:12 pm

  56. i’m thinking verlander should pitch the 9th too…he is just cruising at the moment.

    by charlie on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:17 pm

  57. Quick inning, does JV get a look at the 9th?

    by Dave T. on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:17 pm

  58. JV is a stud.

    by Matt on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:18 pm

  59. Verlander with a studly performance. He has gotten stronger and stronger as this game has gone along.

    by Tbone on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:18 pm

  60. I love it! I’d rather see broken bat, bloop singles than ‘rip the cover off the ball’ outs to RF.

    by Smith on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:20 pm

  61. that’s just evil, don’t even mention that…. ;-)

    by Mark in Chicago on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:21 pm

  62. Due to health and return to the norm, I have a pretty good hunch we’ve seen the end of All Star Home Run Derby Inge.

    by Ken in Vegas on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:28 pm

  63. 2 errors in one inning — and didja all hear how the White Sox have the 3rd-most errors in the AL this season? Every team in this division has its weaknesses. Shame on those who wanted to throw in the towel on this very winnable season.

    by scotsw on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:28 pm

  64. Mario just said “that BIG 2 RUN 7th INNING.” I guess that is big for us.

    by Kevin in Dallas on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:30 pm

  65. Wait a minute…that just happened? Please pinch me.

    by Mike in CT on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:31 pm

  66. Out comes Verlander to finish it off.

    by Ken in Vegas on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:33 pm

  67. I had forgotten what a ’5′ looks like

    by Mark in Chicago on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:33 pm

  68. A squeeze? The EM is trying everything today.

    by Vince in MN on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:34 pm

  69. They should pull Verlander. This is silly. Let whoever is being sent down for Bonine pitch the 9th.

    by Greg on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:36 pm

  70. Gulp…buckle up folks. Never easy.

    by Mike in CT on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:37 pm

  71. OMG

    by Ken in Vegas on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:38 pm

  72. You’ve got to be kidding me right now…….

    by Ange on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:38 pm

  73. I can’t believe he left him in there.

    by Tbone on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm

  74. Wow….Wise better not have the hero juice two days in a row. (Crossing fingers.)

    by Mike in CT on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm

  75. i’m looking forward to hearing Hawk complain tonight about how they “gave this game away” because of the 3 errors.

    shut it, hawk.

    by Mark in Chicago on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm

  76. WOW!

    by Tbone on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm

  77. The only situation that would scare me right now, with a 4 run lead. Bases loaded, nobody out. Super.

    by Erik in PA on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm

  78. I completely agree with the decision to leave JV in there.

    I’ll take JV @120 pitches over anyone in our bullpen right now.

    by Matt on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:41 pm

  79. The only thing that would make me feel better is a pitcher-catcher-1B double play.

    OMG YES

    by Erik in PA on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:41 pm

  80. Exhale!!!!

    by Mike in CT on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:42 pm

  81. Sometimes, you just let the great ones throw. Justin earned that, and Leyland let him go.

    by scotsw on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:43 pm

  82. whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeewwwwwwww!

    by Ange on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:43 pm

  83. That’s what I was thinking – Dolsi probably. But JV got through it.

    by Vince in MN on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:44 pm

  84. Okay – that was simply awesome.

    Huge win!

    by Tbone on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:44 pm

  85. Good win. This sets up a potential sweet day. At the very worst we don’t lose any ground. Bonine is my Tiger. Ha.

    by Ken in Vegas on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:44 pm

  86. Justin Verlander’s 125th pitch was a 100 mph 4-seam fastball. That’s why you leave him in.

    by scotsw on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:45 pm

  87. Bases loaded, no outs –> No runs, three outs is quite possibly the best thing in baseball. Err…unless you’re rooting for the batting team.

    by Ron on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm

  88. Agree 100%.

    Besides, the Tigers needed to make a statement to quell White Sox momentum after what happened yesterday. It got scary, but it was the right move. That also could have just as easily been Rodney out there with bases loaded nobody out.

    by T Smith on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm

  89. Agreed…Rodney is shaky enough lately starting an inning with the bases empty.

    by Mike in CT on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:50 pm

  90. If he still has that velocity and stuff late in the games in September (and hopefully October), then I will happily eat my words. But I think you can safely entrust Dolsi, Perry, or whoever with a 4-run lead in the 9th inning.

    by Greg on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:50 pm

  91. The headline reads: “Tigers offense EXPLODES for five runs”.

    by Vince in MN on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:54 pm

  92. You really could not ask for more from your pitcher in the opening half of a double header. We have the entire bullpen available to us tonight. Nice, b/c we may need it.

    by Dave T. on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:54 pm

  93. He was definitely pumped up. And with his last outing still fresh in his mind….

    by Vince in MN on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:58 pm

  94. I think it will turn out Riccardi just wanted to know where he could get one of those cool stripey sweaters…

    by Coleman on Jul 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm

  95. Awesome win. Ol’ Smoky learned his lesson from Wednesday night and didn’t pull a starter who was cruising along. Thank you Jimmy for realizing that JV was simply dominating CHI from the fifth inning on. I also apreciate that Leyland did not panic and pull Verlander after the first two hitters singled off of him. Verlander is our best pitcher and Leyland’s faith in him was rewarded today.

    I am still steaming that the home plate ump did not ring up Wise on that 1-2 breaking pitch. That ump was brutal today. Gave Contraras a lot of latitude and squeezed JV quite a bit, with that 1-2 pitch to Wise being a great example. Anytime JV goes 9 innings and only rings up 4 K’s you’ve gotta believe that the home plate ump isn’t giving him any calls. By the way Hawk, he gone! Wise justifiably grounded out after not getting rung up, complete justice and glad to see that the fates did not reward Wise in that spot.

    The good thing for tonight is now that Dotel should be unavailable, and our bullpen is 100% fresh and ready to go. That’s good news as Leyland will probably need to lean heavily on that bullpen tonight. We’re going to need 5 runs or better to win tonight’s game IMO, so hopefully our semi-clutch hitting from this afternoon shows up again tonight.

    My 3 stars (hockey style) for this win:

    3rd Star: Adam Everett 2-4 with a SB and a clutch RBI knock.
    2nd Star: Placido Polanco with a 3-3 day plus a SAC fly (OMG … An actual SAC fly from a Tiger)
    1st Star: Justin Verlander of course with a CG with zero ER in a game his team had to win. That’s what aces do, and Verlander didn’t disappoint. He did what so many aces have done to us over the years, get stronger as the game went on. CHI had a lot of early chances versus Justin and didn’t cash in and then he just grew stronger as the game wore on. Huge props to Verlander for a clutch performance.

    by Jerry the Tiger Fan on Jul 24, 2009 at 4:26 pm

  96. With Laird and Everett we may have one of the best back-to-back bunting threats in the league.

    by Coleman on Jul 24, 2009 at 4:37 pm

  97. Yea. And with Miggy, we have the biggest “single w/ nobody on base” threats in the game today.

    by Sirk on Jul 24, 2009 at 5:41 pm

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