Game 2014.18: White Sox 6, Tigers 4

YOU SAID IT

Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi April 23, 2014 at 6:46 pm

I think he meant “Julio.”

Andre Rienzo vs. Drew Smyly in the penultimate game of the series. May the real Drew Smyly please stand up. No more talk about “rust,” now.  May the sweet swings of Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila continue, so that we can move to worrying about/picking on someone else for a change. May the bullpen not be plagued with sudden and retroactive elbow inflammations like they were last night.

Interesting times, interesting opportunities for new additions J.D. Martinez, Danny Worth, and – it now appears – Justin Miller. Andrew Romine is suddenly getting on base and making a difference when he does, and his defense at SS, well… do you suppose it could get to the point where the Tigers have to make a decision down the road? You know what I’m taking about. That’s optimistic at this point, but Worth mentioning. (Although it’s not Worth I’m alluding to.) I might have to get over my dislike of Rajai Davis’s approach at the plate. He’s getting on base somehow, and when he does, watch out, cause it’s a whole new ballgame that we Tigers fans must still have a hard time quite believing. And Nick Castellanos, man, is that guy gonna be good. He’s already good.

These White Sox series are killers, especially weekday ones. I’m blacked out of (live) Sox games on mlb.tv, can’t watch live (but love listening), and there’s just no time to watch the game after the game and also write on a deadline. Be my eyes. Tell me what you’ve seen this series, and what you’re seeing.

POSTGAME: You could say that Drew Smyly and Andre Rienzo pitched to a draw. The Tigers got a lot of bang for very little buck against Rienzo, as they continue to struggle against right-handed starters. They haven’t really put the hurt on one yet, have they? Smyly had another long 1st inning and overall couldn’t be called unhittable, was indeed often hit hard, but he settled down and started to rack up the Ks. Say what you will about pitch count – I say it was a mistake to lift him after 6. You can’t trust this bullpen with a 2-run lead for 3 full innings. You just can’t.

Nascent Tiger killer Jose Abreu hit another one out to CF, but the real question is how you can let negative-BA Paul Konerko go 3 for 4. The Tigers offense only had two lively innings, but we can take heart in how fast they can go from 0 to 60. It seemed to take about 10 seconds for 4 runs and the lead in the 4th, with a nicely set up 2-run single from J.D. Martinez (first RsBI as a Tiger) and a first-pitch two-run HR for Austin Jackson. However, the White Sox also have an offense capable of quick explosion, and explode they would.

The game turned on Evan Reed’s walk to Tyler Flowers to load the bases in the 7th. Missing with four straight fastballs – to Flowers – sorry, folks, that puts Phil Coke last night to shame. Ian Krol would have been better served risking the walk to Marcus Semien. Instead, he served up the grand slam. I was deflated, but didn’t feel like it was over. Justin Miller ended the parade of bullpen failure over the last two games with quiet effectiveness (and maybe a bit of help from the Sox and the home plate ump), and now the bottom of the 9th could mean something.

And it did. The Tigers didn’t even score, let alone win, but how close they came made it all worthwhile. Clutch hitting, smart baserunning, and outs that were hit hard, including J.D.’s home run bid to CF. Also worth remembering, amidst the gnashing of teeth over the bullpen, are the fine plays over the first 3 innings to erase baserunners, two involving Smyly and one a very athletic CS at third courtesy of Alex “The Bat” Avila.  Gotta call it a good game.

26 Comments

  1. jud

    April 23, 2014 at 3:10 am

    To truely show how ineffective Coke has been in 2013 and 2014 he only has 5 holds and 0 saves that means on the 40+ games he has pitched in he has only been effective enough to get a hold, not a save 5 times..that is unbelievably ineffective. 5 times!!!!

  2. Vince in MN

    April 23, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Danny Who?

  3. Vince in MN

    April 23, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I have been lobbying to use Phil Coke only in blowout situations in order to minimize the need to use actual relief pitchers in non-critical situations. One would have thought that last night, with a 6-run lead, was the perfect opportunity in this role. However, his inability to get 3 outs even in these kind of low pressure situations makes him a dubious choice for this minimal role. After a quick glance at the stats for relief pitchers down on the farms it appears that at present there is little help forthcoming from there. Therefore Coke probably stays put for a while, and consequently Ausmus will be tempted to use him from time to time, so some unwanted excitements are likely still in store.

  4. Angus

    April 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    I hope Romine starts to produce as we gave up Jose Alvarez to get him. If we had Alvarez I think Coke would be gone by now. We will continue to monitor this one.

  5. jud

    April 23, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Romine starts to produce?????? What more do you want him to do?… .268 BA..on base over 50% of his AB last ten games…he causes havoc on the bases…he is playing excellent D…..I would aay he is producing just Fine!!!..he has no rbi chances with Avila makibg the third out in front of him.. but if Ingleses was available today could you sit Romine the way he is playing right now?

    • Vince in MN

      April 23, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      He is responding well to the pressure of Danny Who breathing down his neck. It may only be temporary, but Ausmus should stick with the hot hand. Maybe Romine will make forget all about Jesus Iglesias ;)

      • Jim EggersUSMC

        April 23, 2014 at 2:49 pm

        Jesus Who??

        • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

          April 23, 2014 at 6:46 pm

          I think he meant “Julio.”

  6. StorminNorman$

    April 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Tonight’s Tigers lineup

    1. 2B Ian Kinsler
    2. RF Don Kelly
    3. 1B Miguel Cabrera
    4. DH Victor Martinez
    5. LF J.D. Martinez
    6. CF Austin Jackson
    7. 3B Nick Castellanos
    8. C Alex Avila
    9. SS Andrew Romine
    Smyly pitching

  7. Coleman

    April 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Oh, it’s THAT Smyly tonight.

    • Vince in MN

      April 23, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      Another opportunity looms for Coke tonight perhaps.

      • Coleman

        April 23, 2014 at 7:54 pm

        Maybe Coke should try pine-tar-neck.

        • Vince in MN

          April 23, 2014 at 8:39 pm

          He’d need a black glove. Are they still legl?

  8. TIGERS RULE

    April 23, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Clean-up in aisle/inning ….? Not a pretty 1st inning ….. how many pitches & runs.

  9. TIGERS RULE

    April 23, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Hope the bats are not back in hibernation mode, because it looks like we will need a boat full of runs tonight.

    • Vince in MN

      April 23, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      With this bullpen we will need a boat full of runs every night. Good luck with that.

      • Coleman

        April 23, 2014 at 10:31 pm

        They are certainly not Pen-Ultimate.

        • Smoking Loon

          April 24, 2014 at 12:06 am

          Ah, you entered late. Honorable mention.

          I made it happen with my poor choice of words. I apologize. Penultimate is hereby banned from my game posts.

  10. Angus

    April 23, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    AA come back from a 1-2 count. Who is this masked catcher?

  11. Vince in MN

    April 23, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    This lineup, with some slight variations from time to time, might be able to score some runs. Especially the 3-6 config seems dangerous. I wouldn’t mind seeing Hunter sit more than he has been, and Jackson batting 6th strikes my gut as better than 5th. Maybe some kind of judicious rotation of 2 of 3 playing LF/RF between Hunter, J-Mart and Davis.

  12. Vince in MN

    April 23, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    At 93 pitches after 6 IP I am assuming Smyly is done for the evening. A nice job since the first inning. I think he will be OK once he gets comfy with this starting thing.

  13. Vince in MN

    April 23, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Captain Hook.

  14. Vince in MN

    April 23, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Sad.

  15. jud

    April 23, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    Sad 2

  16. jud

    April 23, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    I guess my expectations of Miggy and Avila hitting two days in a row were a bit too much to expect..

    • Smoking Loon

      April 24, 2014 at 12:07 am

      They weren’t bad. We’re way ahead of where we were only a few days ago.