After snapping their 7 game losing steak yesterday in Tampa Bay, things were looking up for the White Sox. That was until they ran in to a buzz saw named Justin Verlander. The Detroit Tiger Right Header dominated 7 of the 9 Chicago hitters as Detroit beat the Sox 9-3, but Verlander was the story
The first 11 White Sox went down without a whimper. Strike outs, ground outs and fly outs a plenty for the Sox. That ended in the bottom of the 4th when Carlos Quentin smoked a fastball in to the left field seats. I remember saying that the Sox will only contend if Quentin resembles the hitter he was 2 years ago. He does, but I expected the rest of the lineup to at least come close to what they usually do. Right now, most of them resemble a bad version of themselves.
7th inning, Verlander tried to sneak another fastball past Quentin, instead he made a fan very happy, as Q deposited his 2nd home run in to the left field seats. Paul Konerko was next up, and he hit a ball that was headed for foul territory in left, but, aided by the cold wind, came back on the field of play and hit the foul pole. Back to back for the Sox, and yes, that was the only offense of the night.
I hate to talk negative about the guys, because I like them and want them to succeed, but the facts are the facts. Dunn, Rios, Pierzynski, Beckham & Morel, or the Bottom 5 of tonights game are hitting a combined 215, with 4 hr & 36 RBI. I can’t believe it is that low. This is a team of veteran major league hitters. Dunn hitting .163, and Rios batting .167 is shocking as the season moves past the 20 game mark. There will be a lot of pitchers that are gonna pay later on—I hope.
Mark Buehrle’s stuff is usually the same, the Tigers just got to him tonight. Buehrle pitched just over 5 innings, giving up 8 hits and 6 runs. The opposite field home run he allowed to Ryan Raburn just kept carrying until it left the park.. You knew the wind got it, because Quentin ran after it like he felt he was gonna make the catch. Buehrle’s ERA is now at 5.60, but I bet it’ll be 3.90 by the end of the season.
Tony Pena is still having trouble. He came in to stop the bleeding in the 6th, and preceded to give up Buehrle’s 6th run of the night. The Tigers proved to be equal opportunists, scoring 3 off the struggling right hander before things were done. Penas ERA is now at 7.71, another stat that surprises the heck out of me.
You might think I am taking it easy on these guys, and maybe I am, a little bit. But I spent almost 50 straight days with these guys, and everything looked great as spring ended. I’d love to say that this is a team of bad, lazy guys, but there isn’t one in the bunch.
While the Sox were struggling, one of their former stars got out of the pouring rain, and started pouring oil in the garage. I’m talking about Ron Kittle. You remember, the 1983 All-Star and American League Rookie of the Year for the Sox. Anyhow, Kittle made his way to the Mobil One Lube Express in Hickory Hills today, as part of Mobil Super Change Up Day. And like he did when he was a valuable member of the Sox, Kittle got his hands dirty, helping a few lucky customers pour some oil. Take it from me, get your oil changed! I blew my engine when I was a kid, because I forgot to do just that. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a star like Kittle around to remind me. I’m sure it was a fun day for all, especially getting to meet a guy who wore the Sox jersey with class and dignity, like Kittle.
Maybe Kittle can oil up the Sox bats tomorrow, because they need it.