Another installment of the Friday night pitching duel series is in the books. The first couple innings rolled along as expected, with Justin Verlander and Jake Peavy both taking care of business. The third inning proved rocky for each pitcher, but the Tigers were able to get the upper hand in the inning, which would be enough for the upper hand in the game.
White Sox (50-43): 2
Tigers (50-44): 4
The Sox first tallies were not of the stressful variety as far as Verlander was concerned. Alexei Ramirez lead off the inning with a single and a mistake pitch to Alejandro De Aza left the ball yard. Peavy’s runs allowed were a bit more taxing as he threw over 30 pitches in the inning. A couple of base hits allowed had a chance to be pitched over without any real damage when he came in too tight on Quintin Berry, putting him on first with the HBP to face Miguel Cabrera. What followed was a single for Cabrera, a single for Fielder and a double for Delmon Young. A 2-0 lead turned to a 3-2 deficit just like that.
Peavy, save for one more hiccup of a inning, yielding another run. Verlander, unfortunately was Verlander the rest of the way. He went 8 innings without allowing another run and the Central lead is officially in shaky territory at .5 games.
Plus: Alejandro De Aza was the lone bright spot in the lineup. Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez managed a hit each, but De Aza tallied the Sox only runs with 6th homerun of the year, the first of 2 hits for the centerfielder.
Minus: Everybody else. Runs are at a serious premium right now and one more day of it means a break from first place. It’s perfectly natural for hitters to struggle against Verlander, but White Sox hitters haven’t been managing many runs against any pitchers of late.
Player of the Game
Alejandro De Aza – .246 Win Expectancy added