Would you like to take a walk with Francisco Liriano? If you are a member of the Detroit Tigers, you most likely answered yes to this question, and Francisco most likely obliged. In what could politely be called a rough outing for Liriano, he walked 7 Detroit hitters in just 4 innings. With an offense that never did figure out Max Scherzer, the Sox didn’t seem to have much hope through this one.
White Sox (72-60): 1
Tigers (71-61): 5
Liriano’s rough outing could have been a straight disaster, but Detroit failed to capitalize on the free baserunners early. Instead Liriano was only tagged for 3 runs and theoretically the White Sox should have been right there in the game. Four hits aren’t going to go a long way when the pitcher is throwing strikes,though. Scherzer was a complete mirror image of Liriano, walking only one batter in eight innings pitched and struck out nine.
A point of frustration with many Sox fans was the unwillingness to test the hobbled legs of Miguel Cabrera at third with a couple of bunt attempts. It would have been wise to make the big man work whether healthy or not. While looking a bit slower than usual, which is saying something, it would have made plenty of sense to push the issue and try to bunt for a few base hits to the left side of the diamond. Especially when at-bats against Scherzer were ranging from flailing to helpless.
Plus: A run was scored! It seemed odd for Orlando Hudson to have been brought in to pinch run for Dan Johnson, but when that spot came up in the 9th, with Paul Konerko on base, Hudson smacked a triple to plate Paulie and put the Sox on the board. One run.
Minus: The approach. As much as gripe about sacrificing bunting, it should be noted that there is a distinct difference between sacrifice bunts and bunting for hits. All night that option was wide open, and all night it was not taken. In a game that was lost by 5 runs, we may only be looking at what could have been sparks toward a larger offensive possibility. But it would have been nice to see some effort in that direction.
Player of the Game:
DeWayne Wise – .099 WPA