ESPN probably wept tears of joy when it became clear that the headliners for the White Sox at Tigers Sunday Night Baseball matchup would be Chris Sale and Justin Verlander. It started out as the duel they were looking for, but as it turned out, only one side was able to hold up their end of the bargain.
White Sox (72-61): 2
Tigers (72-61): 4
The White Sox got themselves on the board right away. Alejandro De Aza, fresh from the disabled list lead the contest off with a homerun off of Verlander. It’s a good thing too, because Verlander got stingy after that. Gaining strength with each kind word from the ESPN broadcast crew, Verlander went to work on the Sox lineup, allowing just a pair more hits and kept the White Sox score right where De Aza put it.
Sale moved throughout the Tigers lineup without great difficulty for the first few, having allowed just one hit through 4 innings. In the 5th, the Tigers put a run up of their own, in the same fashion that the Sox had achieved theirs. Brennan Bosch took one to center field and the duel was knotted back up at 1. An inning later Sale got himself into even more trouble. After Omar Infante reached on a single, Miguel Cabrera earned himself a walk. Sale then managed to strike out Prince Fielder, but Delmon Young proved to be an issue. A 1-2 pitch found its way over the fence and the Tigers were in control. Verlander finished his night after 8 innings, having struck out 11 White Sox, allowing one run on four hits. Dominant.
The White Sox did put a a little ache in the collective Detroit stomach against closer Jose Valverde in the 9th. A.J. Pierzynski started the threat with a 2 out base hit. What followed was a pair of singles from Alexei Ramirez and pinch hitter Dan Johnson. With one run having scored, in stepped…Orlando Hudson. He hit a ball well, but it wasn’t much of a challenge for Austin Jackson to haul it down. /Valverde dances.
Plus: It all seemed to be starting out so well, but not much good came out of this one. Sweep complete and now it’s a one month race to the finish with no head starts. No, not much good came out of this one.
Minus: Justin Verlander is Justin Verlander and the Sox are not special in that regard. They cannot transcend the greatness of Verlander. They cannot beat him up, they cannot wear him down. They are not the Kansas City Royals. JV is a stud and he outpitched the White Sox stud. It’s unfortunate.
Player of the Game:
Dan Johnson – .045 WPA