The Chicago White Sox played one of their typical close games this Sunday afternoon. The Detroit Tigers took the lead early on and appeared to be cruising towards a 2-0 win. But the White Sox’s resiliency brought them to tie it up in the sixth inning and then pull ahead in the 8th. It was those two runs in the 8th inning that were key to the White Sox victory.
So how did the Sox go about getting these runs? Well, you have to give credit to White Sox management for the way they were able to put things together in the 8th inning by putting in AJ Pollock at a critical time.
The first run of the 8th came when Pollock, who was pinch-hitting for Gavin Sheets, came in and hit the first pitch that was thrown at him right on the ground and past the infield.
This allowed Luis Robert to score to make it 3 – 2 in favor of the Sox. The tie was broken and the Sox had their first lead of the game.
The second run of the 8th inning happened when Eloy Jimenez hit a line drive single which allowed Jose Abreu (who was at third) to score. This put the score at 4 – 2 and gave the Sox a much-needed insurance run.
The Chicago White Sox desperately needed to get something out of this series.
As it turns out, they wouldn’t need the insurance run but it didn’t hurt to have it. It still gave closer Liam Hendriks a little peace of mind at the mound knowing he had a little bit more of a lead.
That should have made him much more comfortable and he came through in the 9th by not allowing the Tigers to get back into the game.
The two-run lead is kind of a psychological boost for the defense knowing that they have just a little wiggle room to play with. Granted, don’t let a two-run lead fool you.
It can evaporate with one swing of the bat but it can also put the defense a little bit more at ease. Perhaps that’s what happened to the White Sox on this day. What they did in the 8th inning helped them out in the 9th.
Big plays can come from anyone anywhere and the White Sox have relied upon guys like Pollock and Jimenez to get big plays when they needed them. The Sox really needed them in the 8th inning to help them secure a much-needed win.