|Final - 9.1.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Chicago White Sox||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||6||0|
|WP: Max Scherzer (15 - 6)
LP: Francisco Liriano (5 - 11)
Behind 8 shutout innings from Max Scherzer, the Detroit Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox 5-1, taking the first 2 games of their AL Central showdown.
Scherzer was electric, striking out 9 while allowing only 4 hits, wining his team leading 15th game. The White Sox emptied their bullpen, using 8 pitchers. But it was starter Francisco Liriano who would be credited with the loss, pitching 4 innings, allowing 3 runs, 4 hits and 7 walks.
The Tigers' offense was led for the 2nd straight night by Delmon Young, who tripled and homered. Miguel Cabrera added 3 hits and 2 RBI, Austin Jackson chipped in 2 hits and 2 runs. Orlando Hudson accounted for the only White Sox run with a 9th inning RBI single.
The game started with the same old, same old. Scherzer struck out 2 of 3 White Sox in an uneventful top of the 1st, and the Tigers threatened, but did not score, in the bottom of the inning.
Brennan Boesch drew a 1 out walk off Liriano, Prince Fielder worked a 2 out base on balls. But Young popped out to short right, ending the threat. It was only delaying the inevitable, as Liriano would be handing out walks like Halloween candy.
The Tigers got on the board first, and with a crooked number at that, with help from a wild Liriano. Austin Jackson led off with a walk, the 4th allowed by Liriano. Boesch finally made Liriano pay for the free passes, drilling a stand up triple into power alley in right, Jackson scoring easily. Cabrera, gimpy ankle and all, singled Boesch home. Fielder walked, the 4th consecutive Tiger to reach base. Young moved the runners over with a swinging bunt, the 1st out of the inning.
With Liriano on the ropes, the White Sox elected to intentionally walk the right hand hitting Jhonny Peralta, loading the bases, preferring to pitch to the lefty swinging Avila. Seems manager Robin Ventura knew what he was doing. Liriano made Avila look silly, striking him out on 3 pitches out of the zone. Garcia did the same, ending the threat with the Tigers leading 2-0. A disappointing 2-0 lead, considering...
The Tigers had a chance to add to their lead in the 4th, as Liriano kept putting Tigers on the bases. Jackson singled with 1 out, Cabrera walked, the 7th (!) given up by Liriano. But Fielder grounded out to end the inning. Once again, Liriano skirted disaster, the Tigers having 13 LOB through 4 innings.
The White Sox put a runner in scoring position with 1 out in the top of the 5th, Dayan Viciedo doubling off the base of the wall in right, only the 2nd hit of the night. Scherzer just shrugged it off. Viciedo was still standing on 2nd at the end of the inning, after an Alexei Ramirez fly out and Gordon Beckham K.
Liriano lasted 100 pitches, exactly. Young knocked Liriano out of the game in the 5th, missing a home run by inches, settling for a lead off triple.
Leyland asked for video review This is what the umps saw. No home run for Young.
With a runner on 3rd and no outs, Ventura went into LaRussa pitcher juggling overdrive. His first call to the bullpen brought on Brian Omogrosso to face Peralta. With the infield in, Peralta grounded out. Job done for Omogrosso. Ventura wnet back to his pen, calling on Leyson Septimo (Gesundheit!). The move worked, Avila weakly grounded out to the drawn in infield.
But Ventura's over-managing led to one pitching change too many. He pulled Septimo, asking Nate Jones to face the rookie, Garcia. There would be no squandering with Garcia at the plate. He drilled a line single to right, his first major league hit and RBI would give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
The White Sox had another min-threat in the 6th, the pesky Wise reaching 2nd on a single and stolen base. No problem for Scherzer, setting down the next 3 ChiSox, which happened to be the meat of the order - Kevin Youkilis, A.J. Pierzynski and Konerko.
Young just missed going yard in the 5th. He didn't miss in the 7th, putting the Tigers up 4-0. The smoking hot Young faced Jesse Crain, the 6th White Sox pitcher of the evening. Crain's first pitch was a fastball which Young quickly deposited into the bullpen for his 16th home run of the season.
Ventura kept going to the pen, the Tigers kept tacking on runs.
In the bottom of the 8th. Jackson tripled off the 7trh White Sox arm of the night, Addison Reed. Cabrera would end Reed's night by poking an RBI single to right, putting the Tigers up 5-0. Turns out 8 pitchers was the charm, as Deunte Heath ended the night White Sox relief pitchers took over Comerica on a Fielder double play.
Scherzer's night was over after 8 shutout innings. Jose Valverde entered the game in the 9th...a non-save situation. It was a normal Big Potato performance. He allowed a pair of extra base hits, and a meaningless 2 out run. But Papa Grande settled down, getting Viciedo to pop up for the final out.
Cue Potato dancing!
The Tigers are now just 1 game out of 1st place.
- The Tigers are 71-61, 1 game back of the White Sox in the AL Central, 2 back of the Orioles for the 2nd wild card.
- Jim Leyland on Max Scherzer: "He's pitching pretty darn good." YA THINK?
- When asked about taking the first 2 games of the series and the fan reaction, Leyland talked about his management style: "The yelling and screaming doesn't work any more. When I was a real young manager, it might have worked, but not anymore." This is why Leyland is such a good manager. Yelling and screaming is high school stuff.
- Leyland on Avisail Garcia: "At some point he's gong to play in Detroit for a long time."
- Scherzer snatched the MLB lead in strike outs from teammate Justin Verlander when he struck out Konerko in the 4th. He became the first over 200 K in MLB this season by striking out Beckham in the 5th.
- FSD stat of the game: Scherzer became the first Tiger other than Verlander with a 200 K season since Jeremy Bonderman in 2006.
- Scherzer has been Verlander's equal (if a lot luckier in the W/L department) in the 2nd half. I'm not sure if Scherzer is an ace, but he's sure pitching like one.
- Garcia made his major league debut as a defensive replacement last night. The very large (6'4", 240) rookie got his first start as a big leaguer tonight, batting 8th and playing right. His first plate appearance was an impressive one, a 10 pitch battle with Liriano resulting in a 2nd inning walk. Unfortunately, Garcia's first OFFICIAL at bat was a 3 pitch K with the bases loaded in the 3rd.
- Rod Allen sounded stunned when he said the slugging Prince Fielder hit .370 for the month of August. Yeah, one of these days Fielder will start hitting...
- In last night's recap, I said Andy Dirks should not come out of the lineup. So of course Leyland benched Dirks, inserting Brennan Boesch. Guess who got the last laugh. Boesch drove in the 1sr Tigers run with a line shot 3 bagger, and reached base twice.
- Even on 1 leg, Cabrera can do the impossible...like get an infield hit. Of course, it was a one hop smash which knocked Ramirez off his feet at short.
- Delmon Young's salary drive has kicked in. He's hitting .444 with 8 extra base hits and 8 RBI in his past 7 games.
- The White Sox used 8 pitchers. I wanted to watch baseball...instead a National League game broke out.
- I thought it was "Kids run the field night" at Comerica. Turns out it was "Everybody gets to pitch for the White Sox night" instead.
- You know things are going right when A.J. Pierzynski gets ticked off at Potato's antics on the mound. Papa Grande was a little too celebratory in Pierzynski's mind after he struck out in the 9th.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Raburn activated from DL. Holaday, Marte & Worth recalled from Toledo. Kelly purchased from Toledo.— Brian Britten (@BBritten_Tigers) September 1, 2012
SCREEN CAPS OF THE GAME:
When is a punch out not a punch out? When it's strike 2. Home plate ump Fieldin Culbreth forgot the count, giving Fielder the strike 3 call on strike 2. Whoops.
Who was the happiest person at Comerica Park when went Young went yard in the 7th? Avisail Garcia, that's who!
Max Scherzer: In the most important series of the season (to this point), Scherzer was nothing less than spectacular, pitching his best game of the year. His ERA is back under 4, at 3.93. Too high for Cy Young contention...but the season isn't over, and Scherzer does have 6 starts left and a real shot at 20 wins.
Delmon Young: 2-4 with an RBI tonight, 4-7 and 4 RBI on the series. Young is getting hot at the right time, just as he did in 2011.
Miguel Cabrera: 3 hits, 2 RBI. Just another ho hum game for the Tigers' MVP candidate. Damn, he's good at baseball.
Avisail Garcia: A night of firsts for the rookie. Garcia had his first big league start, walk, strikeout, base hit and RBI. The hit was of the 2 out variety, giving the Tigers an important insurance run.
Alex Avila: 0-3 with 4 LOB. He's 0-7 with 10 LOB for the series. Avila looks like he needs a game off.
Omar Infante: 0-4.
Jhonny Peralta: 0-3.
GAME 131 PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Delmon Young's 8th inning, bases clearing. game winning double made the Tigers' DH a runaway PotG selection.