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8 games back and fading fast: Tigers fall meekly to the White Sox, 4-1

Final - 8.4.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago White Sox 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 4 9 2
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 10 1
WP: Edwin Jackson (1 - 0)
SV: Bobby Jenks (23)
LP: Armando Galarraga (3 - 4)

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Even the very successful return of Brandon Inge (3 hits and an RBI) couldn't stop the Tigers' slow motion death spiral into irrelevancy.

The Tigers are in need of victories, preferably in bunches. To have even a remote hope of staying in the Central division race, they desperately wanted a series win (more realistically, a sweep) over the White Sox.

It's not happening.

Tonight, the White Sox rode home runs by Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko, and seven solid innings from former Tiger Edwin Jackson, to a fairly ho-hum 4-1 win over Armando Galarraga.

The Tigers had only one serious threat, a one run rally (can you call one run a "rally?") in the 8th. It could have, should have, would have been much more, as the Tigers had runners on 2nd and 3rd and only one out after an Inge RBI single and a throwing error. But a couple of Tigers who wouldn't normally be in the lineup, but thanks to the numerous injuries, are seeing far too much playing time, Ryan Raburn and Jeff Frazier, were easy outs. Far too easy, as Raburn popped up the first pitch, and Frazier struck out swinging.

Rally and game over. The season is as well, unless the baseball Gods bless the Tigers with some sort of miracle, Major League, Angels in the Outfield, Rookie of the Year style turnaround.

With the loss, the Tigers have fallen to eight games out and are on the verge of finding themselves closer in the standings to the 4th place Royals than the 1st place White Sox. With the glorified Triple A lineups Jim Leyland is forced to play every night, even treading water during this daunting stretch of schedule against above .500 teams is too much to ask.

It's amazing to think the Tigers were in 1st place on July 10th, 11 games over .500 at 48-37 after winning five in a row, and seven of eight.

Now, the Tigers are shorthanded and injury riddled, a game under .500 thanks to an awful 5-16 record since the All-Star break, wasting a career season from Miguel Cabrera, the pennant race quickly becoming a rumor, and on the verge of making roster moves aimed at preparing for 2011.

Baseball sure is a funny game.