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Bullpen falters again: White Sox 5, Tigers 4

Final - 9.6.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R
Chicago White Sox 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 5
Detroit Tigers 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4

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Again, the Tigers' bullpen just couldn't get the job done. As good as it was in the first half of the season, it has been ugly in the second. Unfortunately I can't find the splits by half, but I can provide this handy-dandy guide by month. Remember, this doesn't tell all the story. When a reliever allows a starter's run to score, it doesn't count against him.

  • April: 2.23 ERA, 84 innings
  • May: 3.62 ERA, 74.2 innings
  • June: 4.44 ERA, 71 innings
  • July: 4.54 ERA, 79.1 innings
  • August: 5.65 ERA, 78 innings

Jose Valverde is probably the best example for what happened to the bullpen. After pitching near perfect for the entire first half -- 0.92 ERA -- he has totally fallen apart in the second half (7.20 ERA heading into today's loss). He's issued nearly as many walks in the second half of the season as he did in the first, while pitching in half as many innings. He's even allowed more hits.

Today: Starter Max Scherzer goes 7 1/3 innings. He allows three runs in and exists the game after allowing a single. He is in line to get the win. Phil Coke does his job, gets the out. So there's two down. Ah, Ryan Perry. The Sox steal a base. The Sox get a hit. Blown save. Tie game.

How about Valverde in the 10th? Three singles and a hit-by-pitch to give up the lead, with only a double play saving him from worse. But Chicago had the go-ahead run it needed, and its bullpen made easy work of the Tigers' top of the order to hold on for the win.

What's wrong with the Big Potato? Maybe the innings load in the first half caught up to him. Maybe he lost feel for his splitter all on his own. Whatever the reason, he's not right and neither is the Tigers' pen.

Back to today's gamethread storyline: Edwin Jackson vs. Scherzer. We're going need to go into overtime on this one.

Here's the lines:

  • 7.1 innings, 9 hits, 4 runs, 6 strikeouts

I didn't use any names on that because it was identical. However, Jackson walked one fewer batter (2-1), so I guess he gets the narrow victory in that battle, just like the White Sox again came out on the right side of a close game with Detroit.

Other stuff:

  • Ryan Raburn wishes August would never end. (Fangraphs)
  • Tigers fans probably wish Ryan Raburn would never field. His 10th inning boot allowed the winning run to get to second base.
  • Don Kelly homered and had two hits. He also had a couple of nice plays in the outfield.
  • The bottom four spots in the Tigers' batting order went 2-for-16.
  • Austin Jackson had a hit and scored a run in the first inning. He became the seventh player since 1960 to collect at least 90 runs scored, 160 hits, 30 doubles and 20 stolen bases in his rookie season. He would join Hanley Ramirez (2006), Ichiro Suzuki (2001), Nomar Garciaparra (1997), Devon White (1987), Juan Samuel (1984) and Ryne Sandberg (1982)." (source: Tigers game notes)
  • Scott Sizemore is officially being recalled on Tuesday.