|Final - 5.5.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Chicago White Sox||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||2||3||6||1|
|WP: Nate Jones (1 - 0)
SV: Addison Reed (1)
LP: Jose Valverde (2 - 1)
The Chicago White Sox countered the Detroit Tigers final at bat victory on Friday night with one of their own on Saturday afternoon, winning in come from behind fashion, 3-2. Adam Dunn's 9th inning 2 run home run off of Tigers closer Jose Valverde being the difference in the game. The Tigers fall back to .500, 2 games back of the Cleveland Indians with a 13-13 record. The White Sox are right on the Tigers' tail at 13-14, 2 1/2 back of the Tribe.
Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer and his White Sox counterpart, Gavin Floyd, were both lights out, but neither were around to get a decision.
Say what you will about Scherzer (easily his best start of the season, a hugely encouraging performance) or Valverde (expletive deleted), there was one overriding reason why the Tigers lost. Their inconsistent, struggling offense. Leaving 17 runners on base was the story of the game, though admittedly, Floyd did play a part in it. The Tigers had their chances, but did little with them. If the offense does what they are supposed to do, Valverde has more than a 1 run cushion.
"That’s been the story. We just didn’t do a whole lot. We spaced out a few hits, but we certainly didn’t do a whole lot with them. We gotta score more runs. We’re a team that’s supposed to score runs. We need to bust out and score some runs. "
I think Leyland was trying to say the Tigers' offense needs to score runs.
For the nuts and bolts recap:
Will the Tigers' scuffling, inconsistent offense ever turn around? I think they will. I want to believe they will. Track records say they will. The first week of May far too early to get overly up in arms about it. If we're having the same discussion at the All-Star break, feel free to panic all you want. Until then, let the season play out.
If the track records are to be believed, the following will happen. Miguel Cabrera is going to be Miguel Cabrera, his 0-4 day regardless. Same for Alex Avila. Prince Fielder isn't going to go another 3+ weeks between home runs, he'll mash them in bunches. Jhonny Peralta, Brennan Boesch and Ryan Raburn are going to get white, smoking hot at some point, and carry the team for good stretches. Austin Jackson will continue to improve at the plate, though we'll have to live with the strike outs. And G$, Gerald Laird, isn't going to have the highest batting average on the team, unlike he does at the moment.
I know I keep saying it, but it needs to be repeated. The offensive talent is there. This too shall pass.
If there was one huge silver lining to the loss, it's was Scherzer. If he's figured things out, and today's game makes the case he has, the Tigers rotation is going to receive a massive boost between a resurgent Scherzer and the pending return of Doug Fister. Thinking of that might improve your mood, huh?
Tomorrow is the rubber game of the gut punch series, the Tigers sending Rick Porcello (2-2, 5.64 ERA) to the mound, taking on the White Sox's Dylan Axelrod (0-0, 2.70 ERA). Between you, me and some guy over at Mlive ranting Dumbrowski needs to fire Leyland and DFA everybody, I'll be more than happy if the Tigers can take 2 of 3 from the White Sox.
Max Scherzer: It was reported during the week Scherzer spotted a flaw in his delivery while watching video from 2010. I think we can consider the flaw fixed, as he was great today. 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 9 K.
Andy Dirks: It's a small sample size at the start of a long season, but all Dirks does when he gets a start is produce at the plate and play flawless outfield defense. 2-4, 2B, RBI.
Austin Jackson: Despite striking out to end the game, Jackson had a solid day at lead off (and no one else really stood out). 2-5, RBI.
Jose Valverde: As Kurt likes to say on the BYB Podcast, relievers are fungible. I like to say on the podcast relievers are mercurial. The Valverde of 2012 is making us both look smart. 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, BS, 6.12 ERA.
Brennan Boesch: With his increasing impatience at the plate, Boesch is becoming a a very poor man's Vlad Guerrero, but just he bad parts. He swings at EVERYTHING. Brennan, please...CALM DOWN. 0-4, 5 LOB.
Delmon Young: Was the DH today, did nothing in his first start since the "incident." 0-4, 2 LOB.
GAME 25 PLAYER OF THE GAME
In a 3 way tussle between Jhonny Peralta, Alex Avila and Drew Smyly, Peralta prevailed with 46% of the BYB vote.