Chicago White Sox (50-43) at Detroit Tigers (50-44)
Time/Place: 4:00 p.m., Comerica Park
SB Nation Blog: South Side Sox
Pitching Matchup: Chris Sale (11-2, 2.11 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (6-5, 4.66 ERA)
Sale's start against the Tigers in April -- when he allowed 3 runs on 5 hits in 5 innings of work -- was arguably one of his worst outings this season. Other than a 5 2/3 IP, 5 ER no decision against the Los Angeles Dodgers in June, Sale hasn't allowed more than 3 runs in an outing this year. Since then, he has pitched 31 1/3 innings in just four starts and allowed four runs. Simply put: he's tearing it up this season. Will it continue? Maybe. His walk rate and HR/FB rate are both extremely low, especially for someone who regularly pitches at the bandbox known as U.S. Cellular Field.
Porcello's first two outings in July have not been pretty, but the offense has picked him up both times. The Tigers have scored 15 runs in his two starts this month. Against the White Sox this year, Porcello has been fantastic. He is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA against them in 14 innings of work. He has beaten Sale already once this year, picking up a 5-2 victory on April 15th that prevented a series sweep in Chicago.
While it would be nice to see both of the trends in the paragraph above continue, I'm not sure that this will happen. Chicago's offense has picked up since Porcello last saw them, and Sale has been lights out for the last couple months. The extra day off hasn't messed with his rhythm so far this season, so I don't see why it would today. The Tigers will need to pick up some late runs against the White Sox' struggling bullpen to pick up a 'W' today.
Sale pitches 7 strong, but the Tigers walk it off in the 9th. Sadly, FOX's national broadcast deprives us of 90 seconds of silence from Hawk Harrelson immediately following the game-winning play.