Detroit Tigers (69-49) at Chicago White Sox (46-72)
Time/Place: 2:10 p.m., U.S. Cellular Field
SB Nation blog: South Side Sox
Pitching Matchup: RHP Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.32 ERA) vs. LHP John Danks (2-9, 4.52 ERA)
Like Hector Santiago yesterday, Danks' second outing against the Tigers this year was much better than his first. He pitched seven innings while allowing three runs on six hits. All three runs came via solo home runs, and the Tigers failed to mount much of an offensive threat when the ball didn't leave the park. He also struck out six hitters while walking just one.
Danks wasn't quite so sharp in his last start, however, walking five Twins hitters in six innings of work. He struck out nine and only allowed four hits, but the sudden lack of command from the 28 year old lefty -- he has allowed at least four walks in two of his last three starts -- is a bit troubling. He gave up three runs in the outing, giving him a 3.32 ERA in his last three starts.
Porcello wasn't too sharp in his last start, lasting only five innings against a fairly listless Yankees offense in New York (though they did score 14 runs last night). He allowed three runs on six hits and two walks, and would have taken the loss if not for Miguel Cabrera's late game heroics. Porcello's numbers against the White Sox, however, have been a different story. He is 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA against them in three starts this year, and pitched seven scoreless innings at U.S. Cellular Field back in July.
Despite the command issues, it seems like Danks is getting stronger as the season goes on -- not surprising for a guy coming off shoulder surgery. He has allowed just 12 hits in his last three starts, four of which were home runs. Other than the long ball, opposing teams aren't mounting much of a threat against him. If the Tigers can't escape their recent offensive funk, it could be a long afternoon.
The Tigers lose because Tokarz says I need to be more negative.