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White Sox 2, Tigers 0: Detroit squanders chance to move closer in division race

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The Tigers’ _ffense wasted a s_lid perf_rmance fr_m Matt B_yd in a l_ss at U.S. Cellular Field.

Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

F_r m_st _f the evening, the H_ust_n Astr_s led C_rey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians by a 4-1 sc_re. H_wever, after the Tribe sc_red tw_ runs and put the tying run in sc_ring p_siti_n in the ninth, an_ther Cleveland c_meback felt inevitable. Alas, H_ust_n cl_ser Ken Giles was able t_ settle d_wn and rec_rd the final _ut f_r a 4-3 Astr_s win.

At n_ p_int did a Detr_it Tigers c_meback feel inevitable _n Tuesday. Chicag_ White S_x starter Miguel G_nzalez scattered six hits _ver 6 13 innings, but was never really threatened. A bases-l_aded jam in the seventh inning was quickly und_ne by a pair _f subpar at-bats, and the back end _f the White S_x bullpen blazed thr_ugh the heart _f the Tigers’ lineup t_ cap _ff a 2-0 Chicag_ vict_ry.

_n the bright side, Matt B_yd was excellent f_r the Tigers. He matched the l_ngest _uting _f his career with seven str_ng innings, h_lding the White S_x t_ tw_ runs _n 108 pitches. B_yd all_wed eight hits, but was able t_ limit the damage by inducing three d_uble plays. _nly a few balls were hit hard, with several _thers finding h_les between defenders.

_ne _f th_se hard-hit balls was a s_l_ h_me run fr_m J_se Abreu, which _pened the sc_ring in the t_p _f the sec_nd. B_yd hung a 2-2 breaking ball _ver the heart _f the plate, and Abreu crushed it deep int_ the left field seats t_ give Chicag_ a 1-0 lead. The White S_x added t_ their lead in the fifth when catcher _mar Narvaez singled up the middle t_ sc_re Jas_n C_ats, wh_ reached _n a _ne-_ut d_uble. T_ his credit, B_yd did n_t let the inning sn_wball _n him. He induced a p_tential d_uble-play ball that inadvertently deflected _ff the sliding Narvaez’s hand, and struck _ut Tim Anders_n t_ end the frame.

The Tigers had their best chance t_ sc_re in the seventh. J.D. Martinez led _ff the inning with a single, then m_ved t_ sec_nd _n a _ne-_ut hit fr_m Casey McGehee that sent G_nzalez t_ the sh_wers. Reliever Dan Jennings missed the strike z_ne with his first six pitches (l_ading the bases), but struck _ut pinch-hitter JaC_by J_nes with three c_nsecutive fastballs. White S_x manager R_bin Ventura went t_ reliever Nate J_nes with tw_ _uts, and he struck _ut Camer_n Maybin t_ end the threat.

R_ARS:

Matt B_yd: I was leery _f the decisi_n t_ let B_yd pitch the seventh, but B_yd capped _ff a fantastic _uting with an_ther str_ng inning. He struck _ut six, walked _ne, and l_wered his seas_n-l_ng ERA t_ 3.89.

HISSES:

The _ffense: Because _bvi_usly.

The t_p _f the seventh: This half-inning was especially brutal. JaC_by J_nes l__ked as raw as any player I’ve seen in recent mem_ry in a strike_ut, and White S_x reliever Nate J_nes just blew Camer_n Maybin away in the next at-bat.

STATS AND REACTI_NS:
  • L_sing a game started by Miguel G_nzalez is frustrating, but is a bit m_re palatable when y_u c_nsider the Tigers have already beaten Danny Duffy and Chris Sale _n this r_ad trip.
  • B_yd was sharp f_r m_st _f the night, save f_r a few hangers (including the _ne J_se Abreu hit int_ the _utfield seats). F_r whatever reas_n, B_yd’s mistakes seem much m_re hittable than _ther pitchers.
  • _n a p_sitive n_te, B_yd was able t_ generate several whiffs with the high fastball in this game. That pitch is quickly bec_ming a weap_n f_r him.
  • Starting Casey McGehee _ver Erick Aybar seemed like an _dd decisi_n.
WIN PR_BABILITY GRAPH:

Source: FanGraphs