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White Sox 7, Tigers 4: Bullpen collapse in 8th ruins Detroit’s chance for series win

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Sanchez wasn’t great but he wasn’t awful, either.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Upton got the Tigers got on the board early and Anibal Sanchez kept the game close, but an eighth-inning collapse by the bullpen sunk the ship. What should’ve been a series win for Detroit ended up as a 7-4 loss to the White Sox, and not enough offensive effort yet again.

Sanchez, did not fall apart on Wednesday. As shaky as he looked at times, and for as many corners as he backed himself into, he only allowed three runs. That’s not to say he was sharp or even steady — he wasn’t, it was the defense that bailed him out time and time again.

And it was Justin Upton who put up some early run insurance for Detroit. The left fielder remained hotter than the sun, smoking a three-run home run in the second inning. That would be the only support Detroit would get until the seventh inning when Jose Iglesias knocked a ground-rule double to left for the then-go-ahead run.

Unfortunately that wouldn’t last when Shane Greene, Justin Wilson, and Mark Lowe imploded, allowing four runs in the eighth and destroying a one-run lead. It didn’t help that the Tigers’ offense was quiet for much of the game, either, but this one sits with the bullpen.

ROARS:

Justin Upton: More like Justin time. Had it not been for his home run, the Tigers would’ve remained off the board until the seventh. He also singled in the ninth.

Seventh inning: With two outs, James McCann worked a walk, Casey McGehee hit a six-pitch single, and Iglesias doubled for the go-ahead run (at the time).

Bruce Rondon and Alex Wilson: The duo gave Detroit a clean sixth and seventh inning, respectively. The former needed just seven pitches, and the latter, 13 to retire all six batters in order with a strikeout apiece.

HISSES:

Pointless rain delays: At least this happened.

Shane Greene: Hasn’t been pitching well. Failed to be serviceable again and gave up the tying and go-ahead runs for the White Sox.

Tigers bullpen in the eighth: It wasn’t pretty. They gave up four runs on five hits and a walk. The Tigers went from leading by one, to trailing by three. Comparing their efforts, it made Anibal Sanchez look like an ace, and the starter was not particularly sharp. The difference? He could at least escape jams and the bullpen couldn’t.

STATS AND INFO:
  • Shane Greene’s ERA ballooned to 13.85 since August 17. He had maintained a 2.89 ERA in the 29 games prior, dating back to June 4.
  • Justin Wilson had a 1.17 ERA in his last nine outings entering Wednesday’s game, but he gave up two inherited runners and one of his own in the eighth.
  • Because the Orioles lost their game today, the Tigers had a chance to enter their day off even with the Orioles for the second Wild Card spot. Both teams have Thursday off, but because Detroit lost, they’ll entire Friday’s series one game behind Baltimore and needing to make up more ground.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:

Source: FanGraphs