While most of the Bless You Boys staff were spending their Independence Day discussing the finer points of White Claw (not an ad, please drink responsibly), our Canadian staffer will take you through the finer points of today’s Tigers/White Sox series conclusion.
First let’s talk about Matthew Boyd, who had an excellent — if somewhat uneven at the end — outing for the day. He pitched 5.1 innings, and gave up four earned runs on nine hits (don’t worry, the dominant part is coming) — but walked no hitters and struck out 13.
The runs he did give up were both on home runs, and both with James McCann on base. The first game in the fourth inning to Jose Rondon, and the second came in the sixth to Eloy Jimenez.
Under different circumstances, those four runs might have been enough to tank the day, but the Tigers were no slouches at the plate.
They struck first, with an RBI single from Nicholas Castellanos to score Victor Reyes. Then a John Hicks single in the fifth scored both Harold Castro and Niko Goodrum. Things really heated up in the sixth inning with a ground rule double to Christin Stewart that scored Miguel Cabrera. Then Castro doubled to score Stewart. For good measure, Goodrum hit a home run, and Reyes singled to score Jordy Mercer. The score now 8-2 for the Tigers.
But of course, I spoiled the surprise early, because we know that in the sixth Jimenez scored two for the Sox.
In the seventh, Miguel Cabrera, whose power has notably been absent this season, hit a 453 foot home run. This game is weird and I like it.
The story for White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez is interesting, because he pitched almost the exact same as Matthew Boyd by the numbers, with one major difference. He also went 5.1 innings, and had nine hits (though he also had seven earned runs). They threw almost identical pitch counts with Boyd at 106 (74 strikes) and Lopez at 105 (72 strikes). The big difference, of course, was the strikeouts. Boyd’s 13 eclipsed Lopez’s three and the numbers on the field showed the result.
Blaine Hardy pitched 2⁄3 innings of work, giving up two hits, but he shut down the sixth inning nicely after Boyd’s exit.
Buck Farmer relieved Hardy in the seventh and... loaded the bases with no outs. Eloy Jimenez hit a looooong ball to left that Stewart managed to run down. The Sox scored a run on the fly, but the damage would have been a lot worse without the catch. Thankfully Farmer was able to induce a groundout and we all breathed a collective sigh of relief as the inning concluded.
The Tigers won a review call in the eighth that initially ruled Reyes out at first, but it was VERY clear he had been safe. Pro tip: you need to have your foot ON first base in order for a tag to count. I looked away for a minute and Reyes was on second, so I’m guessing he stole a base. Very nice use of his callup. A ground rule double for Castellanos scored Reyes, so being in scoring position paid off.
Anyone else remember the last time the Tigers scored double-digit runs? It was May 8 against the Angels.
Daniel Stumpf pitched a clean eighth inning. The top of the ninth rolled around and Jeimer Candelario managed to get his first hit of the day. A solo home run, at that. The Tigers now had tied their highest score of the season with 11 runs.
Shane Greene came on to finish things off and then gave up a hit. Okay, no one panic. Then he gave up the first walk of the game for Tigers pitching. Eep. He got into his groove after that with two strikeouts.
OH MY GOD I JUST SAW THE CAPS. I JUST REALIZED HOW BAD AND TERRIBLE THE TIGERS CAPS ARE. OH MY GOD WHY.
I can’t even find a photo online to show you guys but wow. It’s bad.
Anyway, while I was searching for that the Tigers got the final out and the team maintained their lead, winning 11-5.