In a season packed with ugliness so far, it hasn’t gotten much worse than it did today. The Chicago White Sox bludgeoned Alex Faedo and anyone else who took the mound on a scorching hot day in downtown Detroit, completely routing the Tigers 13-0 to wrap a three-game sweep and hand the Tigers their fourth straight loss.
The young starters have done a great job holding the starting rotation together to this point, but as we’ve noted, they’re skating by on thin ice. Alex Faedo in particular was probably due for a rough outing. On a sweltering hot day in Detroit, Faedo hit A.J. Pollock, the White Sox’s leadoff hitter, to start the game, and things went downhill from there. Faedo did get Andrew Vaughn to pop out, and then struck out Luis Robert, but just as he looked like he’d slipped out of trouble, a walk to Jose Abreu was followed by a three-run shot to right off the bat of Yoan Moncada. Not an auspicious beginning.
Meanwhile, the White Sox activated veteran right-hander Vince Velasquez for this one. He’d been on the IL with a groin strain, and his results prior to the injury were pretty miserable. He was allowing far too many walks and home runs, but obviously the Tigers’ offense is a good one to get right against. He set down the Tigers in order the first two innings, with a pair of strikeouts.
Alex Faedo couldn’t be expecting much help, and the situation quickly got worse in the third when Vaughn led off with a double. Luis Robert and Jose Abreu followed with solid singles, scoring Vaughn, and it was 4-0. Moncada flew out, and Faedo rebounded to punch out Adam Engel, but Josh Harrison sprayed a single into center field to score Robert as well. 5-0 White Sox. Faedo struck out Seby Zavala to finally escape, but that was already 70 pitches for the Tigers’ starter just to get through three innings.
The Tigers finally got a few baserunners on in the bottom of the third. Eric Haase reached on a Velasquez error, and Victor Reyes singled after Kody Clemens flew out, and that ended Velasquez’s outing. However, reliever Davis Martin got Harold Castro to line one softly back to him to snuff the threat.
And then things really fell apart.
Danny Mendick homered to lead off the fourth, and consecutive singles from Pollock and Vaughn ended Faedo’s outing. Alex just had no command over any of his pitches today.
Jason Foley took over, allowing an RBI single to Abreu before he was able to extract the Tigers from the jam, and it was 7-0 White Sox through four, as the Tigers got one-out singles from Schoop and Meadows, but neither Willi Castro nor Spencer Torkelson could bring them home. Standard Tigers’ stuff. Handful of singles, no power, no hits with runners in scoring position.
Alex Lange came in for the fifth, and was also terrible. He allowed a leadoff single and then Zavala took him deep as well. 9-0 White Sox. Lange then hit Mendick and allowed a walk to Pollock as AJ Hinch scoured the rulebook for a mercy rule clause. Lange did rebound in frustration, striking out Vaughn, Robert, and Abreu to escape further damage.
At some point during this catastrophe, legendary pitching coach Tom House dropped by to visit the Bally Sports broadcast, and the storm of baseball knowledge unleashed in a place so unfamiliar with it was incredibly jarring, though highly welcome.
Anyway, it distracted from the game.
The Tigers’ offense did nothing in the bottom of the fifth, while Joe Jiménez allowed a run on an Yoan Moncada double, and an Adam Engel triple. Josh Harrison struck out, by Zavala struck again with a groundout to score Engel and make it 11-0 before Joe struck out Mendick to end the inning.
Miguel Cabrera singled in the bottom of the sixth, but that was all from the Tigers.
Harold Castro came on to pitch, and recorded his first strikeout, setting Leury Garcia up with a pair of 40 mph eephus pitches, before blazing an 80 mph fastball by him for strike three.
Kody Clemens pitched the eighth, Tucker Barnhart the ninth, each allowing a run, before this disaster finally ended.
The Tigers record falls to 24-38 with the loss. Beau Brieske starts Thursday evening as the Tigers welcome the Texas Rangers in for four.