The rubber match of a three-game weekend series, which had featured two close games to that point, had a finale that was close early but split wide open later on. The White Sox, who have to keep up their La Russa-less winning ways to stay in the AL Central race, beat the Tigers 11-5 on a hazy Sunday afternoon.
Drew Hutchison, who’s currently on his third stint with the Tigers — and yet has the second-most starts on the team (thanks, injuries!) — made the start. Since rejoining the rotation at the start of August, a standard kind of start for Hutch will give you about five innings, and he’ll limit the damage to two or three runs. He’ll give up a home run, strike out three or four, and will keep you in the game, usually.
The late nominee for the start for the White Sox turned out to be Vince Velasquez, the longtime Phillie who finished up a lousy 2021 season in San Diego. He’s bounced back and forth between the rotation and bullpen this year and has been better than his 5.29 ERA would suggest: his WHIP is 1.27, which isn’t superb, but it isn’t as terrible as you’d first think. He made his last start, a 2 2/3-inning outing, back in June against the Tigers in a lopsided 13-0 Chicago victory.
Hutchison got into trouble with two outs in the first after a pair of singles, and Gavin Sheets followed suit with an opposite-field single to score José Abreu and put the Chicago club up 1-0.
Willi Castro got that run back and then some: after a Riley Greene leadoff walk, Castro parked a few rows back into the right-centerfield seats for a 2-1 lead.
AJ Pollock then returned the favour in the second by clubbing a fastball well over the bullpens in left field to lead off the second, tying the game at deuces. But, after all these dingerz, the starters really settled down: to wit, Hutchison needed a grand total of six pitches to get through the top of the fourth.
The fifth wasn’t nearly as easy, though, as the third trip through the Pale Hose’s order saw more hard contact; they had runners on first and second with two out, and a no-throw double steal moved them each up a base. A pair of walks, the second of which was the bases-loaded variety, spelled the end of Hutchison’s day; he left with a 3-2 deficit and bases full of White Stockings, and it was Jason Foley’s turn.
Well, things didn’t get any better with Andrew Vaughn at the plate, as he clubbed a grand slam to left to make it a 7-2 game, and that was pretty much it.
After all that, Garrett Hill took over for the sixth. He’s been working out of the bullpen of late, and he’s been routinely reaching 96-97 mph with his fastball, up a few ticks from when he was starting. He’s also been putting his arms up over his head during the windup lately, and it seems to have synced everything up very nicely.
The Tigers loaded the bases with none out in the sixth with a single sandwiched between a pair of walks. Jimmy Lambert was summoned from the bullpen; José Ruiz had taken over for Velasquez in the fifth, but his sixth obviously was pretty lousy. Kerry Carpenter walked on four pitches, closing the gap to 7-3 and leaving the bases loaded again for Eric Haase, but he popped out to shortstop. Jeimer Candelario hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Javier Báez, and it was 7-4 with runners at the corners and two outs. Harold Castro, pinch-hitting for Ryan Kreidler, struck out and well, at least they narrowed the lead a bit, right?
Well, Jiménez took a fat fastball four hundred and fifty-ish feet in the ensuing half-inning and brought Chicago’s lead back up to five.
From here on out there wasn’t much to report. I made myself a cup of coffee, it continued to rain here so I guess I don’t have to water the garden this evening, and I cut up some potatoes to make slow-cooker scalloped potatoes. Really curious to see how those turn out. Oh, also, Báez hit a home run in the eighth, which is nice.
Bring On the Robot Umps
Pitch No. 2 to Riley Greene, a called strike. Sheesh, this is one of the WORST that I’ve seen so far. That thing’s almost off the bottom of the screen.
Pretty Busy Downtown Today
I’d have parked somewhere else and taken either the streetcar or the People Mover, myself.
- This game was originally scheduled to start at 1:10 pm EDT, but was moved up to 12:10 due to the Lions game starting at 1:00 across Brush Street, as seen above. My question is, why can’t the football game be moved? Seems like the baseball game has to always be the one to capitulate. I feel like writing an angry letter.
- Beau Brieske has officially been shut down for the season with “right forearm soreness.” Best wishes, Mr. Brieske, for a thorough recovery — we’ll see you in the spring.
- Javier Báez’s September numbers are pretty spectacular: coming into today, having played 15 games in the month (57 plate appearances), his slash line is .370/.404/.593 for a .996 OPS, which ain’t too shabby. His fielding, though... um, moving on...
- My men’s-league slow-pitch softball team finished its regular season today. Our record was... uh, moving on again...
- On this date in 1920, Fritz Pollard played on the Akron Pros, in the forerunner of the modern NFL. By doing so, he became the first African-American professional football player. He’d be a player-coach the next year, becoming the first African-American pro football coach; the NFL would then later be segregated from 1932 through 1946.