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White Sox 6, Tigers 0: A tale of two baseball games

It was the best of outings, it was the worst of outcomes.

Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The opener of a three-game weekend series in Detroit against the White Sox started with 6⅓ no-hit innings by the Tigers but ended with a 6-0 loss as the bullpen imploded.

Taking the mound for the Tigers was Reese Olson, making his fifteenth start of the season. His ERA coming into tonight was 4.65, but his FIP (i.e., his ERA with fielding taken out of the mix) was 3.98, which means he’s been a little unlucky. His previous outing was a sensational seven-inning start against these same Chicagoans, scattering four hits, walking none, and striking out... um... well, just the one.

Mike Clevinger started for the Socks, and he’s been decent for them so far this year, in his first season in Chicago, after coming over from the Padres. He spent about six weeks on the IL in the summer with right biceps inflammation, and in May and June he had another stint on the IL with wrist inflammation. Get this guy a bottle of Advil, stat!

Through his first three innings, Olson needed a neat 36 pitches, facing the minimum and only allowing a walk (which was erased on a double play). Of note, his changeup was especially lively. In the fourth he allowed another baserunner, plunking Luis Robert Jr. with a sinker, but a groundout got him out of the inning unscathed.

Meanwhile, the Tigers’ bats occasionally eked out a hit but they couldn’t really string anything together of note.

Olson kept Chicago hitless until one out in the seventh when Robert hit a double down the left-field line. He’d been giving up some hard contact in the form of deep fly balls, so it was probably a matter of time before one of ‘em fell for a hit; he was also leaving pitches up in the zone, which is indicative of a pitcher’s legs tiring (despite still sitting in the mid-90s with his fastball). After another long flyout, Yoan Moncada poked a fly ball (on a high fastball) over the fence in left-centre for a two-run home run and a 2-0 lead. Olson’s night was done, Tyler Holton was brought in, and he gave up a single to Andrew Vaughn, but got Elvis Andrus to ground out to shortstop to end the inning.

In the top of the eighth, the Stockings started off with a single and a double, and that was the end of Holton’s day. Brendan White took over, walked Tim Anderson to load the bases, and Andrew Benintendi doubled to score two and make it a 4-0 game. A pair of singles made it 6-0.

Trey Wingenter pitched the ninth and had a 1-2-3 inning with a pair of strikeouts, looking pretty good in the process.

Notes and Stats and Things

  • From August 27 through September 7 (48 plate appearances), Spencer Torkelson’s slash line: .275/.396/.625 for a 1.021 OPS. This includes four home runs, two doubles and eight walks. I’m into it.
  • Peter Sellers was born on this day in 1925. If you’ve never seen Dr. Strangelove, then my goodness, you really need to watch that. It’s a dark comedy about nuclear war which was released in 1964, arguably the height of the Cold War. Stupendous.