Tigers 6, White Sox 1: more RISP difficulties

It was winter hat day at the ballpark, and as much as fans needed them, so did the Sox’ bats with men on base. In total, the Sox were 0-8 with runners in scoring position, and left 11 men on base. The Sox’ lone run came in the seventh inning on an Avisail Garcia sacrifice fly that scored Yoan Moncada from third base. Outside of that, the Sox came up empty when presented with scoring opportunities. To wit:

*Detroit started Michael Fulmer on the mound today, and he struggled with his command early before settling down to pitch 5 1/3. In the bottom of the second, Nicky Delmonico doubled to Leonys Martin to start things off. Fulmer then issued back-to-back walks to Welington Castillo (four straight balls) and Tim Anderson (!) to make it a bases loaded, nobody out situation. Yolmer Sanchez popped up to center for the first out, and Adam Engel couldn’t connect with a 3-2 fastball, striking out for the second out. Moncada then grounded out, ending the inning and the scoring threat.

*The third: after an Avi flyout and an Abreu groundout, Matt Davidson walked and Delmonico singled. Welington Castillo couldn’t extend the inning, though, popping out to Miguel Cabrera at first.

*The fifth: Moncada started things off nicely, singling sharply to center for his second hit of the game. After Garcia popped out to Candelario at third, Abreu singled. With two men on, Davidson hit into a double play and the Sox came away empty yet again.

*The sixth: Welington Castillo doubled with one out (that ended Fulmer’s day, and brought in pitcher Alex Wilson) and Tim Anderson advanced him to third with a deep fly to right. Yolmer Sanchez also made good contact, but another deep fly to right ended the inning. Both flies may have been home runs on a warmer day, but alas, a 32 degree game time temperature isn’t conducive to that.

Lucas Giolito was on the mound for the Sox today, and he had command issues once again. After a quick 1-2-3 first and second, the Tigers responded with a bases loaded situation of their own in the third inning. Yolmer Sanchez made a nice play to get JaCoby Jones for the first out, but Giolito walked Jose Iglesias (who then stole second). Another nice play by Sanchez got Dixon Machado for the second out, but Giolito then walked Leonys Martin and Jeimer Candelario to load the bases. Miguel Cabrera was up next, and he smacked a single to score two runs and make the score 2-0 in favor of Detroit. Castellanos flied out to right to end the inning.

In the fifth, Machado and Candelario both singled, while sandwiched in between was a Leonys Marin flyout. Cabrera was up yet again, and it seemed as though Giolito would get out of it: he induced what looked like a double play to Yolmer Sanchez. Unfortunately, Yolmer couldn’t field the ball cleanly and was only able to get the out at first, putting the Tigers up 3-0.

Then, in the sixth, Giolito once again exhibited command issues by way of HBPs on Victor Martinez and James McCann. A Jones flyout and a groundout by Iglesias (after a successful “safe” call challenge by Rick Renteria) got two, but Giolito hung a breaking ball to Dixon Machado that Nicky Delmonico couldn’t cut off, bringing home two more and making it 5-0 Tigers. Giolito’s day was done, as Renteria called on Hector Santiago for the third out. Santiago struck Leonys Martin out looking on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

Hector Santiago pitched well in relief, showing why he’s valuable to a team lacking consistent starting pitching such as the White Sox. On a day in which Giolito couldn’t get to the sixth, Santiago pitched 2 1/3, with two hits, a walk, and three strikeouts.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Juan Minaya. Brought in for the ninth inning, Minaya had no command, walking all four batters he faced (Cabrera, Castellanos, Martinez, and McCann). Yup, he walked the bases loaded and then walked in a run after that, making the score 6-1 in favor of Detroit. [Update: After the game, Minaya was optioned to Charlotte] Thankfully, Gregory Infante had his stuff this afternoon as he came on in relief of Minaya and got Jones on a weak popup to third, and strikeouts on both Iglesias and Machado.

Bullet Points

*Giolito’s line for the day: 5 2/3 IP, 5 R, 3 BB, 2 HBP, 4 K, 49 of 94 pitches for strikes.

*Yoan Moncada had a nice rebound from Thursday’s game: 2-4 with a single, a double, a run scored, and a walk.

*Jose Abreu made a nice defensive play in the seventh inning. Victor Martinez popped out in foul territory, but only thanks to Abreu’s lengthy run back and to his right, moving from sun to shadows.

Record: 3-4 | Box Score

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Anohito

That “pitching” was horrible to watch in person. Especially in that cold. What a sad showing.

Greg Nix

Minaya optioned after the game. A WHIP of 7.00 will do that to a guy. 

Anohito

Is Volstad gonna replace him?

Right Size Wrong Shape

Probably one of the bullpen guys, right? Maybe Gomez or Rondon?

MonicaMG

This game wasn’t “fun bad” it was just “bad bad” I hope they can avoid the sweep on Sunday.