White Sox 10, Tigers 4: Tim Anderson continues to torment Detroit

Tonight was the major league debut for Detroit Tigers starting pitcher, Tarik Skubal. The 50th ranked prospect on MLBPipeline’s Top 100, Skubal’s mixture of a 96-mph fastball with plus breaking pitches and a developing changeup made tonight a highly anticipated event.

While Skubal was impressive at times, it was Tim Anderson putting on another show against Detroit. Welcoming the rookie by hitting another leadoff home run en route to a four-hit night, Anderson led the White Sox offensive charge to a 10-4 victory.

Entering the night hitting 7-for-14, Anderson fouled off the first offering from Skubal, a 94.5 mph fastball. After watching a changeup sail wide of the strike zone, catcher Andrew Romine wanted Skuball to challenge Anderson with a fastball.

Bad mistake. At an exit velocity of 105.5 mph, Anderson crushed his fifth home run of 2020 at a distance of 422 feet to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead.

There was an opportunity for more damage. Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu both singled to turn up the heat on Skubal, who had his first mound visit before recording an out. Facing Eloy Jimenez, Skubal got the slugger to roll over on a breaking pitch for a double play. After Edwin Encarnacion walked, James McCann flew out to deep center field to end the inning.

In the second inning, Nomar Mazara and Danny Mendick had back-to-back singles to set the table again for Anderson. With an increase of velocity, Skubal got ahead of Anderson with two 95 mph fastballs and threw an 0-2 slider. Anderson got the bat head out in front to pull the pitch down the left-field line for an RBI double.

Moncada would pick up a sacrifice fly to deep right field, and Abreu picked up Anderson with a bloop single to put the White Sox ahead 4-1. At 52 pitches, the Tigers coaching staff decided that was enough for Skubal. His debut went just two innings allowing seven hits and four earned runs.

Meanwhile, Dylan Cease was fine. At times brilliant but with a couple of bumpy innings.

After a seven-pitch first inning displaying a good curveball with a fastball hitting 99 mph, it was a promising start for Cease. The second inning was a different story. After throwing three consecutive breaking pitches to Jonathan Schoop, McCann called for a fourth breaking pitch. That was not a good decision as the veteran Schoop didn’t miss the hanger and dump it into left field for a solo home run.

In the third inning, Detroit decided to test Mazara’s defensive abilities. Cease got ahead of Romine with two fastballs, and McCann called for a third straight heater. Romine was on it and hit a deep fly to right field that Mazara couldn’t come up for a double.

Isaac Parades would follow up with another fly ball to right field. Mazara made the catch but didn’t make a good throw allowing Romine to tag up and reach third base. Romaine would score on Niko Goodrum’s fly out to, you guessed it, right field to cut the lead down to 4-2.

Then Harold Castro doubled. After being ahead 0-2 against Miguel Cabrera, Cease couldn’t entice the future Hall-of-Famer to swing out of the zone resulting in a walk. Don Cooper came out to help his starting pitcher regain focus before the inning got worse, and Cease got some good luck his way when Schoop fouled out to McCann behind home plate.

The fourth inning went better for Cease picking up a strikeout against Romine to end the inning, and he’d get more run support thanks to Abreu. With two outs, Anderson picked up his third hit with a single to right field and advanced to second base on a passed ball. Moncada walked to turn up the pressure on Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris.

With the count 2-1, Norris threw a changeup on the outside corner hoping Abreu would hit a ground ball. Instead, the pitch floated a bit for Abreu to smash a line drive splitting the gap in center and right field. Both Anderson and Moncada scored, and Abreu scooted to second for a two-RBI double pushing the White Sox lead to 6-2.

Abreu would help Cease out again, turning an unassisted double play to end the sixth inning. Rick Renteria decided to push his starter into the seventh and all Cease could manage was one out while allowing a walk and single before getting pulled after throwing 104 pitches. Cease’s final line was 6.1 IP 5 H 2 ER 3 BB 3 K. Plenty of highlight reel pitches thrown, but Cease continues to struggle racking up strikeouts. It’s an odd way for a pitcher with his arsenal to make a living, but Cease’s season ERA is down to 3.16.

Codi Heuer came in relief and generated two quick pop outs to end the threat.

Zack Burdi took over in the eighth inning, and so did Luis Gonzalez for Luis Robert in center field. After attempting to make a diving catch, Robert had his wrist checked out between innings and out of caution was removed from the game.

At times flashing great stuff, Burdi allowed quite a bit of traffic in his inning of work. Two singles and a wild pitch cut the lead to 6-3. With two outs, Jacoby Jones hit a line drive right at Gonzalez who couldn’t handle it. After dropping the ball, Gonzalez made a good throw to second base to nail Jones, but another run scored to make it a 6-4 ballgame. E-8 and assist is one way to make a first impression.

White Sox put up another crooked number in the bottom of the eighth inning scoring four more times. Gonzalez’s first career plate appearance resulted in getting hit by a pitch. Mazara hit a 60-foot chopper with the bases loaded to drive in a run. Mendick hit a deep fly out to center for a sacrifice fly. Anderson followed that up by collecting his fourth hit of the night with another RBI single. Moncada ended the scoring barrage with an RBI groundout. Jace Fry wrapped up the ninth inning, and the White Sox improve to 4-1 against the Tigers in 2020.

Game Notes:

  • Tim Anderson finished the night 4-for-5 with three RBI. He’s now 11-for-19 against Detroit and his season batting average is .379. 
  • Jose Abreu went 3-for-5 with three RBI pushing his season total to 16
  • Pnoles won #SoxMath. Finally.
  • Luis Robert injury update:

Record: 13-11 | Box Score | Video

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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shaggy65

In-Game Injury Tracker:
– 24 games played
– 11 players removed mid-game for injuries
– Anderson
– Abreu
– Bummer
– Encarnacion
– Garcia
– Grandal
– Lopez
– Madrigal
– Mazara
– Robert
– Rodon

Joliet Orange Sox

And this list doesn’t include Yoan Moncada who always seems about to be pulled for an injury.

phillyd

He looked gimpy after his RBI ground out in the 8th.

Amar

It’s like the 2019 season never stopped for Anderson

burning-phoneix

It’s like a White Sox prospect actually gained experience and continued to improve! What a novel concept!

Amar

Anderson will not sustain the high babip. But I would be very happy if Anderson develops more consistency in the field even if his offense diminishes some.

But whatever, more leadoff homers please, love that shit.

burning-phoneix

Anderson will not sustain the high babip.

Not with that attitude! A wRC+ of 216 is very sustainable. TIMMY WILL MAINTAIN A .400 AVERAGE CAREER LIFETIME SCREENCAP THIS FOLKS!

texag10

The guy who ran a .399 BABIP for an entire season is not the guy I’d be betting against.

Amar

“Hitters are in there to hit” I believe Anderson once said (h/t larry)

knoxfire30

Big story to me is the emergence of Cease being effectively wild to an extent… he is around the zone on the edges a lot more then last year and he looks to have solidified the top 3 spots in the rotation. Early to project 2021 but this team has a lot of money coming off the books, good in house replacements for quite a few players and the only glaring holes I can see would be RF and maybe a vet SP.

roke1960

Yes, I think they need to add Joc Pederson and Stroman. A rotation of Giolito, Keuchel, Cease, Stroman, Dunning/Kopech/Rodon/Lopez and a lineup of Timmy, Yoan, Robert, Eloy, Vaughn, Grandal, Abreu, Joc, Madrigal would be very inpressive. And no more veteran relievers. Heuer, Burdi, Bummer, Foster, Cordero, Marshall should be able to handle the back end of the bullpen. Burdi’s stuff is just nasty. Once he gets a little more comfortable is higher pressure situations, I think he will be the 2021 closer.

burning-phoneix

Joc’s lefty on left splits are horrendous tho. Wouldn’t mind him platooning with Engel but how much is Jerry gonna spend on a bat first only RHP facing RF?

dwjm3

They should be signing a Tier 1 guy like George Springer. They got plenty of money.

Eloytes

Have you seen George Springer’s stats this year? Really much harder to hit the baseball when you don’t know what pitch is coming.

dwjm3

He has been battling a wrist injury.

burning-phoneix

Dohohoho

knoxfire30

Two nice targets for sure.

Havent spent too much time on it, but I wonder if mini yaz from the giants could be had for a price… 5 years control could shift to rf, hits from the left side… he is about to turn 30 but that shouldnt mean too much. CBS had run a piece on possible trade targets here in the next couple weeks and that name surprised me a bit, but if the giants are in rebuild mode maybe they bite.

GrinnellSteve

Hawk would have a wet dream and then die in his sleep.

knoxfire30

haha so true

GrinnellSteve

What happened to Leury? I was without power for 8 days.

dwjm3

Needs season ending surgery on his finger….He injured it sliding into first.

knoxfire30

tore a ligament in his thumb on a head first slide, out for year

GrinnellSteve

Crap. Thanks for the update.

Jim Margalus

Derecho? Hope everything’s OK.

GrinnellSteve

Yeah. We’re in one of the hardest hit counties. No injuries. Minimal house and garage damage. Massive tree damage. Our neighbor plugged our refrigerator into his generator, so that was big. The way our neighborhood has pulled together to help each other would warm even the most jaded hearts. Everyone contributing wherever needed to the best of their abilities. Yesterday, our first with power, my wife baked up some of her world famous cookies to give to everyone who helped us, including the utility crew from Quebec.

It’s a good thing the Field of Dreams game was canceled anyway.

I heard the back-to-back-to-back-to-back homers on my car radio, but I’ve been mostly beyond the reach of technology and baseball.

Joliet Orange Sox

I hope all is well. We were without power for 5.5 days and it got old very fast. You can only say “At least no one got hurt” to your spouse so many times.

texag10

Are we just assuming the injury and covid and all the other stuff is the reason for Moncada’s huge dip in exit velo or should be start to worry a bit?

Eagle Bones

Apologies if this has been discussed and I missed it, but has anyone been able to provide anymore info on how Burdi was able to suddenly regain his lost velocity? I thought I heard something about him watching some video, but I wasn’t really clear on exactly what they were saying. Did he see something mechanically that he tweaked which unlocked this again? Or was this just an Angels in the Outfield situation where a pitcher with lost velocity who’s barely pitched in year suddenly shows up and starts throwing darts again?

MrStealYoBase

I think it might just be one of those “18 months is the **average** TJS recovery time” things. He’s now 3 years out. Maybe it just took that long for him and his body to get everything back fully? Joints take a really long time to heal.

Jim Margalus

Fegan GIF’d it. Higher leg kick, more force coming down the mound, evidenced in a bigger fall off to the first base side after release.

Eagle Bones

Jim with the answer as always. Thanks!

burning-phoneix

He watched a video on twitter of some dude and it just clicked in his mind apparently.

dwjm3

You kinda scratch your head and wonder why Coop isn’t finding these fixes.

MrStealYoBase

To the untrained eye, it looks like Cease I’d still having the command issues which plagued him last year.

But you also can’t argue with the results. It’s gone from losing command for 5 batters in a row and giving up 3 runs to losing command for 2-3 batters and giving up one run.

Still work to be done but I do think there’s progress being made.