To be honest, I was very optimistic going into this weekend’s series against the Detroit Tigers.
Our Chicago White Sox were coming off a series loss against the division rival Cleveland Indians, but the Tigers have not necessarily been playing up to their potential. With Jake Peavy on the mound on Friday, it was looking like we would take advantage of their shortcomings and start the series off the right way. However, Jhonny Peralta’s walk-off home run put an end to all that. Luckily, Adam Dunn was able to have a ninth inning blast of his own to give the good guys the 3-2 win on Saturday.
Unfortunately, Dunn’s bat was the only one making any noise on Sunday as he hit his ninth home run in a 1-3 loss. Rick Porcello silenced the already quiet White Sox bats in the series rubber match. After giving up the first inning bomb to Dunn, Porcello only allowed three hits in the next six innings. True to the sad tone of the season, the Sox also missed plenty of opportunities and went 0-8 with runners in scoring position.
All three of these Detroit contests were very close with the first two being decided in the ninth inning. To our credit, Sunday’s match was also a nail-biter. The Sox managed to get Alex Rios and Kosuke Fukodome on base in the ninth as Gordon Beckham went to the plate. He was not the hero the team needed, though, as he struck out swinging at ball four. Beckham turned it around a bit earlier in the week and raised his average to a more respectable .233. Despite that surge, he has been 0-6 since then and these next few weeks should really determine the amount of play he will see up till the All-Star Break.
As far as White Sox pitching was concerned, few conclusions can be drawn. Dylan Axelrod pitched Sunday as a result of Chris Sale’s recent relocation to closer. Axelrod’s performance wasn’t very memorable, but that is neither good nor bad. He gave up two runs over 4 1/3 innings, but both of those runs were home runs and it did take him 99 pitches to get that far. Obviously the Detroit lineup is packed with big bats, but giving up two home runs is certainly not ideal. Axelrod was moved back into the minors after the game in order to make roster space for Monday’s double-header.
Going into Monday’s games, the Sox are three games out of first. However, this isn’t too bad since six out of the next nine games are against the Indians and the Tigers. Philip Humber will be looking for his first win since his historic perfect game a few weeks ago.