Detroit — His many words summarized, Dallas Keuchel, frankly, was not happy his team lost to the Tigers.
Following Monday night’s 5-1 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park, the Chicago White Sox left-hander had some pointed words for his entire ballclub after it slipped to a game below .500, at 8-9, following a third consecutive loss and fifth in six games.
“If we wanna be in this thing at the end of the season, we’re going to have to start that now,” Keuchel told Chicago beat reporters. “When you have enough talent to potentially win every game, it’s very frustrating when you have games like this and it just seems like we were out of it from the get go.
“Today was one of the first games I’ve seen subpar play from everybody.”
The White Sox were expected to be among the favorites in the American League Central this season, with its mixture of star youth and big offseason acquisitions.
The Tigers, meanwhile, were most certainly not.
Yet, here we are, the Tigers just a game shy of the quarter point in the season — and 9-5, just percentage points behind the Minnesota Twins for the division lead.
“We’ve got some guys kinda going through the motions,” Keuchel said. “We need to clean a lot of things up.”
Keuchel, 32, was one of the finishing touches this offseason for the busy, spend-happy White Sox, the former AL Cy Young Award winner signing a three-year, $55.5 million contract to anchor the pitching staff.
In his fourth start for Chicago, he was solid from the get-go Monday, facing the minimum nine batters through three innings. But the Tigers got to him for a run in the fourth, one in the sixth (a Niko Goodrum homer), and then another run in the seventh — on Jeimer Candelario’s leadoff triple, followed by Victor Reyes’ single.
That ended Keuchel’s night, and the Tigers tacked on two more off the bullpen.
The White Sox offense, expected to be loaded with the additions of Edwin Encarnacion, Yasmani Grandal and Nomar Mazara and the emergence of stud prospect Luis Robert, managed only one run on eight hits against six Tigers pitchers. They’ve scored 70 runs, ahead of only the Cleveland Indians (59) in the division.
“There’s going to be a lot of learning curves for this team, just because of the process that this team has been under for the last two or three years, and this is one of them,” Keuchel said of a White Sox club that hasn’t made the postseason since 2008 (the Tigers last did in 2014). “We faced a challenge tonight and hopefully we can come out tomorrow and strap it up and play some White Sox baseball.
“We have a great opportunity these next couple of games to get some wins and keep moving the wagons forward. As frustrating as it is tonight, we could very well easily come out tomorrow and play like we’re supposed to and then win the series on Wednesesday.”
The Tigers and White Sox play again Tuesday night and finish the series Wednesday afternoon.