It feels like only yesterday (or perhaps last weekend) that I was writing a recap featuring the Chicago White Sox and a Tarik Skubal/Lucas Giolito matchup. I suppose that’s what happens when two teams face each other this often, but the outcome was a little different this time.
As the Detroit Tigers kicked off their Weclome Back Weekend and Pride Night all in one, there was a really amplified vibe in the stadium. The broadcast crew were hanging out in right field, tossing t-shirts and caps. Al Avila stopped by to assure fans the future looks bright and that he’s just as excited about Riley Greene as we are. Johnny Kane tried and failed to throw hot dogs to people. It felt, truly, like a lovely normal night at the park.
I’m not sure if it was the vibe that made the wobbling score easier to handle, but whatever it was, this was a Tigers loss that didn’t feel quite as hard as some previous ones have this season.
For starters, Skubal continues to look like he’s finding his footing. He went 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR on 96 pitches. Not his best night, to be sure, but truly if you were watching it wasn’t a bad outing to see. He’s coming into his own as a major league starter and you can see the development happening. It certainly didn’t help that he was up against Lucas Giolito, whose night was a shade better with 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HR on 105 pitches. Not the best night for either, but also not the worst. Giolito definitely suffered from Tigers long balls.
The White Sox got on base early in the game with a Mercedes walk in the first followed by a Monacada walk. Abreu lined out, but both Mercedes and Moncada advanced safely thanks to an error by Harold Castro. Thankfully the error did not come back to haunt and the Sox failed to bring either runner home. Schoop got a walk of his own for the Tigers in the bottom of the inning, but he also did not get to cross home plate.
In the second, the Sox were the first to score a run with an Adam Engel solo home run to lead off the inning. Mendick singled, but then got caught in a rundown attempting to steal. The Sox lead didn’t last long as Nomar Mazara got a solo home run of his own in the bottom of the inning, tying the score. Baddoo singled as well, but no further runs scored, in spite of a mighty effort from Jake Rogers.
The third inning was rather uneventful with the Sox going down in order. The Tigers got a single out of Robbie Grossman, who was subsequently gobbled up by a double play.
The score shifted again in the fourth. Abreu doubled, Vaughn singled, and then Engel grounded into a double play. It eliminated two runners, but Abreu did score. In the bottom of the inning the Tigers went down 1-2-3.
The Sox weren’t willing to let the Tigers sneak up again, Collins hitting a double to lead off, then a Mendick single scored Collins. It’s a good thing they did, too, because Isaac Paredes opened the bottom of the fifth with a solo home run, bringing it back to a one-run game. By this point the rain had begun to fall, though not significantly enough to call the game, but (spoiler alert) it’s going to be a factor later.
The sixth brought more oomph from the Sox as Vaughn walked, Engel singled, then in the second rundown of the game Engel was tagged out, but Vaughn scored, bringing the score 4-2. For the Tigers, Schoop got another single, but again did not get a chance to score.
A pretty darned sexy outing from Joe Jimenez in the seventh saw the Sox set down in order. For the Tigers the only action was a Goodrum walk, with no runs to show for it.
Onto the eighth, and Abreu reached on an infield single, but the Sox weren’t able to bolster their score. Bryan Garcia looked pretty decent for the inning as well. The bottom of the eighth was a bit of the same old same old with the Tigers going down 1-2-3.
For the top of the ninth, Garcia gave up a walk to Collins, but limited the damage to the one baserunner, and then in the bottom of the inning the skies opened up in a hilarious fashion, and White Sox closer Liam Hendriks was not having it. He threw two pitches then could be seen declaring “this is stupid, it’s too wet” (he was not wrong) before a decision was made to pull the tarp. Rain delay with three out and/or a comeback left.
Miggy kicked off the bottom of the ninth with a single, and he was subsequently pinch-run for with Willi Castro. Then Daz Cameron came on and… what… what’s this… a two-run home run to tie the game, not to mention his first career major league home run. Not a bad way to do it. And we’re on to extras.
Cisnero started the tenth with a walk to Anderson, putting two men on base. Mercedes flied out to advance Mendick to third, then a Moncada sac fly scored Mendick and it should be illegal for this many people whose last names start with “M” to do things in sequence. Anyway, the Sox took the lead back, 5-4.
Rogers walked, putting two Tigers on in the bottom of the tenth. This brought up a man who is no stranger to the walk-off in Robbie Grossman. Unfortunately, Grossman struck out. With two outs, it was all up to Schoop. Schoop got a piece of it, but was out at first, and the Tigers lost.
Final: White Sox 5, Tigers 4.