Tonight’s game was pretty much the dictionary definition of “evenly matched” with Tarik Skubal and Lucas Giolito facing off against each other and both performing well, but each was also stung by a two-run home run.
Let’s take a look at the breakdown.
Giolito started things out with a 1-2-3 inning, then in the bottom of the first things got rough for Skubal almost immediately. Anderson singled, then Robert hit a one-out home run, scoring two runs. Abreu doubled, but the next two batters struck out to end the threat.
Haase got a leadoff single to kick off the second, but was erased by a double play, and the inning ended scoreless. Skubal gave up one double to Harrison in the bottom of the second, but that was the only baserunner for the Sox.
The third inning was three-up-three-down for both teams.
The Tigers continued the trend, going down in order to start the fourth, and a Zavala walk (which was a generous check swing on the fourth ball), was the only man on the basepaths for the Sox. No runs scored for either team.
Again the Tigers went 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth, and an Anderson infield single allowed him to reach first for the Sox in the bottom of the inning. Robert then reached on an infield single with two outs already recorded and the fielder’s choice ended the inning.
Torkelson drew a walk to start off the sixth, and it was a dictionary definition “walks will haunt” as Candelario then hit a two-run bomb to tie up the game. Baez got a two-out single but no additional runs would score. Skubal finished his night in the sixth with a 1-2-3, and his final line for the night was 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR on 91 pitches.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Schoop singled, and then Torkelson got his second walk of the night. Candelario singled, scoring Schoop and giving the Tigers their lead. That was it for Giolito, too, as Tony LaRussa was heartily booed walking to the mound, and I’m really a fan of anything that gets TLR booed. I absolutely forgot Joe Kelly was on this team until he showed up in relief. Anyway, Kelly gave up a single to Willi Castro, bringing Torkelson home. Castro then successfully stole second. Riley Greene got a walk to load the bases. Baez then got a double to score Candelario and Castro and drank in the chorus of boos from angry Chicago fans. Tigers ended the seventh up 6-2.
Jimenez was up for the Tigers in the bottom of the inning. He did well, but it was a Riley Greene flying dive that ended the inning.
Haase kicked off the eighth with a single, and Alex Avila talked about hit hot streak, but in my head I visualized that as “Haat” streak. Look, I’m not proud of myself for that either, but if I had to think it you had to read it. Anyway with two outs Torkelson hit a run to right field that was then dropped by Robert and the throw back home was flubbed. It was ruled an error, but Haase still scored and that’s all that matters.
Foley was in for the Tigers for the bottom half of the eighth. Pollock got a one-out walk. Abreu singled, then Jimenez singled to score Pollock. Foley gave way to Alexander, hoping to get the final out of the inning, but Sheets hit the ball directly to Torkelson, who bobbled it and then couldn’t find it, and then Alexander nearly threw it by him. Abreu scored, and inexplicably it was ruled as a hit, not an error? Zavala singled to score Jimenez, and now this is getting embarrassing. Alexander finally got out of the inning, but the score was now 7-5, which is not nearly as nice as 7-2.
The Tigers went 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth, and then it was just a matter of crossing all fingers and toes that they could hold the lead in the bottom of the inning. It would be up to Michael Fulmer. He got one quick out, then hit Anderson with a pitch. Pollock singled and got Anderson all the way to third, he almost came home when the ball missed the cutoff man, but Pollock and Anderson held at the corners. Castro made an incredible catch in deep right in the corner to end the game and the Tigers held on for the win.
Final: Tigers 7, White Sox 5