White Sox Good, Bad, & Indifferent: White Sox 13, Tigers 2
Once again, I'd like to thank my friends at Rock M Nation for this idea.
Juan Uribe's defense–Uribe has made a seamless transition back to second base, a position he had not played since 2003 with the Colorado Rockies. He's turning double plays exceptionally well and made three spectacular plays in the field today against Detroit.
Two of the plays came in the third inning, when Detroit gave Mark Buehrle his biggest scare of the game. After a Joe Crede throwing error that allowed Brandon Inge to advance to third, Ramon Santiago ripped a hit into right field. Jermaine Dye got to the ball late and Santiago decided to try for a triple–but Uribe fired a strike on a relay throw to easily get Santiago at third.
Later in the inning, Marcus Thames walked with two outs to bring up Gary Sheffield. Sheffield ripped a line shot that looked like a single, but Uribe dove and made a beautiful catch to end the inning. If Uribe was unable to make that catch, the Tigers would have had runners on first and second with the middle of their powerful lineup coming up.
The offense–Up and down the order, the Sox picked away at Justin Verlander, ultimately forcing him out of the game in the sixth with over 100 pitches and four earned runs.
It wasn't that Verlander was bad–his stuff was as good as ever–but the Sox came up to the plate with a very smart, patient approach, wearing down the Tigers ace and taking advantage of mistakes to scratch across their runs.
It took an error on first baseman Carlos Guillen for the Sox to really break the game open. With one out in the sixth, Paul Konerko hit a routine ground ball to Miguel Cabrera at third base, who made a good throw to Guillen. However, Guillen dropped the throw, and the floodgates opened.
Jermaine Dye doubled to left, AJ Pierzynski was intentionally walked, and Carlos Quentin was hit by a pitch to plate the first run of the inning.
Joe Crede followed with an RBI infield single, and after Uribe struck out, Nick Swisher singled to center and forced Verlander out of the game.
Aquilino Lopez came in out of the bullpen and, on an 0-2 pitch, surrendered a three-run double to the struggling Orlando Cabrera.
The Sox tacked on four more runs in the ninth on a three-run triple by Quentin and another RBI single by Crede to give the White Sox a whopping 13 runs on the day.
Carlos Quentin–I've been very, very impressed with his play so far. Read the linked article for my quick rundown of what he's done this year.
Mark Buehrle–This was vintage Buehrle today. He was working his cutter in and out, changing speeds well, working fast, and pitching to contact, frequently breaking the bats of Tigers hitters.
When Buehrle did allow a runner to get on base, he quickly erased them by getting Tigers hitters to ground into four double plays, including two off the bat of Miguel Cabrera.
Any fear that Sox fans had after Buehrle's poor Opening Day performance should be quelled by his start today.
The Sox are in first, while Detroit is winless–If you had told me a week ago that the White Sox would go 4-2 against the Indians and Tigers and that same Detroit team would be 0-6, I would have laughed in your face.
But, that's the case. The Sox are playing very well heading into their home opener, while the Tigers could easily stay winless with a series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park opening up Monday.
The number of Planters' commercials–You know, it's tough to find something bad with a team that's won four in a row. I was going to put Orlando Cabrera in here, but he ripped that three-run double that made me decide to group him in with the entire offense.
So, I'll go with this. You know those commercials with the horrendously unattractive woman who seems to attract men by rubbing Planters' nuts on her body? There had to be at least one of those every two commercial breaks.
Seeing that commercial doesn't make me want to eat Planters' nuts. If its goal was to make me hungry for peanuts, it completely failed in doing so. The first time I saw it, it was kind of funny, but after the image of a unibrow and giant mole were ingrained into my head, I ceased to laugh and feel hungry.
Joe Crede's defense–I know a lot of people who watched this game would have expected this to be in the "bad" category because of his two awful throwing errors, but Crede also made an excellent play going to his right that started one of two 5-4-3 double plays in the game.
Crede always has had an accurate arm, and both those throws likely were aberrations. I don't expect Crede to be making throws that bad a whole lot this year.
Also, be sure to check out the first edition of the Bleacher Report White Sox Roundtable, which should be up sometime tomorrow afternoon.
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