White Sox Good, Bad, & Indifferent: Tigers 5, White Sox 2
There was no good from the White Sox today, so here goes...
The Missouri Tiger offense—I planned on going to the No. 8 Mizzou/No. 12 Texas game tonight, but I decided it wasn't going to be worth it to sit outside in 40-degree temperatures with howling winds for two days in a row (tomorrow, I'm venturing to Kansas City for a Twins/Royals game with some friends, and it's supposed to be in the low 40's with a chance of snow showers).
I guess I kind of regret it now.
You know those times you've popped in a baseball video game and turned your team power up all the way just to see how many runs you could score?
That was Missouri today, as the Tigers downed the Texas Longhorns by a score of 31-12.
Nuts. I was hoping Mizzou would save their 31-12 victory over Texas for football season.
Unfortunately, Missouri ace Aaron Crow lost his scoreless innings streak (ended with 42 consecutive scoreless innings) today after allowing eight runs, but with the wind howling out to right field at a steady 30mph, not many pitchers wouldn't have given up a run.
This video—No explanation needed.
The offense—For all the good this lineup did in the first few games of the year, today was a huge step backward.
The White Sox' effort at the plate today was nothing short of embarrassing against a weak, taxed Detroit bullpen. Perhaps it had something to do with the lineup Ozzie Guillen ran out that did not include Nick Swisher or A.J. Pierzynski, putting in Brian Anderson and Toby Hall for two of the Sox top two hitters.
But that doesn't get this lineup off the hook. As a group, they took a ton of bad swings, popping pitches up, swinging when they should have been taking (I'm looking at you, Jermaine Dye), and missing hanging breaking balls (I'm looking at you, Paul Konerko).
Blame the cold or poor strike zone of home plate umpire James Hoye if you will—but I'm not. Although terrible strike calls cost Jim Thome an at-bat that would have loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, the Sox still loaded the bases with two outs for Dye, who grounded out to short on a 2-0 pitch.
This was after the Sox had loaded the bases on a hit by pitch, walk, [should have been walk], and walk. Why Dye swung on 2-0 is just beyond me.
The White Sox got five hits against the Tigers today—who threw their bullpen for nine innings, thanks to a first-inning injury to Dontrelle Willis.
I guess, to put a close on this point: This was the worst offensive performance of the year. The Sox only scored two against Fausto Carmona in the second game of the year, but here's the difference: Carmona is good. It'd be a major, major stretch to say Aquilino Lopez/Jason Grilli/Denny Bautista are good.
The "feel" of the game—There are games where you can feel that the Sox are going to make a comeback, like the opener against Cleveland or the second game of the first Detroit series.
This was not one of them.
Personally, the "feel" of this game from the White Sox was lethargic. You can't present any stats to back up the tone of a game—but I was convinced after Dye grounded out with the bases loaded in the sixth that the Sox were not going to win this game, bad Detroit bullpen or not.
And it's a real shame, too. The Sox easily could have crippled Detroit for the entire three-game series if they had jumped on Lopez when he entered the game in the first inning after the injury to Willis. Instead, the offense rolled over and played dead, allowing Lopez to pitch into the fifth. They couldn't even muster a run off Jason Grilli, whom they lit up last Friday.
Frustrating, embarrassing, terrible—you name the negative adjective, that was today's effort by the White Sox.
Jose Contreras—How Contreras only allowed four earned runs in his 6.2 innings of work is nothing short of a miracle. He looked lost at points on the mound, consistently falling behind hitters and giving Detroit a chance to really tee off on him.
As long as he's getting results and keeping the Sox in games, though, I guess I shouldn't care how maddening it is to watch him pitch.
The bullpen—Boone Logan was due to give up a run, I guess. While Logan and Octavio Dotel both allowed inherited runners to score, I'm not going to harp on their performances because, despite them, the Sox weren't going to win this game anyway.
A late addition to this: Mike MacDougal. He didn't allow a run in his one inning of work, but is it too much to ask for him to not put a runner in scoring position every time he takes the mound?
Next up: Justin Verlander vs. Gavin Floyd, 12:05 PM. Sorry for the Holtzroll back there.
Also, White Sox Good/Bad/Indifferent will be taking Saturday off. I'm leaving for Kansas City at 1:00 and will only get to watch the first few innings of the Sox game. I'll return tomorrow with my analysis of the 1:05 game.
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