It wouldn't have mattered if the White Sox trotted out the American League All-Star team's lineup in tonight's loss. Nobody was going to scratch more than one or two runs off Justin Verlander, who threw just 101 pitches in a complete game effort today.
Verlander had all his pitches working today, limiting the White Sox to one run on four hits, no walks, and three strikeouts. He was locating his mid-90's fastball perfectly. He was changing speeds on his 'Bugs Bunny' curveball. And his changeup? If he threw that, Sox hitters had no chance.
This is one of those games where you just tip your cap to the opposing pitcher. It's not like the Sox left double-digit men on base like in the Tampa Bay series. Verlander just dominanted today, and the Sox didn't have a chance.
I'm refraining from putting the offense in any category today. Hopefully, they can come out tomorrow and score some runs to avoid getting swept, though.
In years past, Vazquez's problem has been that he doesn't throw enough strikes.
Today, he threw too many strikes.
Yes, Vazquez had three walks, but he gave the Tigers a lot of hittable pitches—and when you give a good hitting team hittable pitches, guess what? They score a lot of runs.
Today, the Tigers had ten hits and scored five runs off Vazquez, who threw six innings and struck out nine.
This was Vazquez's second sub-par outing in a row, following up a 5.2-inning, four-run performance against Minnesota last Friday.
He's among the league leaders in strikeouts and still has an ERA below 4.00, but he's going to have to pitch better than he has in his last two outings if he wants to lead this Sox rotation.
The Sox's upcoming opponents
Let's not fret about this possible sweep the Sox are facing in Detroit. Why? Because the Sox return back to the South Side to face the 25-39 Colorado Rockies, who are last in the National League West and are 10-24 on the road going into June 11.
After that three-game set, the Pittsburgh Pirates come to town. Although the Bucs are a surprising 31-34, they are just 12-19 on the road.
If the Sox can take advantage of playing these two fairly weak opponents, they could expand their division lead nicely heading into the three-game series at Wrigely against the Cubs.
Nothing here. Hopefully, the Sox can stave off a sweep tomorrow with an afternoon victory.