Game #Miguel Cabrera: White Sox (13-9) @ Tigers (11-12)

White Sox

SP: Miguel González (R)

2B: Tyler Saladino (R)
SS: Tim Anderson (R)
LF: Melky Cabrera (S)
1B: José Abreu (R)
3B: Todd Frazier (R)
RF: Avisaíl García (R)
DH: Cody Asche (L)
C: Geovany Soto (R)
CF: Leury García (R)

Tigers

SP: Jordan Zimmermann (R)

2B: Ian Kinsler (R)
CF: Tyler Collins (L)
3B: Nicholas Castellanos (R)
DH: Victor Martínez (S)
LF: Justin Upton (R)
C: Alex Avila (L)
RF: Jim Adduci (L)
1B: John Hicks (R)
SS: José Iglesias (R)

Things Of Note: Let’s hope Jordan Zimmermann’s start goes better than his last two. He—and the Tigers—need a good outing.

Morning Rewind: You Win a Few, You Lose a Few

The Good: Our blog’s namesake, Michael Fulmer, dealt with a similar issue to Matt Boyd the other day, namely a rapidly mounting pitch count in the early innings. However, also like Boyd, Fulmer was able to right the ship and get his pitch count in order to give the Tigers a quality start, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks, with 3 strikeouts, over 6 innings. We can debate the importance of the “quality start” until the cows come home, but Fulmer more often than not gives the Tigers a chance, and he did just enough today. The Tigers’ young righthander felt his stuff was there, but lack of command ultimately “killed” him.

The Bad: Justin Wilson, I guess? He gave up a homerun and another add-on run, but, like. He’s been literally untouchable until this point. Brad probably got slammed by someone somewhere for using him in that inning and situation, because this is Detroit and we love second-guessing our managers/coaches, but Wilson was the correct choice for a tied game in the 10th. It just didn’t work out. More often than not, it will.

The Ugly: I fell asleep during the sixth inning and only woke up in the ninth when Victor homered because Dan Dickerson started screaming. It was just one of those games.

Things of Note:
• Blaine Hardy gave up a homerun to José Abreu, the Sox first baseman’s second bomb of the game and just the second homer of the season for him. Hardy and McCann think Abreu might have snuck a peek at the signs, via McCosky.
• Shane Greene pitched 1.1 IP and did okay. After coming in and promptly drilling Todd Frazier, Greene struck out Avisaíl García to end the eighth. He came back out and pitched a scoreless ninth—around a minor two-out jam—before giving way to the aforementioned Justin Wilson. Greene seems to have better command of the strikezone in his last couple outings, and this is perhaps something to build on.

The Tigers are going to need Greene to regain some semblance of strike throwing if they are to have a chance at even mediocrity. The bullpen is just too thin to carry 4 guys who can’t throw strikes in addition to the Wilsons and K-Rod.
• I admit I cringed every time a ball went Nicholas Castellanos’ way, but he was fine.
• José Iglesias trying and failing to bunt for a base hit in the ninth with two outs, after failing to do so in the same at bat, on the previous pitch no less, was…curious. He certainly didn’t catch the Sox by surprise.
• As far as I know, nobody made any egregious defensive misplays!
• The Tigers’ last few starts have helped reset/rest an overworked, struggling bullpen. Fulmer went 6 on Saturday, while Boyd and Verlander went 7. It seems minor, but the rotation going deeper into games can go a long way.
• Don’t look now, but Buck Farmer is mowing down Triple-A competition with the Toledo MudHens. Fans have bandied his name about as a possible replacement for Anibal Sanchez, and his numbers do look good. Drew VerHagen has also stood out for the MudHens as he works his way back from a few injury plagued seasons. Both could get consideration if the Tigers reach the end of the line with Anibal.

Game of Redemption: White Sox (11-10) @ Tigers (11-11)

White Sox

SP: Derek Holland

2B: Tyler Saladino (R)
SS: Tim Anderson (R)
LF: Melky Cabrera (S)
1B: José Abreu (R)
3B: Todd Frazier (R)
RF: Avisail García (R)
DH: Cody Asche (L)
C: Omar Narváez (L)
CF: Leury García (S)

Tigers

SP: Michael Fulmer (R)

2B: Ian Kinsler (R)
RF: Mikie Mahtook (R)
3B: Nicholas Castellanos (R)
DH: Víctor Martínez (S)
LF: Justin Upton (R)
1B: John Hicks (R)
C: James McCann (R)
CF: Andrew Romine (S)
SS: José Iglesias (R)

THINGS OF NOTE: Yesterday was pretty bad, so surely today will be better…?

Morning Rewind: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good: Matt Boyd. Shaky early, Boyd settled in and gave the Tigers a strong performance. The southpaw went 7, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, while racking up 5 punch outs. In fact, Boyd probably should have just given up 2 runs, but a mental mistake by Jim Adduci put a runner on base that eventually came around to score. Boyd has been solid in all but one of his starts so far this season.

The Bad: The Tigers offense couldn’t solve their old friend, Mike Pelfrey, after a promising start to the game. The Tigers scored two early runs off Big Pelf and were threatening for more, but an inning ending double play snuffed out the threat. The Tigers didn’t muster much more off Pelfrey after that, though he only went 4.2 IP due to a rapidly mounting pitch count.

The Ugly: Nicholas Castellanos’ defensive deficit was on full display last night. While Castellanos usually makes the plays he can get to—the big knock on him, according to most defensive metrics, has always been his range—Castellanos booted three balls, including two in the eighth inning that helped the White Sox to the 7-3 win. It was particularly disheartening to see a player who seemed to be making strides on the infield have such a lousy game defensively. Castellanos, for his part, stood up to the media after the game and answered every question. This is just the kind of ugly night you have to put behind you, if you’re Castellanos, and hope it doesn’t repeat itself. If anyone can do it, it’s probably him.

Also ugly was Joe Jimenez’s rocky ninth inning. The young flamethrower struggled to start off the frame, allowing a couple add-on runs in the form of a 2 run homer to Tim Anderson. Jimenez relied heavily on his fastball early, which the Sox hitters were teeing off on, but eventually began mixing in his slider and changeup. (All three hits Jimenez allowed were off the fastball.) In fact, Joe threw 10 straight fastballs before finally going to his changeup. He was much more effective after he began mixing in his offspeed/breaking stuff.

It’s just another bump on the road for a promising prospect who still has much to learn as far as being a big leaguer is concerned. There’s also a very good reason the Tigers have moved him relatively slowly through the system and haven’t thrown him directly into the fire yet. Though Joe is as big league ready as any Tigers prospect, he also might benefit from going back to Toledo to work on refining and polishing his command and consistency (as well as regaining some confidence).

Game 22: White Sox (11-9) @ Tigers (11-10)

Tigers

SP: Matthew Boyd

2B: Ian Kinsler
CF: Tyler Collins
3B: Nicholas Castellanos
DH: Víctor Martínez
LF: Justin Upton
C: Alex Avila
RF: Jim Adduci
1B: John Hicks
SS: José Iglesias

White Sox

SP: Mike Pelfrey

DH: Tyler Saladino
SS: Tim Anderson
LF: Melky Cabrera
3B: Todd Frazier
RF: Avisaíl García
1B: Matt Davidson
2B: Yolmer Sánchez
C: Geovany Soto
CF: Leury García

Things of Note: BIG PELF, Y’ALL!