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).