Let’s not mince words. Just like other series that have been called crucial this season, this weekend is like them. Except it isn’t. If the Sox don’t take care of business, they lose first place. This is not something the team can have happen. It seems once a team is in first place, it is much easier to hang on to it rather than trying to fight back to get into first place.
Here is what you need to know for the upcoming series at the Dirty Beast’s home in Detroit:
2012 Record: White Sox 50-42, 1st in AL Central. Tigers 49-44, 2nd in AL Central
2012 Series Record: 4-4
All-Time Series Record: 1,005 – 1,026 (The Sox are 470-541 at Detroit)
The following pitchers are expected to start this weekend:
Jake Peavy: 7-6, 3.12 ERA, 113K vs. Justin Verlander: 10-5, 2.43 ERA, 136K
Chris Sale: 11-2, 2.11 ERA, 102K vs. Rick Porcello: 6-5, 4.66 ERA, 62K
Philip Humber: 4-4, 5.77 ERA, 66K vs. Jacob Turner: 0-1, 10.29 ERA, 4K
Friday’s game begins at 6:05 pm, Saturday’s game is at 3:10 pm and Sunday’s game is at 12:05 pm. All times CDT.
Disappointment. Heartache. Sickness. Disgust. Those are just a few of the words that can be used to describe the series the White Sox had against the Red Sox. Two of those games (Monday and Thursday) were in hand. The Sox got spectacular starting pitching from Dylan Axelrod and Jose Quintana. Unfortunately, the offense didn’t come through enough and the bullpen had meltdowns. So sad when good starting pitching goes to waste.
Most fans should know that the hitting was going to be streaky this year. It’s just what happens when you have a lineup built around power hitters. They won’t be on all the time. You just hope they don’t all go lights out at the same time. Unfortunately, that seems to happen too often for the White Sox. There is still production from key guys, but sometimes it just isn’t enough to give the pitching staff a little breathing room.
Then again, the Sox pitching staff may need a TON of breathing room. The number of rookies there is rather astounding. The only veteran currently in the pen is Matt Thornton and I won’t discuss the wrath that many fans have with him of late. Jesse Crain, the other veteran presence in the bullpen has been on the disabled list with shoulder problems. However, he may be back this weekend to face the Dirty Beast.
Of course, while the Sox are going through their meh play of late, the Dirty Beast has been getting hot. It was a lot of fun when they were playing below .500 baseball and seeming to be headed closer to fifth place than first place. But most smart baseball fans knew it would only be a matter of time before the Tigers finally started to put things together. They have been on a tear winning eight of their last 10 games. Of course, they are now on a two-game winning streak. The defense is still suspect for the team, but when there are boppers in the lineup like Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder along with guys who can get on base consistently to be driven in, you don’t worry too much knowing you can score the runs to win games.
Who’s Hot: Alexei Ramirez has 10 hits in his last 12 games and is finally starting to heat up at the plate. Miguel Cabrera has three home runs in his last eight games. He also has a hit in seven of the last eight games. Who’s Not: Gordon Beckham is hitting just .105 of late. Quintin Berry is hitting just .176 of late.
For more on the Tigers, be sure to visit Motown Lowdown.