Monday, Sept. 12, 2011
Posted: 10:20 p.m. Updated: 11:50 p.m.
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If it were a prizefight, this was Mike Tyson demolishing Michael Spinks, or George Foreman devouring Jos Roman. Of course, if it were a fight, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen could have thrown in the towel and preserved his troops for another day.
But this was not a prizefight, and thus the Detroit Tigers showed Chicago little mercy in a 14-4 pasting that opened the final series of the season between the two teams.
Although it is tempting to merely cut-and-paste the September 4 gamerthe 18-2 massacre wherein the Detroit Tigers dropped the Chicago White Sox six feet under and tramped the dirt downthis game had some differences. It was played in Chicago, before a semi-partisan crowd, and not Detroit. It wasnt on national TV. And the White Sox scored four runs, while holding the Tigers to 14.
But otherwise, wow, the evisceration from a week earlier bore eerie resemblance to that of this Mondays massacre: poor pitching, languid play and embarrassment all around.
John Danks got Detroits hit parade off to a swift start, giving up eight runs (seven earned) on 11 hits, some of them of the seeing-eye variety, but none of them coming cheap.
Obviously, I didnt throw the ball very well; thats apparent, Danks said. I dont know if theres a hotter team out there, either. Its embarrassing, but at the same time, you have to realize how good theyve been playing. When I was ahead in the count, I was letting them off the hook. Id fall behind and try to get back in the count, and they hit the ball hard. It happens. Its a good team going good, and even the balls they mis-hit were falling in. Its part of the game, I guess.
Hes making very bad pitches, but those guys right now, they had like seven ground ball base hits, Guillen said. Right now, they are swinging the bat very well and its a combination of both Dankss pitching and Detroits hitting. John has had a tough time the last couple of times with them, but so do a lot of people. Right now, those guys are on fire.
Guillen has done his homework, as everyone in the White Sox rotation has struggled vs. the Bengals; during Detroits current, 10-game win streak, Chicago has accorded them eight, nine, 18 and 14 runs.
Detroit cranked out 21 hits and scored in five of nine innings, often with crooked numbers, in putting together an overall 40-6 run that stretched over the past 22 innings between the two clubs. Ryan Raburn, Delmon Young and Brandon Inge accounted for 10 of Motowns 21 hits and were retired just three times collectively. Raburns four hits marked the third time in his career hes achieved the milestoneall against the White Sox.
Chicago actually held a 1-0 lead after one, with Dayan Viciedo driving home Juan Pierre with a groundout off of Rick Porcello, who eluded all prior Pale Hose bugaboos with a tidy six-hit, three run effort over 6 23 innings. But back-to-back blasts from Jhonny Peralta (two runs) and Raburn on successive pitches in the second gave Detroit a 3-1 lead it would not relinquish. As the game totaled up in uneven fashion, it was more of the same for both the White Sox offense (0-for-7 with RISP) and Detroits (8-for-18).
Nearly the only other highlight was a pair of late homers by Brent Morel, one with two outs in the seventh, the second with one out in the ninth. Both were massive blasts to straightaway center, upping his total to seven homers on the year and five in his past 13 games.
Hes swung the bat pretty good the last 15 games, Guillen said. Its nice to see when a kid goes out there and performs that way and puts himself in a nice position to hopefully finish strong and have a good year.
Its just more confidence and trusting my swing a little bit, said the reticent third baseman. Im just developing an approach. Ive been working more, but not really trying to do anything differentjust trying to let it happen.
While a forgone conclusion in the eyes of most, Guillen was asked whether he felt his team had any fight left in them. The manager, frank as always (he approached the postgame podium with surprise, saying Wow, you really, really want to talk to me. Thank you. Wow), didnt part the clouds with his response.
You have to ask my players, he said. After you lose a game like that, if I say yes, we do, I might be lying. You lose a game like this and get beat up again against Detroit, Im not going to say, yeah, we got fire, because I dont see it We look at each other like, Whats going on here, what happened? But they beat us and Im not going to take any credit away from them.
Danks, for one, isnt going to let his final starts go down without a fight.
I have pride. Im competitive. I didnt have fun today. I didnt have fun at all. Im as frustrated as Ive ever been, he said. I want to finish strong and have a good taste in my mouth heading into the offseason. At the rate Im going over my past three starts, thats not looking good.
Were going to finish on a strong notewe havent given up. Obviously our playoffs hopes are pretty dim. Were going to finish on a strong note and get rolling into next year. Games like this arent fun. They dont sit well with us. Well try to win every game. We signed up to play 162 and more, were going to play 162 and try to win every game we can.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.