I don’t even know what to say right now. We just witnessed an embarrassing effort as the Detroit Tigers defeated the Chicago White Sox in game one of the biggest three-game set of the year 7-4. You know when you win a game and there isn’t one person you can pick that made the difference? Well, it’s quite the opposite for tonight’s game. I can’t figure out the one person I’m ticked off at the most, but I think it’s Jake Peavy.
I’m done with Peavy. Absolutely done with him. He is Javier Vazquez Jr. Never – and I mean never – has Jake Peavy pitched well in a big game. You can look at his stellar 12.10 postseason ERA, or his sweet start in game #163 against the Colorado Rockies in 2007 for proof. Tonight, he proved once again how small he can be in a big game, allowing six runs in six-plus innings, only throwing one good inning throughout his entire start. Also, whenever the Sox needed a shutdown inning, Peavy was there to give it right back up. I even texted my friend after the top of the 7th, saying I would bet my life the Tigers score in the bottom half. I was right.
After Peavy, I need to rant on Robin Ventura. As I wrote a few days ago, I like what Ventura does for the clubhouse and that the manager’s impact isn’t tangible, meaning I have no idea how to value Ventura’s effect on the team. But as far as in-game decisions go, he makes Ozzie Guillen look like Connie Mack.
The leash Peavy has needs to stop. I don’t know if it’s pitching coach Don Cooper or Ventura, but they continue to leave Peavy in way too long. The bottom of the 7th began with Andy Dirks, a left-handed hitter who already hit Peavy hard earlier in the game. You would think that would be a good time to use Matt Thornton or Donnie Veal. Nope, not when the Jakemeister is pitching. So once Dirks inevitably walks without taking the bat of his shoulder, Miguel Cabrera – who also owned Peavy – limps to the plate.
Like his previous big start against the Tigers, Peavy pitched scared, getting down in the count 3-1 before Cabrera smoked a single into left field. Ventura actually makes the right movie in bringing in the fan’s favorite whipping boy, Matt Thornton. But Thornton hasn’t pitched in a week, so of course he is a tad rusty. Thornton drills Fielder, loading the bases for the right-handed Delmon Young. A good spot for Jesse Crain, right?
Wrong. Ventura leaves in Thornton to face Young, a good low fastball hitter to clear the bases. Game. Set. Match. Would the Tigers have scored if Ventura started it with Thornton? Possibly. However, once again, Ventura doesn’t put his pitchers in the best scenario for success, losing the game along the way.
Outside of those two Thurman Mermans, the offense was jokes tonight, going 0-for the world with RISP. This is the first game all season I can literally hate everyone involved. Everyone stunk. Everyone is the reason why we lost the game.
I don’t know if it’s Chicken Little time quite yet for the Chicago White Sox, but this game could not have been any worse than it was. I can still take solace knowing the Chicago White Sox are two games up in the standings, but if Detroit sweeps, it’s time to run around with our heads cut off.
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