Everyone got their grief out of the way ahead of time. Whether it was when they realized that the White Sox would inevitably use their waiver claim of the lightly-regarded Hector Noesi to soak up a spot start, or when they discovered that a rainout pushed Max Scherzer to Wednesday, or when they rationalized that this was a Wednesday getaway game and they wouldn't be able to spare a moment to witness the slaughter anyway.
Even Robin Ventura--who pulled Noesi at the first sign of disaster in the fourth--was managing with fatalism in mind. The White Sox were certainly outgunned in their 5-1 loss to the Tigers, but they weren't unprepared.
After pitching over a leadoff single and relying on flyouts in the first, Noesi had a good stretch buried in there, which was more than anyone bargained for. He struck out J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos in the second, didn't allow the ball to leave the infield in the third, and was carrying a 0-0 pitcher's duel with the reigning AL Cy Young through three.
Noesi has never been much a reliever when given the chance, but the difference between starter and reliever-level talent is said to be the ability to turn over the lineup multiple times. To that end, suddenly Noesi found it very difficult to throw a strike that wasn't crushed, leading to this progression.
RBI sac fly
RBI sac fly
Two-run double by backup catcher Bryan Holaday. Whacking didn't earn Holaday the genius grants that his back-breaking squeeze from Tuesday did, but it was equally decisive in giving the Tigers a crucial 4-0 advantage.
After Noesi was chased in 3.2 innings, Jake Petricka and Zach Putnam carried the game into the eighth without allowing any additional tallies. It wasn't until the second-straight inning that Maikel Cleto loaded the bases that the Tigers added another run. Brandon Webb came on in the ninth to a bases loaded, nobody out situation, and mixed one walk between three strikeouts.
One supposed Scherzer could have been more dominant in spinning seven shutout innings on only four hits for the Tigers. Whatever threats emerged were stamped out dishearteningly. Jose Abreu doubled with two outs in the first, but was stranded alongside Adam Dunn when Scherzer muscled up and blew away Dayan Viciedo.
When Abreu stepped up with a chance to do damage with runners on in the third, Scherzer induced a weak groundout, then whiffed Adam Dunn to end it. After collecting his team-record 40th hit of April, Alexei Ramirez was stranded at second in the fourth, as was Viciedo after a sixth-inning double.
No timely blows came for the Sox until Tyler Flowers ruined the shutout with a poke-check single up the middle to score Viciedo with two outs in the ninth. It saved the White Sox dignity, which is all they were ever going to escape with.
Team Record: 13-14
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