I was happy to read a reply from a Tiger’s fan to my post Wednesday about the Sox dominating the Tigers this weekend, and how it should not be a” foreseen conclusion” based on the Boston series. It’s good to hear from “The Kitty-Kat Club” since they don’t say much throughout the year, probably because a lot of the “KKC” are converted Cubs’ fans worried about jinxing the Tigers, or some may still have the aftertaste of losing the World Series to the 83-win Cardinals in 2006; it’s kind of embarrassing.
Ball-busting aside, I’m happy to say both teams come in hot, the Sox having swept the Red Sox at Fenway, and the Tigers winners of four-in-a-row including a sweep of the Minnesota Twins, the only team without at least 20 wins. A competitive series is more exciting for everyone, and it should be just that.
First off, Sox fans can all breathe a sigh of relief as John “Stanks” is not pitching in this series, instead Jake Peavy will pitch the series closer on Sunday, however Justin Verlander is pitching on Saturday for the Tigers. While Verlander’s record does not look that dominating against the Sox, he has been over the last few seasons, so that will be a tall order for the Sox on Saturday. Of course, this is the game I’m attending, but if Edwin Jackson can keep the ball down it should be a pretty good match-up.
The one glaring stat starring the Sox in the face is the fact that the Tigers have won nine straight games against the Southsiders dating back to last season, but it’s a new season and White Sox team playing much better baseball at the moment. Also, we all know June is the month the Sox seem to wake-up every season, and this year looks to be the same.
Tonight’s match-up puts Mark Buehrle against Andrew Oliver pitching his second game this season. The Tigers pitching staff has been hit with some injuries so Oliver is filling the void. He let up three runs in six innings in his first start this season. Buehrle seems to have returned to form, only allowing two home runs over the last 41.2 innings. Prediction: White Sox winner
The aforementioned Saturday match-up puts Jackson against Tiger’s staff ace, Verlander. The advantage definitely swings over to the Tigers in this one, but there’s a reason they the games. Jackson has faced the Tigers three times since joining the White Sox winning two of those outings, however the one loss was this season where the Tigers pounded Jackson for seven earned runs. Prediction: Detroit Tigers winner
Finally on Sunday, Jake Peavy takes the mound against Brad “Fat” Penny, who dominated the Sox earlier this season, to mine and Smitty’s surprise. We both thought the game was going to be high scoring because Penny had pitched so poorly at that point in the season, instead he held a struggling Sox offense at the time to one hit over seven innings. This was the same game Jackson received a beating from the Tigers. Penny continues his inconsistency and this is a different Sox offense then he faced back in April, meanwhile the red-hot Peavy takes the mound. Peavy has faced the Tigers twice and truly dominated them. He’s 2-0 with 13 k’s and no runs allowed over 15 innings pitched. I’m going to give this one to the Sox. Prediction: White Sox winner
Sox will take the series, but not sweep. The Sox have the pitching advantage on Friday and Sunday, but Verlander will be only ace on the mound on Saturday. While anything is possible both teams are playing good baseball so a sweep will be difficult. GO SOX!