Tigers Pitching Sparks White Sox Sweep

Ozzie Guillen’s White Sox used to be the team that was a pain in the side of the Tigers’ postseason dreams. It was Chicago in 2009 that took 4-of-6 from Detroit in the final two weeks of that crazy season. In the World Series-bound season of 2006, the White Sox took 6-of-10, including a sweep by Chicago in the final two months of the season. In both seasons, it was the Tigers’ inability to get past the White Sox that cost them the division title to the Twins. In 2011, the Tigers may finally benefit from depleted pitching against their top two AL Central rivals.

Justin Verlander and the White Sox used to be a one-sided affair in the wrong direction. In Verlander’s first three seasons, he was only able to beat the Sox twice with an ERA close to six. In the opening game of this series, Verlander seemed to spark the team by placing together a solid outing that showed more of the Cy Young caliber pitcher that many expect number 35 to be. When JV takes the mound, Tigers fans expect wins, and every Verlander start has demonstrated that the next 1,000 strikeouts will come much faster than the first 1,000.

Max Scherzer’s performances are another reminder of what a good trade can mean to a major league baseball club. When Scherzer arrived with the slew of players in the Granderson deal, there was a hope that he could produce a season well beyond Edwin Jackson’s – the person he was traded for. Since Scherzer made it back into the rotation in the second-half of last season, he has been nothing short of genius on the mound.

Scherzer’s 2011 start has been much of the same. The team has won each of the five games he has started so far this season, including being credited for wins in four of those. His ERA continues to plummet, and at 3.19 right now, he has numbers that put him in elite company through this early part of the season. If Scherzer and Verlander can continue to lift the Tigers to spectacular form like they showed this past weekend, there’s no reason we won’t be discussing the Tigers well into September and beyond.

One reply on “Tigers Pitching Sparks White Sox Sweep

  • Dan

    Much reason for celebration after this sweep, I agree. Great pitching against a very good lineup. As much as I’m excited about Scherzer, and of course Verlander is Verlander, he’ll always be the ace, I am most encouraged by Penny’s outing. The #3-5 starters are key to the team’s success. I hope Coke can get some consistency going. I think Porcello will be ok.

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