Sox Take Home Opening Series vs. Detroit 2-1

Sox Take Home Opening Series vs. Detroit 2-1

What’s this?  Do my eyes deceive me?  The Chicago White Sox have toppled the “unstoppable” Detroit Tigers?  And yes, I use the word toppled because I guarantee you no one in the tri-state area believed the Sox would win this first series between the division rivals, and in such a commanding fashion.

Even though they lost the series finale on Sunday afternoon, the White Sox pitching did an excellent job of keeping the Tigers at bay, and their offense did a commendable job backing up their starters. Notice the White Sox only allowed Detroit to score nine runs through all three games. Compare that to the Tigers’ series against Boston, where in just one game they scored 13 runs.

Sox closer Matt Thorton, right, catcher Tyler Flowers, left, and Paul Konerko, center, after defeating the Tigers 5-1 on Saturday, April 14 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Photo Credit: AP Photo

The best part of this weekend series was most definitely the starting pitching. With a Tigers’ offense this potent, it’s simply amazing how Sox pitching was able to hold the heavy hitters at bay for much of the three-game stretch. Jake Peavy started the series off right with 6 2/3 innings of two-hit baseball.

Gavin Floyd also threw well in his win the next night. Even though Chris Sale received the loss on Sunday, in his 5+ innings of work, he was still able to strike out five and hold the Tigers to only three runs. Sale deserves a little more leeway as he adjusts back to being an actual starter again. But the bullpen (save for Will Ohman) really backed up their starting guys. Most impressive was rookie Nate Jones during Sunday’s game.

When he came in during the sixth inning with no outs, he ended up throwing a wild pitch that allowed Sale’s base runner to come home. After that, he loaded the bases, but was able to get out of the jam without giving up an earned run, and sat down all three batters that came up the next inning. If there’s any feel good story so far in this young season, it’s the rookies in the bullpen; both Jones and Hector Santiago, proving why they were selected for the opening day roster.

Now we’re only a week or so through the season, so we can’t get too excited yet. It’s very easy to, however, since the Sox are already playing way above expectations. There have been many times where the White Sox have gotten our hopes up, only to send them crashing back down, though.

That’s why manager Robin Ventura is taking the attitude of only handling one game at a time, and not reading much into these early season victories. But it is something to get excited about, and we all should be; Ventura included.  The Sox made a statement to Detroit:  if you want to win this division, there will be no coasting allowed.

This should be a sign to the Tigers that if they hope to run away with this division as all the prognosticators have said, they’re going to have to really earn it.

This is a guest post by Nick LaBanca from MidwayMadness.com. Midway Madness is a site dedicated to Chicago sports. It is written by Chicago sports fans, for Chicago sports fans. Nick LaBanca is a Columbia College graduate who grew up in Chicago and is an avid Chicago Bulls and White Sox fan. Wanna read more from Nick? Click here.

 

Photo Credit: Brian Kersey [Getty Images]
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