I’m not usually one to push the panic button–especially on Justin Verlander who showed last year he could be incredibly streaky, but could be relied upon when it counted. Tonight, I’m pushing the panic button.
Gone are the days when the Detroit Tigers would turn to their ace to be the stopper and end a losing streak. While Verlander was effective early, it fell apart when it counted and the Tigers lost their third straight game, 8-2 to the Chicago White Sox.
Jose Abreu opened the scoring, as he often does these days, taking Verlander deep in the second inning. J.V. was more on his game tonight than in his last start and kept Chicago from scoring again for awhile. Detroit tied the score in the fourth inning when a Torii Hunter base hit drove in Miguel Cabrera.
It would stay tied until the bottom of the sixth inning when the White Sox loaded the bases. A double-play ball scored the go-ahead run for Chicago and instead of using that as a break and getting out of it, the bottom fell out for Justin. With the score 3-1, Brad Ausmus went to consult with Verlander who appeared to be tiring. Verlander, always the gamer despite the results, talked his rookie manager into letting him stay in the game. This was a mistake as two batters later, the score was 5-1 and Verlander was gone.
Ian Krol allowed two more of runners to score that were charged to Verlander’s line score. He’d allow seven runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. It marked the fifth time in the last six starts that Verlander has allowed five or more runs.
The Tigers will try to regroup and avoid yet another sweep when they face the White Sox again tomorrow night at U.S. Cellular Field. Max Scherzer will face Chris Sale, the White Sox ace who has yet to lose in 2014.