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July 10, 2013

What You Need to Know

Chicago Firepower

by Daniel Rathman


The Tuesday Takeaway
The White Sox entered last night’s matchup with Justin Verlander with a .237 team TAv, the second-worst mark in baseball. Only the Marlins, at .231, had been less potent at the plate as a group, and Mike Redmond’s bunch did not have the benefit of a designated hitter. Among junior-circuit clubs, the Yankees, 11 points ahead of the White Sox at .248, were the next-worst squad.

The American League’s least productive lineup, one with only two starters toting on-base percentages higher than .310, is not supposed to collect 23 hits in a game against Verlander. But on Tuesday, the White Sox did.

Even the most productive hitter in the league is not supposed to collect four hits off of Verlander in the same game, much less to tie an American League record with six base knocks in a nine-inning contest that Verlander started for the opposing team. But on Tuesday, Alex Rios did both.

If the internet did not exist, box scores, statistics, and standings were not circulated, and scouting reports were unavailable, the Tigers would have known nothing about the White Sox heading into the opener of the first series between the teams this season. They might have left Comerica Park down on their hopes of securing a second consecutive division title after watching the team with which they jockeyed for much of 2012 slap 12 hits off Verlander and plate six runs against the bullpen. But the Tigers were in first place, the White Sox 14 games behind them in the cellar, and none of those information sources could have foretold the shelling that took place in Detroit on Tuesday night.

Rios picked up the visitors’ first hit with a single to right in the opening frame. He raised both his hit total and the team’s to two with a triple in the top of the third. Between that two-out three-bagger and Rios’ next knock, a single in the fifth inning, only Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez added to the White Sox’ tally. With five-ninths of its offensive innings in the books, Chicago had five hits and no runs. Apart from a dearth of high-90s readings on the radar gun, this was a typical Verlander start.

Except that in the ensuing four frames, the White Sox scored 11 times on 18 hits.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (07/10)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (07/09)
Next Column >>
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (07/11)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: Matt H... (07/10)

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