Ya’ think? Under the heading of winnable games you will find those that the Tigers have remaining against the Chicago White Sox. Of which there are many. Thirteen to be precise after the Tigers’ 6-2 victory on Wednesday night — without Miguel Cabrera again — at U.S. Cellular Field. That’s the second game in a row the Tigers have played without Cabrera because of his sore left hip flexor muscle but also the second in a row they’ve won without him. In fact — and you know this is nothing but a quirk — they’ve won all five games in which Cabrera hasn’t played since the start of the 2011 season. When asked after the game if there was an update on Cabrera’s status manager Jim Leyland said “He didn’t play tonight.” In other words no update. Anibal Sanchez worked six scoreless innings before the Sox broke through for a run in the seventh against Bruce Rondon. But when they also scored in the ninth on a home run by Dayan Viciedo and put another runner on it led to a call for Joaquin Benoit — a move Leyland hadn’t planned on. So instead of everything being upbeat after the game yes there was some grumbling. “That’s the one thing we have to stop doing” said Leyland referring to complicated ninth innings. “We have to start getting through the ninth without having to use (Benoit) all the time. “If we don’t we’re not going to have a closer. It won’t work. He’ll be worn out. “With a four or five-run lead in the ninth we have to get some other guys to get some outs without using Benoit. That’s as simple as it is. “I don’t want to sound like I’m upset because I’m not” Leyland added. “I’m just making a point. We had an opportunity to give Benoit the night off with a day game (today) and we can’t get through it. “We didn’t do it last night and we didn’t do it again tonight. That’s not acceptable. You have to do better than that. Those are the facts of life.” With the victory their third in a row over the Sox and fourth overall the Tigers maintained a 3½-game lead over the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central. The win also gave the Tigers a 56-44 record at the 100-game mark. Of their final 62 games this season it shouldn’t distress them — and therefore probably doesn’t — that they have more games against the last-place White Sox than they do against any other team. The temptation for some might be to label them the WhiteFlag Sox because it appears as if they’re resigned to being terrible the rest of the year. But they’ve not surrendered. They’re just not good.
Tigers win third straight against White Sox, 6-2
Detroit News | Jul 25