Bring out the big guns this weekend boys! After a disappointing series in Baltimore, the White Sox have headed to Motown to take on their ferocious conference rival Detroit Tigers. This series is crucial as the Tigers trail the AL-Central leading White Sox by three games and are vying for the conference crown this season.
Both the White Sox and Tigers are coming off losing series, so we’ll call it a wash. The Tigers haven’t been playing their best ball lately – they were swept in three games by the Royals, whereas the Sox came into their roadtrip after a 6-0 homestand against the Yankees (swept the Yanks for the first time in 21 years) and the Mariners. If Detroit takes advantage of their home field advantage (which they’ve done this season – Chicago is winless in four straight at Comerica Park) they could pick up some serious conference ground. In other words, the White Sox need to take this series in Detroit to prove they’re the big dogs in the ALC.
Here are the three top “musts” the Sox must do to keep those Tigers in check.
Detroit has their three big mound guns going Friday through Sunday with Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Chicago’s big guys need to show-up and shut-out – I’m talking to you Jake Peavy, Francisco Liriano and Chris Sale. Peavy has the honor of opening the series and starting things off right. This Tiger offense is powerful, the Sox need to maintain and tame it. Also, the bullpen needs to be one their best behavior. No hiccups allowed. Addison Reed (who’s really performed like a vet when called upon), Nate Jones, Brett Myers, Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain all need to be ready for tight situations.
2. Heat-up the bats
Detroit has some of the heaviest hitters in the league (Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to throw out some names) and Chicago’s offense needs to heat things up a bit. After some slumping in the Orioles series, the Sox need to see a resurgence from Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn. A.J. Pierzynski has been having a career year and seems to have hit his first major funk of 2012 – let’s put a kabosh on that right now. Also, they need their lead off men to get on base, we’re looking to you Dewayne Wise and Kevin Youkilis.
3. Attack with the gloves
Defense is something a professional baseball team can take for granted – especially with the Tigers. Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez have been making some incredible moves throughout the infield, don’t stop now! The Sox have to allow the Tigers 3 outs and that’s all folks. If Chicago makes defensive errors and allows Detroit freebies to get on base – they can say goodbye to the top spot in the ALC.
Give them hell White Sox! Make it a showdown in Motown to remember.