Verlander's fifth is a Sox shutout symphony

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Verlander's fifth is a Sox shutout symphony

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011
Posted: 10:36 p.m. Updated: 11:27 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com White Sox InsiderFollow @CSNChi_Beatnik
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Relative to the U.S. Cellular Field Massacree that took place on Monday and the series from hell in Motown two weekends ago, a 5-0 whitewash at the hands of presumptive AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander was practically a gift from the Detroit Tigers to the Chicago White Sox.

Sure, the game was hardly in doubt, but the White Sox did show some fight before falling to Verlander for the fifth time this season, including two bases-loaded rallies, as well as a first-and-third in the first. Natch, the Pale Hose stranded 10 for the game and was a perfect 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

We didnt have the big hit, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen cut-and-pasted postgame. Against a pitcher of Verlanders caliber you have to get it done before he makes his pitches.

READ: Ozzie hands out 2011 grades

The deciding blow came off the bat of Victor Martinez, who blasted a towering, three-run shot out to right to push Detroits lead to 4-0.

Gavin hit the wall after Martinezs homer, according to Guillen. He put everything into that nine-pitch at-bat.

The longball came on a 3-2 cutter, which has not only been Gavin Floyds most effective pitch this season, its been the most effective cutter in the major leagues. Yet Guillen knew that something bad might be coming after walking Bengals slugger Miguel Cabrera to get to Martinez.

I told Joey, Look at his eyes, Guillen said of Martinez. Theres a lot of pride a hitter feels when someone is walked in front of you, like, You think Cabrera is better than me? But I cant pitch to Cabrerahes the best hitter in the American League and has been for the past three years.

Catcher Tyler Flowers was bummed that Floyd was tagged with a loss over basically one pitch. Earlier in the count, Martinez twice had failed to get solid contact on Floyds cutter, fouling them off. But the third time was a charm.

Victor had a good at-bat, Flowers said. Gavin threw at lot better than four runs allowed would indicate. Victor just took advantage of the mistake.

Chicago mounted a final rally off of a tightrope-walking Joaquin Benoit, loading the bases with two out as the plate began to jump around on the setup man with a fat contract, but Benoit punched out Flowers to end any semblance of a threat with nary a run scoring.

The loss slipped the Chisox back under .500 (73-74) and raised the staffs ERA vs. Detroit to a gaseous 6.14 on the season. The Tigers, whose magic number to eliminate the White Sox is three (four vs. Cleveland), have outscored Chicago 45-6 over the two teams last 31 innings played. The shutout was the 10th of the season for the White Sox, three of which now have come at the hands of Detroit.

Six Pack of Stats

Pressure Play (highest-leverage situation): With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning, Gordon Beckham faced 3.75 LI in a one-run game against Verlanderand struck out to end the rare threat. Tigers 1, White Sox 0

Pressure Cooker (highest total leverage faced in the game): With 2.01 pLI, Beckham faced the highest overall pressure in the game, and faltered in the face of it, going 0-for 3 with a strikeout and a game-high six men left on base.

Wauoooo of the Day(greatest win probability added, single play): Martinez turned a nail-biter into a romp with a three-run homer in the fifth, following a Will Rhymes double and intentional walk to Cabrera. The clout was good for .178 WPA added to Detroits winning effort. Tigers 4, White Sox 0

Game MVP (greatest win probability added, game): Unshockingly, Verlanders seven-inning win, with six Ks against six hits and two walks landed him with a .375 WPA for the game, tops in the contest.
Chicagos Start: Floyd started out gangbusters before Martinezs clout, but unraveled quickly from there, lasting just 5 13 innings with four hits, four runs and four walks en route to a 43 game score.

Detroits Start: Verlander became the fifth hurler in the past 45 years to win five games in a season vs. the White Sox with his tidy but relatively unremarkable 69 game score in his seven-inning effort. The other four hurlers, according to stats maven Christopher Kamka, are Jim Kaat (1966), Paul Splittorff (1973), Jim Kern (1976) and Brian Anderson (2003).

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Today on CSN: White Sox square off against Padres

Today on CSN: White Sox square off against Padres

The White Sox are back in action in spring training as they square off against the San Diego Padres. Coverage begins this afternoon at 2 p.m. on CSN!

Probable starters: Jhoulys Chacin vs. Dylan Covey

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White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana was pleased with his final warmup before Opening Day.

The White Sox Opening Day starter threw 48 pitches (30 strikes) against a Milwaukee Brewers minor league team at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday. Quintana allowed two hits, two runs (one earned), walked one and struck out three in three-plus innings. He next pitches at home on Monday against the Detroit Tigers.

"I finished my preparation on a high note," Quintana said. "I'm heading to the season with good energy and satisfied with all the worked and effort that I put in my preparation.

"I'm absolutely ready for the season to start."

A tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Tuesday suggested Quintana will start the season as a member of the White Sox despite myriad rumors. Nightengale noted that the Houston Astros refuse budge on what they're willing to pay for the 2016 All-Star. The White Sox have also held firm on their asking price and haven't been motivated by any of the offers they've received to move Quintana.

The team reduced the number of players still in camp to 34 on Tuesday with the trade of Peter Bourjos and by cutting nonroster invitees Cory Luebke and Matt Purke. Luebke, who has been sidelined for six days after he tweaked his hamstring, finished the spring with a 0.96 ERA in 9 1/3 innings. He can opt out of his minor-league deal in May. Purke struck out eight in eight innings and finished with a 2.25 ERA. 

Both had been in the mix for one of two open bullpen spots.

Fellow reliever Jake Petricka looked much calmer on Tuesday than he did after taking a comebacker off his hand Monday. X-rays were negative and Petricka played catch. He hopes to pitch as scheduled this weekend in Milwaukee. 

"This is just one of those you do everything you can do to stay healthy, and its part of the game you can't control," Petricka said. "You never want that to happen, especially this late in camp. "But we dodged a bullet and we're good to go."

The White Sox also had a close call with second baseman Tyler Saladino, who was hit by a pitch in the left wrist in minor league action on Monday. Saladino received treatment and could return to action on Wednesday.

"He's doing good, we're just holding him back today for my well being," Renteria said.

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Renteria said reliever Juan Minaya is improving but still likely to start the season on the DL. Minaya suffered an abdominal tear in mid-March. 

"He has been improving solidly and responding to the treatments," Renteria said.

Yolmer Sanchez went 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored a run in a 7-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Surprise, Ariz. 

Michael Ynoa allowed an unearned run and a hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. 

Zack Burdi struck out three in a scoreless inning.