The White Sox largely held the Tigers in check this series, allowing them to score in just 4 of the 25 innings and holding them to just 8 runs in 3 games, but they failed when the pressure was on. The Sox lead after the 5th inning in each game, yet gave the game back late in each of the last two.
A opposite field bloop double by Curtis Granderson followed by a Baltimore-chop single back up the middle by Pudge tied the game at one headed to the seventh. Once there, Jose Contreras pitched just good enough to lose, walking Marcus Thames. He induced what looked to be an inning ending double play, but Joe Crede hesitated a beat allowing Thames to get in a good slid on Tadahito Iguchi, who has never been very good at avoiding take-out slides. Sure enough, given the extra out, Chris Shelton doubled deep to left center field to provide the winning margin.
What we've seen the last two games is an illustration of what made the White Sox the great team they were last season as demonstrated by the '06 Tigers and contrasted with the '06 White Sox. The Tigers held the Sox to just 3 runs in the last two games, never allowing a runner in scoring position yesterday, and wriggling out of the two good scoring chances today with minimal damage.
As much as Tigers' pitching deserves some credit for this, the Sox offense deserves blame. Scott Podsednik was absent this series. In fact, the entire top of the line-up was pitiful, specifically, the suddenly pixie-dustless Pablo Ozuna, who failed to get a key bunt down and eventually striking out on a series of balls outside the strike zone from Kenny Rogers.
The personnel on the field is more talented than the personnel the Sox employed last year, but they're simply not executing like team did last year. The answer to these Sox problems aren't going to be answered with a creative move by Ken Williams at the trade deadline, they have to be answered on the field. The players are ultimately the ones who determine the outcome of the game, and lately, as the Sox dropped 7 of their last 9, they just haven't been very good.