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White Sox 9, Tigers 8: What was THAT?!

The Yerminator breaks his slump to walk it off after a wild game.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox DH Yermín Mercedes reacts after driving in the winning run against the Detroit Tigers during the ninth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Our new enemy Will Little was umpiring third base tonight, so we weren’t subject to his floating strike zone, thank god, or tossing a player from the bench because his feelings were a little hurt.

So let’s get to it.

Yasmani Grandal broke the 0-0 tie open in the bottom of the second when he homered off of Spencer Turnbull, making it a 1-0 game. I missed the home run because my husband was futzing with the TV, but Statcast tells me that it had a 108 EV and flew 392 feet. Also, the White Sox very kindly posted a video of it in case other people’s partners were futzing with their TVs:


The Tigers answered back in the top of the third when Robbie Grossman reached on an error by Yoán Moncada. Jonathan Schoop doubled to left and brought Grossman around the bases, tying the game 1-1. Jake Lamb proves to us that left field isn’t for everyone with this play that lead to the RBI:


Things sat tied 1-1 until the bottom of the fifth. Turnbull had come out due to forearm tightness, so south suburbs local boy Kyle Funkhouser was brought in. Grandal walked, as he does, and Lamb singled to center to get two men on base. Leury García reached with sacrifice bunt error to load up the bases.

Continuing the sequence, Nick Madrigal flied out for the first out of the inning but then Tim Anderson came and opened things right up, with a two-run double that scored both Grandal and Lamb, moving García to third and the score to 3-1.

Adam Eaton came up and hit a fielder’s choice that was a messy choice, scoring Garcia and Anderson, bringing things up to 5-1:

There were some errors, followed by a walk to Moncada, which brought an end to Funkhouser’s outing. Joe Jimenez came in to try and stop the bleeding.

José Abreu grounded into a force out (getting Moncada out at second) that should have been a double play were it not for the error by Willi Castro. Jimenez walked Yermín Mercedes and we were back at the top of the order with Grandal, who also walked, again. The bases were loaded and Lamb was back up to bat. He popped out to end what was a very painful inning; painful for the Tigers, awesome for the White Sox.

Dallas Keuchel stayed in for the top of the sixth and gave up a home run to Schoop, who ended up being a triple away from the cycle by the end of the night. Quite frankly, it didn’t look like a very hard-hit home run, but Statcast says otherwise:

Keuchel managed to get out of the rest of the inning unscathed to bring the White Sox up to bat. At the bottom of the sixth one of the most exciting hits was when Nicky Two Strikes changed his name to Nicky Two Homers and hit one off of Tyler Alexander to center.

With that, Madrigal has passed Nomar Mazara on the home runs by a White Sox list.

Codi Heuer was brought in at the top of the seventh to load the bases for Evan Marshall. Robbie Grossman hit a sac fly that scored Zack Short (who was on third as a result of the Heuer walks). Unfortunately Marshall gave up a three-run home run to Schoop, narrowing the Sox lead to 7-6. After Candelario flied out to left, Miguel Cabrera reached on a single, and Eric Haase followed with a two-run home run of his own.

Just as easy as that, the score was 8-7. Luckily, Nico Goodrum struck out and the inning of pain was over.

Rony Garcia was brought in to pitch for the Tigers at the bottom of the seventh. He walked Abreu and then had to face off against Mercedes. Mercedes managed to fly out to center and for reasons passing understanding, Abreu tagged up and tried to go to second. He was thrown out, because he is not speedy, and Hill wasn’t exactly playing deep. So with two outs and no one on, Grandal came up and hit the daylights out of another ball to tie the game, 8-8.

Billy Hamilton came in to pinch-hit for Lamb, and walked. Hamilton is someone you always want on the base paths, but he was wasted when García grounded out to end the inning.

Things stayed tied going into the ninth. In another Hall-of-Famer baseball moment that is obviously above us lowly peons, Tony La Russa decided to leave Garret Crochet in for a second inning, the ninth, despite saying yesterday that Crochet isn’t a two-inning pitcher. This led to two outs with two men on before Hendriks was brought in to do what he’s being paid to do (hint: He is not being paid to sit around until the White Sox have a lead or go into extras). Still, a walk-off had been possible.

Jose Cisnero was brought in to do ... something ... for the Tigers (at this point in the game they only had four pitchers left in their bullpen). He hit Moncada, the first batter of the inning. Abreu knocked a single to right and Moncada showed us that the hit-by-pitch didn’t do too much damage, as he legged it out to third. With two on and no outs, up came Mercedes.

We all know how Mercedes is in a bit of a slump after a breakout start to the season, so this was the at-bat to boost his confidence. Mercedes hit a dart through to left, scoring Moncada and winning the game in walk-off fashion for the White Sox.

Mercedes said in his on-field interview with Jason and Steve that he was “a little sad about [his] slump,” so it was great to see him with the game winning hit to walk it off for the White Sox.

Tonight’s Six Pack of Stats will be coming from Chrystal O’Keefe, so be sure to pop over there and see how this crazy-ass game shakes out in her world. Jeremy Karll takes the coverage of both the recap and Six Pack tomorrow.

Tomorrow is also the debut of the awesome City Connect jerseys at the 1:10 p.m. game, so get some rest tonight, fans. It’s gonna be a wild weekend.

Random Game Things

  • A gift for the Yaz fans (or haters, depends on how you look at the stats):
  • I learned today that you could get a Gold Glove as a DH. Who knew (apparently other people)?
  • Evan Marshall pitched last night, too, making tonight’s outing two nights in a row for him, which feels like a lot when we have other relievers. Was this some kind of lefty/righty old school crap that Tony is so fond of? Who knows, but it sucks.