Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Tigers Hall of Famer Ty Cobb, one of the best players in the history of the game.
At this rate, Sunday is also going to mark the White Sox’ official rebirth.
They are still running third in the AL Central and are 2 games under .500 at 46-48, but the Sox are set up for the three-game sweep over Detroit following another inspired win at Comerica Park.
After coming out of the all-star break and beating ace Justin Verlander 8-2 Friday night, the White Sox rode starting pitcher Edwin Jackson to a 5-0 win Saturday.
That’s two games in the second half and 2 wins over a divisional team the Sox have had trouble with since 2009.
That’s two games and 2 dominant starts from Jackson and Gavin Floyd.
That’s two games and a whopping 13 runs from a White Sox offense that often had trouble crossing the plate that many times in a full week during the first half of the season.
Of course, two games is a just a quick blink over the long course of the season, but it’s finally beginning to look like the Sox are playing with their eyes wide open.
Let’s start with the starters.
The White Sox have six of them, you always win with pitching, and in this new “era” of baseball, it’s more important than ever to hold down the opposition.
Floyd did his part in the series opener, outdueling Verlander while allowing 2 runs in 7⅔ innings.
Jackson was even better Saturday, pitching the third complete game shutout of his career.
While he was often erratic over the first half and long gone by the sixth or seventh inning because of high pitch counts, Jackson was remarkably efficient against the Tigers and needed just 101 pitches to go the distance.
“When Edwin is around the plate, that’s the kind of pitcher you will see,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters. “Every time Edwin is erratic and struggles to find the plate, he has a short game. I tried to take him out in the ninth, but he wanted to go out there. He deserved to go out there and earn it. He was outstanding.”
Jackson was able to throw his fastball for strikes against Detroit, which is always an iffy proposition. That allowed him to put the Tigers away with his slider, which was nasty Saturday.
“I was just trying to keep the ball down,” Jackson told reporters. “I guess it was just keeping the ball down in the zone.”
The Sox’ offense was sparked by Juan Pierre, who seems to be all the way back after an up-and-down first half.
Pierre had his first 4-hit game of the season and he also scored a run, drove in a run and stole 2 bases.
An eight-game hitting streak (15-for-34) has hiked Pierre’s batting average from .258 to .275.
“I found some holes today, put some pressure on the defense, stole a couple bags,” Pierre told reporters. “It was a good day personally, but it was a better day just to get the win. That capped it off.”
Another win over the Tigers on Sunday would cap the sweep, and who knows high the White Sox could fly from there.
“It’s definitely good,” Pierre said. “Everybody had a good break, and to come out and win two games against a first-place team in the division is great. Hopefully, this is a good start for a good second half, but we’re just taking it game by game. When you get a pitching effort like that (from Jackson) and move the ball like we did offensively, it makes for a good game.”
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