Maybe it’s time to show concern for starter Spencer Turnbull. The right-hander battled control problems for a second consecutive start as the Tigers were blanked by the White Sox, 9-0, at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago on Thursday afternoon. Detroit has lost nine consecutive games and is 9-14 this season.
“You go through stretches. You have to weather the storm. Nothing’s perfect,” shortstop Niko Goodrum said.
On Saturday against the Indians, Turnbull allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings and walked a season-high four batters. It was much worse against the White Sox, and he had problems from the start. Turnbull simply couldn’t throw strikes in the first inning, when he threw 37 pitches, walked three batters and allowed three runs. Edwin Encarnación started the scoring when he drew a bases-loaded walk.
“[The White Sox] have a lot of good hitters. Several of them are swinging the bat exceptionally well right now,” Turnbull said. “I still felt they were a good matchup for me. I wasn’t concerned about any one hitter; I’m upset I didn’t execute my pitches well.”
Turnbull left the game after the second inning, having thrown 60 pitches. Left-hander Tyler Alexander took over and allowed two runs in three innings.
The good news is that Turnbull is healthy and can make his next start. It’s just a matter of making his pitches. He needs to attack the hitters.
“He was misfiring all over the place. You all saw it. He had no command of anything,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He threw 60 pitches in two innings. We just had to get him out of there. It just stopped the game for us. ... It was not a good day for us.”
Turnbull believed he was making quality pitches, but that the White Sox were not swinging at them. The way he saw it, they showed discipline.
“There were not a lot of positives. I didn’t get down in the zone enough on hitters,” Turnbull said. “I definitely thought I threw some good pitches. For whatever reason, they were not swinging at them and I got in bad counts. I lost it for a second. Not real sure."
Tomorrow is a new day, and Turnbull plans to fix his problems on the mound by looking at video of his start.
“I don’t think anything is wrong,” he said. “I’m just not throwing enough strikes. I feel I’m throwing pitches that are close to the zone. I’m not getting chases. I have to be more aggressive. ... [The White Sox] are more disciplined than I thought they would be. They made me pay for it.”
Detroit’s offense wasn’t any better as White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito was dominant. Giolito had 21 swings and misses and struck out 13 batters in seven innings. The Tigers had opportunities to score in the fourth but couldn’t take advantage of the situation. They had the bases loaded with one out, but Niko Goodrum and Christin Stewart struck out to end the threat.
It’s all about trust,” Giolito said. “Trusting the pitches [White Sox catcher James] McCann is calling for me, that I’m going to execute those pitches, not trying to create or do too much, just allowing my body to work and having that thought that I know I’m going to get out of this by executing one pitch at a time until we get those three outs. That was pretty much that inning."
Maybin day to day
Tigers outfielder Cameron Maybin left in the seventh inning with right hamstring tightness and is listed as day to day. He aggravated the hamstring while fouling off a Giolito pitch. Maybin returned to the batter’s box and struck out to end the inning. He is 6-for-32 (.188) with one homer this season.