CHICAGO -- One night after the Tigers and White Sox traded punches until Joe Jimenez’s last pitch in a 12-11 slugfest, Winter Storm Xyler was the winner Saturday night with very little drama. The late-April blast of wintry weather forced the postponement of Saturday’s Tigers-White Sox game.
The game will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on July 3, with first pitches scheduled for 2:10 and 8:10 p.m. ET.
By then, both sides hope the wintry weather is finally gone. For now, Saturday’s blast of wind, rain and snow was a welcome development for Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire, who desperately needed a chance to rest his overtaxed, injury-depleted bullpen after five games over the last four days.
“I hope it snows 18 inches,” Gardenhire said after using six pitchers in Friday’s walk-off loss. “We really need the break.”
The Windy City won’t see quite that much snow Saturday, but with up to eight inches forecast for the Chicago area, it’s enough to create miserable conditions for baseball. Add in wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour, and the decision to postpone arrived quickly.
The two teams are scheduled to wrap up their abbreviated series on Sunday with a 2:10 p.m. ET game. Gardenhire should have a well-rested bullpen at his call.
The postponement also does wonders for Detroit’s injury-depleted rotation, which just lost Jordan Zimmermann for the next 3-4 weeks with a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The Tigers had left-hander Ryan Carpenter on standby to start Saturday’s game, but they would’ve had to recall him from Triple-A Toledo first.
Now, Detroit could either call him up as another fresh arm for the bullpen, or more likely, send him back to Toledo to stay stretched out as a starter.
“It’s one of those things. You can’t do anything about it,” Carpenter said Friday as he prepared. “I have no reason to dwell on it, think about it. Just have to stay prepared.”
His next chance could be a while. With Saturday’s postponement giving the Tigers four off-days in a 10-day span, Detroit can go with a four-man rotation until May 11, when two starters will be needed for a doubleheader at Minnesota. That day-night twin bill includes the makeup of another game that was snowed out two weeks ago.