Hinch, Tigers expecting no carry-over in Chicago from dustup with White Sox
Minneapolis — Water under the bridge?
Well, maybe it is for the season-ending series at Guaranteed Rate Field this weekend, but Monday’s dustup between the Tigers and White Sox may well simmer until next season when the two Central Division rivals brace for another 19-game battle.
For now, though, you’d think the playoff-bound White Sox would have bigger issues to concern themselves with.
“I’m not leery of it at all,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said before the game Thursday. “I understand the emotions of it. I know it was pretty frustrating for a lot of people. But I think we should be clear of that and just go into the weekend with clear intent to compete and play the game and come out of it with both teams extremely healthy.”
The incident started when Tigers reliever Alex Lange drilled White Sox slugger Jose Abreu with a 97-mph fastball on the elbow. The two benches started yapping at each other, and at umpire Lance Barrett. Abreu, still steaming once he got to first base, took off for second on a ball in the dirt and made an aggressive and late slide into shortstop Niko Goodrum.
More words were exchanged and the benches and bullpens emptied. No punches were thrown and the only suspension to come out of it went to White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, who is appealing a three-game suspension for pushing umpire Tim Timmons in the fracas.
“They’re going into the playoffs and we’re unfortunately not,” Hinch said. “But to me, all that other stuff is a lot of noise and shouldn’t really factor into the weekend. I assume they feel the same way. I’m not going to address our team about it, there’s nothing really to talk about.
“Just go in there and play good, clean baseball.”
The White Sox have aligned their top three starters to pitch this weekend, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease.
Jonathan Schoop on Thursday night became the third player from Curacao to play in 1,000 major league games, joining Andruw Jones (2,196) and Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons (1,189).
“We will acknowledge it,” Hinch said. “It is a cool story.”
Of course, the way Hinch acknowledged Schoop’s 900th hit earlier this season was to remind him he was only 2,000-some hits behind Miguel Cabrera. Tough room.
“Jonathan is incredible at how he plays every day,” Hinch said. “He doesn’t want a day off and he doesn’t react well when I try to give him a day off. He loves to play and he loves to post. He thinks it’s his responsibility to be available every single day.”
Thursday was game 154 for Schoop. Not counting the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Schoop has averaged 146 games a year over the last five years.
“I love the vibe around him and I love his spirit,” Hinch said. “This is a tremendous accomplishment for him.”
Schoop, who had a 16-game hitting streak earlier this season, took a 10-game hit streak into play Thursday. His 169 hits were sixth-most in the American League.
Around the horn
Hinch said center fielder Derek Hill (left knee sprain) was expected to have a final consultation with a specialist in San Francisco on Thursday to determine the next course of action. “They are talking about does he need a clean up (arthroscope) or something surgical,” Hinch said.
… Hinch gave Miguel Cabrera the night off Thursday. He said he plans to play Cabrera in two of the three games in Chicago, one of them at first base.
… Rookie Akil Baddoo has tortured his former organization this season. Left unprotected in the 2020 Rule 5 draft by the Twins, Baddoo hit in 14 of the 15 games he played against them before Thursday. He slashed .333/.365/.633 against them with five doubles, two triples, three home runs and 15 RBIs.
… The Tigers still maintain a winning record against playoff-bound teams this year (27-23), but they have scuffled mightily in the division. With four games including Thursday, they were 28-44 in the division, losing the season series to all four teams — White Sox, Twins, Indians and Royals.
On deck: White Sox
►Series: Three games at Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago
►First pitch: Friday — 8:10 p.m.; Saturday — 7:10 p.m.; Sunday — 3:10 p.m.
►TV/radio: BSD, 97.1
►Probables: Friday — RHP Wily Peralta (4-4, 3.08) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (10-6, 2.72); Saturday — RHP Matt Manning (4-7, 6.16) vs. RHP Lucas Giolito (11-9, 3.58); Sunday — LHP Tyler Alexander (2-4, 3.95) vs. RHP Dylan Cease (13-7, 3.95).
►Peralta, Tigers: One of the pleasant surprises of the season. After not pitching in 2020 and pitching out of the bullpen since 2017, he added a split-change to his arsenal and agreed to a minor-league deal with the Tigers with the understanding he’d be given a chance to start. They did and he responded with a 3.08 ERA over 17 starts.
►Lynn, White Sox: At age 34, he’s still bullying hitters with his 94-mph heater, holding hitters to a .183 average and .296 slug with a 32.7 swing-and-miss rate. He’s beaten the Tigers twice, allowing just two runs in 12 innings with 15 strikeouts. He is coming off a dud in Cleveland, though, yielding six runs in six innings.
— Chris McCosky