We knew it was going to happen eventually. Todd Jones had only two blown saves before tonight but he has been pitching in and out of trouble all year, had more walks (15) than strikeouts (13) and had allowed 44 hits in 39 innings. He had allowed runs in 5 of his previous 11 games and Jim Leyland has been "keeping an eye on him". A couple times recently he wouldn't let him finish games that he normally would have. That's the Tigers closer. The roller coaster hasn't blown a lot of games but you had a feeling he was going to hurt us at the worst possible time and that came tonight.
What really stung the most was that he was one strike away from a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th. With the Tigers up 5-4, he retired the first two batters and had two strikes on Carlos Quentin. Quentin stroked a single past Placido Polanco to set up Jermaine Dye. Dye followed with a two run blast to right giving the White Sox a 6-5 lead which they kept.
It wasn't all Jones' fault tonight though. The Tigers had a 4-1 lead in the seventh thanks to six innings of one run ball by Nate Robertson. Robertson was far from dominant as he walked five batters but only one of the walks scored. Leyland probably should have called it a night for Robertson after six innings rather than risking him leaving men on base for a leaky bullpen. Nate promptly allowed singles to the first two White Sox batters in the seventh. Joel Zumaya then entered the game and allowed a single, a sacrifice fly and two walks. The tying run scored when Pudge threw a ball into left field after mishandling a pitch for a passed ball. So add Pudge, Zumaya and perhaps Leyland to people we can blame tonight.
The Tigers did get the lead back in the bottom of the inning on a home run to right by Carlos Guillen but it wasn't enough. They should have scored more runs tonight. They had nine hits, three walks and the White Sox made two errors in the first six innings. With all that they only managed four runs thanks to some over aggressive base running and lack of timely hitting.
If the Tigers fall out of the race, we may remember this game as the one Todd Jones blew and he did blow it but he got plenty of help.