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Sloppy, Ugly, & Beautiful, too.

(August 28)

Short take:  Finally, two over.

Back on April 2, the Sox won their first game of the season.  They looked to go 2-0 in the next game but failed.  For Sox Fans next came a 14-29 swoon filled with recurring nightmares of Royce Clayton carrying his bat back to the dugout, Josh Paul running out at third base, and Harold Baines popping weakly.  It was so sad.

Back on June 24, the Sox beat Baltimore to return to the .500 level.  Sox Fans were dreaming of a complete turnaround starting with the upcoming series in Minnesota.  Instead Keith Foulke melted in a fateful ninth inning and the Sox spent the next two months playing tag with the .500 mark.  No progress was made towards Sox Fans' championship aspirations.

But tonight in Detroit the Sox came back from a brutal night of bad pitching and bad defense to beat the hapless Tigers 8-6.  Sox Fans, for the first time this season, our Pale Hose are two games over .500.

This feat would have been more meaningful back on April 4.

When starter Rocky Biddle wasn't serving batting practice, the Sox fielders were giving three and four outs to Detroit.  Our keystone combo each made errors including silky Royce Clayton, "The People's Choice--NOT!"  The Sox were down 6-1 after two innings, three of them unearned.

It was the most improbable of possible comebacks.   Paul Konerko collected four hits, scoring once.  Ray Durham had three hits (!) in five plate appearances.  Jeff Liefer dribbled a key bunt on the third base line that couldn't have been more perfectly placed if he had dropped the ball from his hand.  Chris Singleton got two hits including a dinger, no small accomplishment when Royce Clayton and Mark Johnson are the next two hitters in the line up.

Royce Clayton came within an eyelash of getting two infield hits, a feat unparalleled in Sox history since Mike Caruso was cut.  His other hit, a triple, looks great in the box score but only because Detroit's centerfielder has more important things to worry about (like his tee-off time tomorrow) than "Royce The Choice" reaching the outfield with a batted ball.  The .235 Wonder received a gift-wrapped rbi for that defensive gaffe.

Kudos to the bullpen for shutting down Detroit.  Biddle settled in after the rough start, pitched three scoreless innings, followed by Sean Lowe, Alan Embree, and Bob Howry.

Still the game was only tied so eighth inning heroics were still in order and who else but Jose Valentin, the guy manager Jerry Manuel just can't screw up, was there to save the Sox manager's wrinkled butt.  He drilled a 2-1 pitch into the right field bullpen for a glorious game-winning two run homerun.  

It would have been a three-run dinger except Ray Durham was picked off first base early in Valentin's at-bat.

Anyone else notice what a great job new first base coach Gary Pettis has done  improving our steal attempts and baserunning?  Another brilliant move by Jerry The Tinkerer and Rookie-GM-And-It-Shows Kenny Williams.

Somewhere Von Joshua is laughing.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Chris Singleton

2 for 4 with a triple and a homerun, three runs batted in.  That's no small feat when the manager has you hitting ahead of Royce Clayton and Mark Johnson!

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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