Playing Long Ball
Short take: Buehrle earn win #18.
Our Sox took a giant step towards claiming that second place bonus with a
well-earned 7-4 victory at Minnesota Friday night. They sport the same
record as the Twins at 83-77 with two games left in the Hump Dome. Mark
Buerhle claimed his sixeenth victory of the season and Keith Foulke
his 42nd save. The Sox have won three in a row against the Twins, the
team that ruined our season and has easily been our biggest nemesis all year.
Two more games inside this crap hole and we can all go home.
Besides the two-tone artificial turf, the Hump Dome now sports some lovely
hash marks left over from the last Vikings game. With some of the
ungodly shots ricocheting off the seats in left and right field, a few of
Minnesota's football fans are likely to find holes in their seats where
baseballs were rifled through them. Lord knows the seats were all empty
tonight. The announced crowd of 13,000 apparently included several Twins
fans dressed as empty seats.
Jose Valentin got the hit parade started in the first inning with a
wicked solo shot into right field to give the Sox a 1-0. That didn't
last long because the next half-inning a one out grounder to short couldn't be
turned quickly enough by our double-play tandem to get the second out.
Thus Minnesota scored the tying run on a fielder's choice.
One can only wonder if Mark Buehrle felt extra pressure knowing this
year's double-play tandem is a third-worst than last year's. He got two
other double-play grounders in spite of Royce Clayton and Ray Durham.
Durham more than redeemed himself. The Sox leadoff man had two
two-run homeruns to stake Buehrle to a 5-1 lead. Funny how important run
production is in this game, isn't it? That is of course if you intend to
win the game and not just look pretty in the box score. He finished the
night 2 for 4 plus a walk, three runs scored, and four rbi's.
Sox Fans were swearing in the eighth when Bob Howry came into the
game in relief. He fell behind 3-0 to the first batter, then tried to
groove two straight down the middle of the plate, the result being a dented
seat 30 feet above the Hump Dome's right field baggie. Next came Luis
Rivas who apparently is too stupid to take pitches from Howry and accept a
walk. He finally managed to get a base hit, followed by a double down
the line for Denny Hocking. Howry faced three men, allowed three hits,
and two runs. Alan Embree and Keith Foulke bailed him out,
with a huge assist by Chris Singleton's diving catch to end the
inning. His ERA climbs to 4.73.
Magglio Ordonez achieved for the Sox precisely what they have lacked
in previous games at the Hump Dome, a pair of late-inning rbi's. His
first-pitch dinger to left scored Durham and extended the lead to a 7-3.
It proved valuable as his own fielding error in the ninth led to an unearned
run. Sox Fans can't shake the nightmarish memory of that ninth inning Keith
Foulke suffered here last June. No lead is safe! This time
Foulke got the third out and ended the game without further ado for another
White Sox winner.
Nothing has come easy for this team, Sox Fans.
1967 -- The
the second installment of the three-part series about the 1967 Sox is here! Written by Dan Helpingstine, author of "Through
Hope and Despair", here's the first chapter to his new book.
-- Part Two: Crosstown Eclipse
Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner
innings of one run ball. Allowed seven hits while striking five,
walking one, and inducing two double-plays. Undisputed staff ace
and 2002 opening day starter.
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