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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

O's blow it, Sox can't lose

July 21 at Baltimore

Short Take:  Gift-wrapped win courtesy two unearned runs in ninth.

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Inside
JERRY'S HEAD

It's sometimes hard to understand why it is that even the greatest teams in the history of baseball managed to still lose nearly one-third of their games.  Meanwhile, even the worst of teams still manage to win nearly one-third of their games.  How is this possible?  Sox Fans, look no further than this mess of a game played in Baltimore Sunday afternoon.  The Sox won in spite of themselves, simply because the Orioles couldn't possibly do anything to win.  Two gift runs in the ninth are the difference in this stink-fest, Sox win 8-7. 

The Sox did absolutely nothing to earn this rarest of ninth inning comeback wins.  This was the same old script the Sox have used all season.  Plenty of scoring opportunities squandered, lack of situational hitting, pitchers unable to shut the door after the Sox score, on-field gaffes, and late-inning meltdowns. 

So how did the Sox win?  Simple.  Baltimore had an ex-Sox in their lineup.  We ought to send one or two guys like Chris Singleton to every team in the league.  Can we begin with trading Monday's starter, Todd Ritchie?  Ah, dreams...

The Sox blew a chance to score in the first when Ken Lofton was thrown out trying to steal.  Dan Wright was touched for a run in the bottom of the frame, and the Sox were looking at getting swept.

Like we've seen countless times before, the Sox scored in third, fifth, and sixth innings, only to have Sox pitchers give the runs right back in the fourth, sixth, and seventh innings.  Three Sox dingers (one each by Jose Valentin, Ray Durham, and Tony Graffanino) accounted for five Sox runs.  It's anybody's guess how the Sox managed to have baserunners two of three times.  Here's guessing it was just blind luck. 

Chances for additional scoring were blown by the likes of a baserunning gaffe and double-play grounder by Frank Thomas.  Why did Jerry "The Tinkerer" Manuel have him batting #3 again?  Who knows, and who cares.  Nobody can even begin to fathom what goes on within the mixed up bowl of noodles inside Jerry's head. 

So reliever Keith Foulke blows the lead in the seventh inning by allowing two runs, and the Sox are down 7-6 entering the ninth inning.  Everyone knows it's going to be a 1-2-3 inning, right?  Not quite. 

 Graffanino starts things with a leadoff single, and Mark Johnson reaches on an error.  No problem.  Kenny Lofton can't get a bunt down and pops out along the foul line instead.  Typical crap from the the 2002 Sox.

But wait!  What would otherwise be an innocent single by Ray Durham brings home Graffanino with the tying run.  Centerfielder Chris Singleton can't handle the pickup and Johnson, a catcher (!), scampers home from first base with the go-ahead run!

Oh, brother... how much must Baltimore suck?  The Sox don't even come close to scoring without those two errors, and the rally quickly fizzled. 

Quite the gift win, and it wasn't even Christmas.  All this Sox team deserves is a lump of coal.  In contrast, Sox Fans deserve Purple Hearts for living and dying 85 years+ with their team's incompetence.

Maybe there is some justice, after all?


George Bova is editor and founder of White Sox Interactive.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Ray Durham

2 for 4, including a two-run dinger.  His clutch ninth inning single to score the tying run, also scored the winning unearned run after Sox reject Chris Singleton's bobble.  Once a Sox, always a Sox, eh?

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