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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

And So It Begins...

May 14 v. Minnesota Twins


Today's Free Agency Value:
$11,000,000
"0 for 4 night. Hit in front of a runner but got away with it. Lost a ball in the lights. Poor showing tonight all around."

Short Take:Schoeneweis strong again, but bats and bullpen fail to get the job done.

If the White Sox want to contend this season, they are going to have to play better than this. Sox bats sleepwalked through yet another contest as the Twins took the first game between the two teams tonight 3 to 2. Scott Schoeneweis did his job once again, going 6 and 2/3 innings and allowing just one run for his sixth quality start out of seven starts this year. With the bats still pretty much in a funk, the bullpen needed to pick the team up tonight and they failed to do so.

The Twins got on the board first. In the top half of the second, Jacque Jones led off with a single but was erased on a double play ball by Lew Ford. Michael Cuddyer worked a two-out walk, and came home to score the first run of the game following back to back singles by Matt LeCroy and Luis Rivas. With the score 1-0 Twins, the Sox struck back in the fourth inning. Carlos Lee showed signs that he might be breaking out of his slump with a leadoff double. Paul Konerko, who was 0 for 4 and looked like his timing was off all night, grounded out weakly to short but was still able to advance Lee to third with one out. Joe Crede drove Lee home with a sacrifice fly, tying the game at 1. Aaron Rowand broke the tie immediately by hitting an opposite field home run, netting him pick to click honors on the night and giving the Sox a 2-1 lead.

The Sox would cling to their one-run lead until the eighth, when the bullpen imploded. After Cliff Politte came on to get Schoeneweis out of trouble in the seventh, Damaso Marte came on to start the eighth inning. He retired the first batter he faced, but then proceeded to walk Doug Mientkiewicz and Torii Hunter to put men on first and second with one out. Jacque Jones, who was a thorn in the Sox side all night, singled to drive in Mientkiewicz and tie the game at two. Shingo Takatsu relieved Marte and came on with runners at the corners and one out. He got Lew Ford to hit a grounder over the second base bag, on which Willie Harris made a nice defensive play to keep the ball in the infield. But Harris had no play and Hunter came home to score on the infield single to give the Twins a 3-2 lead. Takatsu got Cuddyer to ground into a double play to end the inning, but the damage had been done. The Sox went quietly in the eighth. In the bottom of the ninth, Rowand got on base to start the inning off on a throwing error by shortstop Cristian Guzman, who drew Mientkiewicz off the bag on the play. Sandy Alomar then followed with what was probably the worst at-bat of the night, but pretty much epitomized the Sox offensive play for the evening. In an attempt to advance Rowand into scoring position, Alomar fouled off three bunt attempts in a row off Twins closer Joe Nathan. None of the attempts was even close, and Nathan was credited with a strikeout following the third foul bunt. Harris then fought off a few pitches and took Nathan to a 3-2 count before striking out looking at strike three. This left Rowand out to dry, who had been running on the play. Catcher Henry Blanco, a late inning defensive replacement, gunned down Rowand at second to complete the double play and secure the victory for the Twins.

This was a tough one to watch tonight, especially given the competition. Lack of execution was costly as the Sox stranded eight baserunners on the evening. The Twins also exploited the Sox weakness in regards to stealing bases, swiping four bases in five attempts tonight. A couple of those attempts did not even draw a throw.

nstead of going to bed in a first-place tie, the Sox drop their record to (19-15), two games back of the Twins (21-13). Hopefully tonight's lackluster performance will serve as a wakeup call as they will need to take the next two in order to regain a share of first.

Esteban Loaiza gets the nod tomorrow night against Seth Greisinger, 6:05 pm CDT at US Cellular Field.

WSI's
Ozzieball Update:
Weak display tonight. Tried to manufacture a run in the first with a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly but came up empty. Sandy Alomar failed to lay down a critical sacrifice in the bottom of the 9th and struck out on a foul bunt. Not a pretty evening at all.


submitted by beckett21.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Aaron Rowand

Home run gave Sox the lead, but unfortunately it did not hold up.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

 

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