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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Offense saves El Duque

June 3, vs. Cleveland


How many Grinders did KW use today:
9
"7 of the starting nine (not including A.J. and Joe) put on a clinic in the first, batting around and scoring 4 runs without an extra base hit.  More praise for Everett and Dye whose RBIs in the 5th put the game away, and fancy pitching from the bullpen duo of Neal Cotts and Dustin Hermanson."

Short Take:  In first game back from D.L., Orlando Hernandez squanders early 4-run lead, only to get the win thanks to clutch RBIs from Carl Everett and Jermaine Dye in 6-4 win over Cleveland.

After missing two starts with shoulder soreness, Orlando Hernandez's return to the hill at U.S. Cellular Field was less spectacular and more wild and nerve-wracking.  Still, El Duque went six innings for the Sox as they held on to beat the Cleveland Indians, 6-4 in the first game of their weekend set in Chicago.

Obviously, the story of the game would be how Hernandez faired in his first start back since landing on the disabled list.  Not known for his gritty durability, all eyes in the American League Central would be on his performance to see if a crack would be exposed in the still rock solid White Sox pitching staff.  Much like his team's first 45 or so games of the year, Orlando's outing on Friday was not spectacular, but productive.  Though he allowed 4 runs and 6 hits in 6 innings of work and he did blow a 4-run lead, El Duque did stifle the Indians just enough to keep them from blowing the lid off the game.

The Sox staked Hernandez to the 4-run lead in the bottom of the 1st off Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook.  Scott Podsednik singled to lead off the game, stole second, and advanced to third on a ground out by Tadahito Iguchi.  He scored on a single by Aaron Rowand, who moved into scoring position on a single by Paul KonerkoCarl Everett and Jermaine Dye followed with a pair of RBI singles to keep the train moving and accumulate a 3-run lead.   A ground ball to first base by A.J. Pierzynski forced Dye out at second, but Everett would score on a single by Juan Uribe.  The inning would end one batter later when Joe Crede grounded out.  Four runs, 6 hits, none of them more than a single.  Grinderball, baby!

Hernandez, on the other hand, would tempt fate all night long.  The first was relatively harmless, save a single by Grady Sizemore; the second was tense.  Ben Broussard lead off the inning by getting plunked.  He moved to second on a single by Coco Crisp and suddenly the hapless Indians had something brewing.  But, as has been their credo all season, they squandered the opprotunities presented to them, not just this inning, but all night.  Ronnie Belliard lined in a double play before Alex Cora replaced Crisp at first... again by getting drilled.  Aaron Boone, though, struck out to end the inning.

The Sox, meanwhile, hit the wall in a big way.  After batting around in the first, they would only send 10 batters to the dish the next 3 innings, the lone baserunner coming in the 3rd; Jermaine Dye hit a 2-out double and was immediately stranded.

No matter how pathetic a baseball team is, give them enough chances and they will score.  Cleveland proved that theory tonight.  In the third, Casey Blake hit a 1-out double.  Travis Hafner was then hit by a pitch (that's three, for those of you keeping score at home), and Victor Martinez walked to load the bases.  Ben Broussard, however, grounded out, and while he did plate the Indians first run of the game, it looked as if Cleveland would waste another stellar scoring opprotunity.  However, Coco Crisp drilled a three-run homer to knot the game.

While it would seem evident that Hernandez was not ready to come back, the next three innings suggest otherwise.  After finally getting burned, El Duque would settle down, facing only 11 more batters the rest of the night (3 innings), and while he did hit his fourth batter of the game, the second half of his night was noticeably more serene for the fans in attendance than the first.

Fortunately for the Sox, Jake Westbrook was in as much a giving mood as Hernandez appeared to be.  In the fifth, a 1-out single by Aaron Rowand got the ball rolling.  He moved to third on a single by Paul Konerko, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Carl Everett.  Konerko moved into scoring position on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Jermaine Dye.  Though he stole second, it would be wasted by a ground out by Pierzynski.  Still, the damage had been done.   Hernandez only allowed a hit in the sixth, and Neal Cotts threw two perfect innings in relief before giving way to Dustin Hermanson in the 9th.  Jody Gerut made the inning only mildly interesting when he singled and took second on Hermanson's indifference.  Grady Sizemore lofted a deep fly to left field, but not deep enough to escape the "Cell," as Scott Podsednik closed his glove on the 27th out of the game and a White Sox winner.

Jon Garland looks for his evasive 9th victory of the year tomorrow, when he faces Jason Davis for game two of the three game set.  The game will be aired locally and nationally on Fox and will begin at 3:05 Central time.

WSI's
Ozzieball Update: 
6 runs not wholly impressive until you note that the Sox only had 1 extra base hit all night, and that was a 2-out double that went to waste.  In fact, the Sox had more stolen bases than extra base hits tonight.  Fundamentals won this game, when the Sox had a chance to drive in a run, they did.  Cleveland had many opprotunities early, too, but did not capitalize, save for Crisp's 3-run homer.  Guess which team is mired around .500 and which is the best in the Majors/


submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Jermaine Dye

Did everything tonight.  3-4 with a double, 2 runs batted in, and a stolen base.  Probably could have scored a run or two, too, if A.J. Pierzynski wasn't an absolute offensive black hole behind him, tonight.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

 

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