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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Lucky #13 for Jose

May 4, vs. Seattle


How was the trophy defended today?
Jose Contreras continues to pitch out of his mind.  Great teams have a great ace.  We have a great ace, Sox fans.

Short Take:  Dominant starting pitching by Jose Contreras, 3-run homer by Jim Thome help Sox sweep away Seattle.

Dating back to last season, Jose Contreras has won 13 consecutive regular season games, a feat that has now only been topped by Alex Fernandez and LaMarr Hoyt in White Sox history.  The American League's pitcher of the month was once again on top of his game, running into trouble only once in his 7 1/3 innings of work as the White Sox continue to roll through the American League, with a 4-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.

After Jose breezed through the top of the M's order in the first, the Sox staked him to an early lead.  Facing whiz kid Felix Hernandez, the veteran Sox offense took the youngster to class.  Scott Podsednik drew a walk to lead off the game and moved into third on a successful hit-and-run play with Tadahito IguchiJim Thome made the stellar strategic play moot, however, as he crushed a 3-run homer to open up the scoring on the day.  Hernandez, however, quickly settled down, as he retired the next 8 batters he faced.  The Sox wouldn't see the basepaths again until Jim Thome again, ripped a 2-out double to left field.  Paul Konerko took advantage of the RBI opportunity, plating Thome with a single to center field and staking the Sox to a 4-0 lead.

Meanwhile, things for Contreras were great.  After giving up 2 hits to start the 2nd, Jose became an out machine, setting down the next 14 batters he saw and guided the Sox deep into the 6th inning with a lead that was looking more and more like 40-0 instead of just 4.  However, as if on cue, for some reason the Cuban ace lost his control.  After retiring Ichiro and Jose Lopez with ease to start the 6th, Contreras suddenly created quite a jam, walking Raul Ibanez, giving up a single to Carl Everett, and walking Roberto Petagine to load the bases.  After a bit of a battle, Contreras issued a free pass to Adrian "I'm hitting below the Mendoza Line" Beltre to put the Mariners on the board.  However, just as quickly as he had lost his command, Contreras found it, going right after Matt Lawton, battling him to a 3-2 count and ultimately getting him to pop out softly into left field.  Inning over.  Crisis averted.

Contreras would work a near flawless 7th and got Jose Lopez to ground out to Juan Uribe at short to lead off the 8th before Ozzie Guillen sat him down for the day, to a standing ovation courtesy of the 25,000+ fans who enjoyed the beautiful Spring day at the ballpark.  Unlike last night, there would be no bullpen disaster, as Neal Cotts and Bobby Jenks not only closed out the M's, they slammed the door shut on them.  The two pitched a combined 1 2/3 innings and Jenks only allowed a very meaningless 2-out seeing-eye single to Matt Lawton that missed being a put-out by Tadahito Iguchi by less than a foot.  The relievers were also aided by some flashy leather behind them.  In the 8th, Cotts induced a pop-up from Ibanez that drifted towards the tarp down the third base line.  Enter Joe Crede, who slid into the trap, had the ball bounce off it, his mitt, leg, and foot, and somehow bare-handed the ball as he sat up from his slide.  In the ninth, Jenks' first out was recorded by Rob Mackowiak in right field on a fly ball he caught while running into the wall down the line.

As stated, the win is Jose's 13 straight in regular season play, a streak only topped in the 106 year history of the franchise twice, a 15-gamer by Alex Fernandez, and a 14 by LaMarr Hoyt.  The win also is the Sox's 20th of the young season, and just like last year, the Sox are the first to cross the 20-win hurdle (though the Reds go for 20 tonight against Colorado).  Incredibly (or eerily, depending on your point of view), the Sox hit the 20-win mark on the exact same date as last year; as the '05 version of the Pale Hose won their 20th on May 4 in a 4-2 win over Kansas City.

And speaking of the Royals, they steam into town, riding that league-worst 5-20 record for a 3-game weekend set starting tomorrow night.  Jon Garland goes for the World Champs against Scott Elarton.  The game will be aired on Comcast Sports Net and first pitch is set for 7:35 PM.  The Sox have won 19 of their last 23.  I guess if things are going too well for you and you crave some pessimism, 40% of the Royals' wins this year have come at the expense of the Pale Hose.  No mercy.

WSI's
Ozzieball Update: 
Starting pitching, bullpen, hitting, baserunning, and defense all superb today.  Classic Ozzie-ball win.


submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Jim Thome

3-run homer in the 1st provided the Sox all the runs they would need and more.

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