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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

No comeback tonight

May 10, vs. Los Angeles


How was the trophy defended today?
Embarrassed on national TV.

Short Take: Four early Indian homers puts Sox in a hole even Cleveland's bullpen couldn't blow, despite their best efforts.

Just one day after the Sox scored twice in the bottom of the eleventh inning against Indian closer Bob Wickman, they staged a ferocious 9th-inning rally in a game that looked to be over hours ago.  However, even the Tribe could not find enough garbage relievers to blow an 8-run lead, as the Indians' early pounding of Freddy Garcia held up, as they defeated the Sox, 10-8 to avoid a 3-game sweep at the hands of the World Champs.

Garcia's string of miserable starts against the Indians continued.  If you all remember the 2nd game of the season, in which Garcia gave up 7 runs over 4 innings?  Well tonight, 8 runs in 5.2, which means his ERA of 12.59 was actually better than his ERA from that first meeting (15.75), which means Garcia is only about, oh, 15 starts away from shutting down the Indians completely.  Look out Cleveland, in 2008!  Back to the game, I'll try to avoid the gruesome details as much as possible, but sometimes losses are like car wrecks.  The Tribe got on the board first when Ronnie Belliard's double followed a lead-off walk to Ben Broussard, who managed to score from first.  In the third, a single by Victor Martinez and an RBI groundout by everyone's least favorite Indian, Ronnie Belliard again, drove home another pair.  Considering that Jake Westrbook had set the first six men down he saw, it was looking like it would be another nationally televised disaster for the Sox.  The only positive about the quick innings the Sox offense were having is that it was cutting severly into Joe Morgan's Joe Morgan-centric story time during the Sunday Night Baseball telecast.  Way to take one for America, guys!

Kidding aside, the Sox finally got to Westbrook in the third, already staring down the barrell of a 3-0 deficit, with a solo home run by Alex Cintron and Jim Thome singled home Scott Podsednik.  Suddenly the deficit was down to one, and maybe you had to feel good about the Sox again.

Scratch that thought.  After a somewhat easy 4th (the Tribe did strand Grady Sizemore at 2nd, but he only reached on a 2-out double), Garcia completely fell apart.  Walking two of the first four batters of the inning, and giving up 2-run bombs to the other two.  Oh, and he sandwiched a wild pitch in there.  In the blink of an eye (or the swing of bats by Martinez and Belliard), Cleveland was up 7-2.  Westbrook shut the Sox down for the rest of the night, working 8 very strong innings, allowing just 6 hits, the two runs previously mentioned, and striking out four while improving to 3-0 against the Pale Hose this year.

As for Garcia, he wouldn't last another inning, being yanked for Sean Tracey in the 6th after allowing his 3rd homer of the night, a solo job to Travis Hafner.  Coming off a nice job against the Tigers on Thursday, the Indians fared much better against the righty.  Though he retired Victor Martinez to close the sixth, he was much less competent in the 7th, walking Ben Broussard and then advancing him to third on a pair of wild pitches.  Rather than give the RBI to Belliard, he walked him, too, finally allowing a run to score on a single by Aaron Boone.  Jason Michaels hit a solo home run off Tracy in the 8th to make the score a laughable 10-2.

But, give the Sox credit, if nothing else, they made it interesting for those of the 34,000 in attendance and countless more viewing on ESPN that were still at all interested in the 9th.  The secret to the Sox's success?  Getting to face the Indians' bullpen instead of Jake Westbrook!  Pablo Ozuna lead off the frame with a single off Jason Davis.  He was backed by a double by Cintron, the 205-pound middle infielder with a career slugging percentage .412 who has been swinging the hottest, most thunderous bat in the line-up of late.  Up next was Brian "Still Not hitting the weight of an average pre-teen" Anderson, who found himself in the unusual situation of not being completely overmatched, and smashed a 3-run bomb that cut the Indians' lead from 8 to 5.  Here's to the breaking out of a slump, Brian (please).  An Indian error and single by Tadahito Iguchi and suddenly the Sox were in some real business.  Cleveland manager Eric Wedge decided he had seen enough and brought in Rafeal Betancourt, who did induce an out from Jim Thome, but allowed the 6th run of the inning to score on a single by Ross Gload, thus officially making the scenario a save situation, which promptly brought about the entrance of Bob Wickman, yesterday's goat.  The Indians allowed Gload to "steal" second (fielder's indifference), and allowed a pair of runs, one on a sac fly by Rob Mackowiak and another on a single by A.J. Pierzynski.  Now would be the time to mention that the 2-run difference would be equal to the number of runs allowed by the rookie reliever.  Not blaming him, of course, that would go to the starter who allowed six more than Sean, but we would like KW to again take note the black hole that still exists in the Sox's bullpen.  A magical comeback wasn't in the cards, as Wickman got Ozuna to fly out and end the game and the rally.

The loss drops the Sox to a game and half behind the Tigers for the A.L. Central lead and 38-24 on the season.  With exactly 100 games left to play in the season, the Sox still command the 2nd best record in the American League, despite the team's recent struggles.  As for the immediate future, the White Sox take the show down south to Arlington, Texas and face the Rangers in a Monday night game.  Jose Contreras take the hill for the Sox against Jon Koronka.  Game time is 6:05 PM and will be aired locally on CSN-Chicago and nationally on ESPN.

WSI's
Ozzieball Update: 
Good offensive performance in the 9th overshadowed by piss-poor performance the rest of the evening.


submitted by doublem23.

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