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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Linebrink Drops a Turd at the Urinal

June 18, at Chicago (NL)


KW's Daily Special:
Urinal Trough Smoothies
Just about the only thing strong enough on the planet to wash the taste of today's game out of your mouth.

Short Take: 4 outs from an abbreviated sweep, Sox bullpen implosion allows 5 Cub runs in final 2 frames in gut-wrenching 6-5 loss.

Up 4 runs.  4 outs to go.  In mere minutes, the Sox went from celebrating an emphatic, albeit abbreviated, series sweep over the Cubs to horrifically watching their lead wilt in the Chicago afternoon sun in a epic and crushing collapse.  Thanks to a Chris Getz error, Scott Linebrink won't even be statistically penalized, let alone take the loss, for today's nightmare, but he wears the collar as the goat, allowing 4 runs in the 8th inning before an Alfonso Soriano walk-off single in the 9th capped today's 6-5 loss.

Though today's pitching matchup of Gavin Floyd versus Carlos Zambrano seemed to favor the Baby Bears, Floyd stepped up and not only matched, but topped Zambrano's performance.  He went 7 very strong innings, allowing only a single run on 4 hits, though he did walk 3.  However, with the Sox offense still, at best, sluggish, he was constantly needing to put up goose eggs to keep his team in the game, and he did so thanks to some timely pitches and some big defensive plays behind him.  Scott Podsednik set the tone early, snagging a tailing Soriano line drive to lead off the game for the Scrubs, and then Chris Getz turned in the play of the day, diving to rob Kosuke Fukudome of an RBI single, but then having the presence of mind to flip the ball to Alexei Ramirez covering 2nd to force out Mike Fontenot and end the 4th inning.  Floyd was also his best friend on the mound, inducing 3 double plays from the Cubs today, and possibly 2 more that were erased on a throwing error and a questionable call at first base.  Still, facing one of the premier pitchers in the game, on the road (where Gavin has struggled this year), in a play-off like atmosphere, he answered the call and then some.

After trading zeros for 5 innings, the Sox finally broke open the scoring in the 6th.  Jermaine Dye started the rally with a 1-out double to the ivy, and after a weak flyout by Paul Konerko, Lou Piniella elected to intentionally walk A.J. Pierzynski to face Brian Anderson, who made Piniella pay with a single to shallow right field that scored Dye.  The Cubs, however, quickly came back, scoring a run in the bottom of the 6th, but considering they had runners at 1st and 3rd with no out, leaving the inning tied was perfectly fine.

In fact, runs were extremely hard to come by this afternoon.  Whether it be two inept offenses helplessly flailing at the plate, or two stud pitchers on their games, the ferocious inbound winds on a blustery Chicago afternoon didn't help.  But by the 7th inning, the sun broke through the clouds and tapered off the winds, just in time for Alexei Ramirez to hit his second homer in as many days, a 2-run blast to left field that put the Sox back up 3-1 and ultimately chased Zambrano from the game.

In the 7th, facing Carlos Marmol, the Sox padded their lead, with an RBI double and single by Getz and Gordon Beckham, who looked great at the plate today, but with a 5-1 lead and Floyd only at 90 pitches, Ozzie made a curious move to pinch hit Josh Fields for Gavin.  Though Josh walked, let's just say, maybe Ozzie would like a mulligan.  Exit Floyd, and enter Linebrink, who quickly found himself in a jam thanks to a error by Getz and a single by Alfonso Soriano to lead off the inning.  Linebrink, however, settled down, getting Ryan Theriot on a weak infield fly and striking out Milton Bradley.

It was not to be.  Derrek Lee homered off Linebrink's first pitch, a shot that just cleared the infamous Wrigley baskets, but don't bemoan too much, Sox fans.  Two pitches later, Linebrink served up a game-tying home run to Geovany Soto that easily cleared the left field wall and would have scored any potential remaining baserunners.  After the Sox mounted little offense in the 9th, Matt Thornton was charged with sending the game to extra innings, but with two outs and the winning run on second, Alfonso Soriano blooped a single to shallow right field, in between Getz and Wise to send the Cub fans home happy and the Sox fans home shell shocked.

The Sox now hit the road to Cincinnati for a 3-game series with the Reds.  Jose Contreras's Comeback Tour continues from the Great American Ballpark against Bronson Arroyo.  Game time is 6:10 PM Central time and tomorrow's game will be aired on Comcast Sports Net.

WSI's Critic's Corner:  0 stars.  Things were going great until that 8th inning.


submitted by doublem23

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