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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Clinching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

April 8 vs. Tampa Bay


Levels Finished:
3
The Sox dodged barrels all the way up to the top level before falling flat on their faces.

Short Take: † The Sox defense and bullpen melt away in the 9th inning quicker than Manny Ramirezís muscle-tone without the help of performance enhancing drugs.

This type of 9th inning meltdown would make Bobby Jenks, Bobby Thigpen and Big Bob James proud. It was epic; one truly for the ages. With a three-run lead against the lowly Tampa Bay Rays and three outs to go, Matt Thornton had his first save of the season handed to him on a silver platter. Instead, two defensive miscues and a sequence of very hittable pitches to Rays batters cost the Sox five unanswered runs to give them a devastating loss by the score of 9-7.

The Sox entered the top of the 9th inning with a 7-4 lead. Ozzie called on Matt Thornton, his appointed 2011 closer, to shut the door in the easiest fashion possible: a three run lead to start the 9th inning with nobody on base. Things didnít go as planned. Elliot Johnson singled to lead off the inning and then scored when new Sox-killer Sam Fuld reached base on a rushed throw from Alexei Ramirez, originally ruled a hit by Bob Rosenberg but later changed to an error. Johnny Damon then lifted a soft flyball to left-field, where Juan Pierre dropped the catch for the 2nd Sox error of the inning. BJ Upton followed by sawing off a Thornton insider heater to leftfield to score Fuld. With two men on base, Dan Johnson turned on the first pitch from Thornton, a fastball right down the pipe, and sent it soaring into the right field bleachers for a three-run homer, Earl Weaver style, giving the Rays a 9-7 lead.

The 9th inning sucked the life out of the crowd and the White Sox bench. It certainly killed what was a very productive night at the plate for several Sox players. Gordon Beckham put the Sox on the board early with a solo homer, just inside the leftfield pole, in the bottom of the 1st. The Good Guys tacked on two more runs in the 3rd inning when Beckham doubled and then scored on a double by Alex Rios. Paul Konerko followed with an RBI single of his own, scoring Rios to give the Sox a 3-0 lead. The Sox added two more runs with a solo Mark Teahen bomb in the 4th and another solo shot by the Cuban Missile in the 6th. Teahen contributed what looked to be at the time some well-needed insurance with a clutch two-out single in the 8th to drive in another two runs and put the Sox up by three at that point. But, alas, it was not to be.

The Sox hope to win the next two in this series against the Manny-less Rays. Phil Humber makes his starting debut on Saturday, and Gavin Floyd takes the bump on Sunday. Go Sox.

WSI's
Ozzio's Game Rant:
†Tell Bobby Jenks to quit %&*#%^% smiling in Boston!


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