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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Three Runs Are All He Needed

June 11 vs. the Oakland Athletics


Levels Finished:
5 (barely)
Squeaking by on a 3-2 win, the Sox were hit with a few barrels but fireballs weren't a problem since the A's pitchers didn't have any.

Short Take:John Danks gets just enough run support tonight as he holds the A's for a 3-2 victory.

John Danks has had a rough year. After losing eight games, at least four of which he pitched well enough to win but for the White Sox' anemic offense, he got his first win against Seattle on June 6th. Luck, karma, providence, or whatever, seems to come in bunches, and by that standard John Danks was due for another win. He got it, beating the Oakland Athletics 3-2 on a chilly Saturday night in Chicago.

Danks' misfortune this year is hard to figure, but so is the maddeningly poor scoring of the Sox hitters all season. We saw that on full display tonight as the Sox left 12 runners on base. Adam Dunn got no hits, of course, and overall the Sox were 0-10 with runners in scoring position. It's truly weird how Sox hitters melt haplessly when there are runners on base.

Ah, but listen to me! I kvetch about poor hitting when the Sox won the game tonight. Let me pour some cold water on myself and start again.

Johnny Danks looked great. In full command of his pitches and frequently ahead in the count, he had the A's on their heels most of the game. The A's didn't get their first hit until the fourth inning when Cliff Pennington led off with a single. After stealing second, he came in to score on a single by Josh Willingham.

That run tied the game 1-1. The Sox had scored in the third in a peculiar sequence: Alexei Ramirez singled and moved to second on a balk by A's starter Gio Gonzalez. Ramirez then stole third and came bounding home on a wild pitch by Gonzalez. Hey, a run is a run, right? This is probably a good spot to digress about Gio Gonzalez: you may remember him as a Sox can't-miss prospect who went to the Phillies as the player to be named later in the Jim Thome deal five years ago. He came back to the Sox briefly in a trade that also brought Gavin Floyd from the Phillies in exchange for Freddy Garcia. Gio then was packaged to Oakland, where he toils today, in the woeful Nick Swisher experiment. Watching his out-of-control curve tonight, along with two wild pitches and a balk, and it's apparent why the Sox chose to keep Gavin Floyd and send Gonzalez elsewhere.

The Sox scored again in the fourth on a solo homer by Ramon Castro, giving them a 2-1 lead. The A's picked up another run in the sixth after Coco Crisp hit a leadoff double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Pennington, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hideki Matsui.

The 2-2 tie only lasted that half-inning, though, as the Sox scored in the bottom of the sixth, initiated by Brent Lillibridge, this year's unlikely spark plug. After drawing a walk, Lillibridge stole second and and scampered to third on a throwing error by A's catcher Kurt Suzuki. With one out Alexei Ramirez walked and Carlos Quentin then hit a comebacker to A's reliever Brad Ziegler that looked like yet another rally-killing double play. But Ziegler made a wild throw to second, everybody was safe and Lillibridge scored from third. 3-2 Sox after six innings and since we know the Sox like to be economical in their scoring, it's nail-biting time again.

The real drama was in the top of the eighth. Daric Barton led off with a single. After moving to second on a sac bunt, Coco Crisp hit an 0-2 fastball deep to left-center that looked to be a spirit-crushing homer. Brent Lillibridge jumped at the wall and made a highlight-reel catch over the wall to save two runs and save the game for John Danks. Jesse Crain came in to pitch after that at-bat and stuck around through the ninth to pick up the save. Final: 3-2 Sox. Ka-boom!

Got to feel good for Danks, but why are the Sox hitters so averse to having a big inning? 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position? Twelve men left on base? Gentlemen, your pitchers can't hold opponents to less than three runs every night -- John Danks has had a rough year in large part because of your offensive offense. Let's score more runs next time, eh?

WSI's
Ozzio's Game Rant:
"Hey! I told Kenny this keed Lillibridge can do more than %#@#* Waste Management commercials!"


submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Brent Lillibridge

The man, the myth, the (soon-to-be) legend. Game-saving catch in the eighth to save two runs and great work on the basepaths. He really ate his Wheaties this year.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

 

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Totally Biased Game Recaps

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April 8... Score Early, Score Often

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