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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Beckham Leads Way As Sox Win Memorable First Game of Crosstown Classic

May 18 at Chicago Cubs


Today's Sox Crew:
Union Laborers
Humber and the pitching staff were solid for the most part, and the Sox did just enough work to scratch this game out.

Short Take: Paul Konerko gets drilled in the face after hitting a 2-run homer in the first, Kerry Wood retires, Sveum gets ejected...just another day in the Crosstown Classic.

After splitting a brief two-game series in Anaheim against the Angels, the Sox flew back to Chicago in order to take on the crosstown rival Cubs at the crumbling palace known as Wrigley Field. Like a lot of games in this series, there was a little extra going on that made it stand out from any other game...the path to the eventual 3-2 victory would be quite the interesting one indeed. Before the game, Sox third baseman Brent Morel would be scratched from the lineup with lingering back issues, and Eduardo Escobar would fill in at third.

The game started with a bang, as Paul Konerko drilled a two-run shot off of Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija to stake the Sox to a early 2-0 lead. In true Sox fashion, though, that give one back in the bottom of the first as Sox pitcher Philip Humber allowed a sac fly to Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro. After that, there wasn't any scoring until the seventh, but there was plenty to talk about between that.

In Konerko's next at-bat in the third with two out, Samardzija lost control of a 95 MPH fastball and ended up hitting Paulie in the face. He went down, and so did the hearts of Sox fans. He would be replaced by Dayan Viciedo, who moved to left while starting left fielder Adam Dunn moved to first. Thankfully, tests revealed that he had no vision issues, and no evidence of a fracture. So it's likely that it's just swelling, and that he will be back sooner rather than later. An inning later, Humber threw behind the head of Cubs 1B Bryan LaHair, after which a warning was issued for both dugouts.

In the Cubs half of the fifth, David DeJesus tried stretching a base hit into a double and appeared to have beat the throw, but Sox 2B Gordon Beckham was covering the bag and in the process of applying the tag, fell on DeJesus, knocking him off the bag. The umpire called DeJesus out, which sent Cubs manager Dale Sveum on the field to give the umpire hell. Surprisingly, Sveum was ejected.

The Cubs would tie it after the 7th-inning stretch, as Samardzija knocked in Ian Stewart to help his own cause. However, Beckham would prove to be the difference, as he hit what would prove to be the game-winning homerun in the 8th off of Samardzija, and following a walk to Dunn, Samardzija departed to make way for Kerry Wood, who had announced that he was retiring earlier in the morning. Amid raucous cheers, Wood came in to pitch to Viciedo and proceeded to strike him out on a curveball in the dirt. That would be his only batter, and as he stepped off the field for the last time, he was congratulated by his teammates, coaches, and his son, while the crowd gave him an extended standing ovation. Wood came out and acknowledged the ovation with a curtain call while reliever James Russell was warming up. Like him or not, Wood was a Chicago favorite, and is one of baseball's biggest "what if" cases, as injuries prevented what could have been an outstanding career. Good luck, Wood, in your future endeavors.

Finally, Addison Reed came in to close the door in the 9th, and after recording the first two outs, Alex Rios dropped an easy fly ball off the bat of Darwin Barney that would have ended the game. The scorer ruled the play a double (likely because of the sun being right in Rios' face, but it should have been an error - Rios was camped right under it, and it just bounced off his glove). That gave Cub cult hero Reed Johnson a chance, and "Reed vs. Reed I" concluded with Addison striking out Johnson to bail out Rios and put the game away for the South Siders. Matt Thornton would pick up the win despite allowing the tying run to score thanks to Beckham's HR, and Samardzija got the loss.

The second game of the Wrigley portion of the Crosstown Classic is tomorrow evening at 6:15pm. John Danks will take on the Cubs' Ryan Dempster. If you don't mind the smell of urine, the crumbling of concrete, and trekking into one of the more obnoxious neighborhoods this city has to offer, go to the game and cheer the Sox on. Regardless, just win, baby.

WSI's
KW Appreciates The Game:
"I appreciate that Beckham is realizing that hitting the ball is vital to major league success."


submitted by MtGrnwdSoxFan.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Gordon Beckham

Scored on Paulie's HR, and hit a HR of his own. That'll do, pig, that'll do.

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