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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Casper Anything but Ghostly

July 21 vs. Atlanta Braves


Today's Game Rating:
3 Stars
No errors and three game-saving plays make up for the laborious starting pitching by Quintana.

Short Take:Casper Wells (of all people) robbed Reed Johnson of a home run in the eighth, securing a 3-1 Sox lead.

Coming into this first series after the break against the Atlanta Braves, it looked as though the Sox would continue their losing from the first half. Surprisingly enough, the South Siders took two of three from the division-leading Braves, including Sunday's matchup, 3-1, at a toasty U.S. Cellular Field. Nearly 28,000 watched errorless ball for a change and had an enjoyable day at the ol' ballpark.

In a nutshell, this game was saved in the top of the eighth by the least likely of candidates -- Casper Wells. With Dan Uggla having walked, Reed Johnson was at the plate, facing Nate Jones. Johnson drove one deep to left, but Casper was extra friendly and anything but ghostly when he leaped at just the right time, pulling back Johnson's deep fly ball, robbing him of a game-tying home run. Even the Sox infielders turned back toward the Jumbotron and admired the play when the replay was shown immediately following the catch.

Sunday's contest featured another classic display of Walker Ball, but not by the Sox. Interestingly, the Braves had stranded seven runners by the fifth inning and had nine hits by that point, yet the Sox were winning 2-0. Wellsí catch was one of three defensive plays that helped the Sox escape trouble. The Braves loaded the bases in the second inning, but with one out, Johnson lined out to shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who doubled the runner off second base to end the threat. Atlanta loaded the bases again in the third with two out, but the Sox got out of the inning when Jeff Keppinger made a diving stop on a hard-hit grounder off the bat of Brian McCann.

Even though it felt like the Braves were up to bat all afternoon, it was the Sox who capitalized on their handful of hits in the game. They got right to it in the first when Adam Dunn beat the shift with a single, scoring Alejandro De Aza, who had walked to lead off the game. Despite pitching a complete game, Mike Minor (9-5) got the loss, since his offense consistently stranded their own on the basepaths.

Jose Quintana (5-2), though not efficient, pitched well enough to earn the win. His only real blemish came in the fifth when he gave up three singles, scoring Chris Johnson, who accounted for the only Atlanta run. The Sox added to their 2-1 lead in the home half of the sixth when an error by Andrelton Simmons gave the Sox an extra out, which they took advantage of for a change. That fourth out allowed Dayan Viciedo to hit a sacrifice fly, bringing home Alex Rios, who'd led off the inning with a single and stole second. Addison Reed came on to pitch an uneventful ninth for his 25th save of the season.

After taking this three-game series from the Braves, the Sox resume play against an American League opponent in Detroit on Monday night. All-Star Chris Sale (6-8, 2.85 ERA) will get the start for the South Siders and he'll be opposed by Detroit's Max Scherzer (13-1, 3.19 ERA). The first pitch will be at 7:10p on the South Side and you can watch the game on WCIU.

WSI's
Hawk and Stoney's Thumb Guide:
Stone Pony, you know who would've loved that catch by Casper Wells? YAZ!


submitted by JB98.

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