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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Phegley's Phine Phinish

August 24th vs. the Texas Rangers


Today's Game Rating:
5 STARS
A great story has a beginning, middle, and end. Hector Santiago gave us a steady beginning, Adam Dunn gave us a strong middle with his 2-run homer, and Josh Phegley gave us a strong end with his ninth-inning RBI single. That's boffo.

Short Take: Hector Santiago got his quality start, Adam Dunn tied the game with his two-run opposite-fielder, and Josh Phegley singled home Avisail Garcia in the ninth to beat the Rangers 3-2 on a beautiful evening on the South Side.

Ah, it was a night made for romance and celebration. Clear skies, cool breezes, and a ballpark full of youthful promise. The White Sox won in dramatic fashion against the Texas Rangers by a score of 3-2 on the South Side in a game that honored both the beauty of baseball and its place in the American story.

Tonight's contest was the Civil Rights Game, imbued with references to, and memories of, baseball's groundbreakers. A moving six-generation first-pitch ceremony preceded the game with remarks from Bo Jackson, recipient of the MLB Beacon Award. Then we got down to business at hand, which was to continue the Sox' recent winning momentum.

Your intrepid TBGR correspondent was in attendance at tonight's game and can confirm that a splendid time was had by all. Though we all know that the Sox are not playing this year in October, we're heartened by the green shoots of new energy that have sprouted among this squad. Recent trades have trimmed much of the age and payroll excess and brought aboard sparks of energy that make it fun to watch games again.

One of those new sparks is Josh Phegley. Though his .213 average doesn't inspire songs of joy, his play on the field does inspire hope for next year. The absence of a catcher who can drive the team has been painfully apparent all season, and was brought into sharp relief this weekend with the return of the Rangers' A.J. Pierzynski. A.J.'s hitting .279 for Texas and at age 36 does not look like the washed-up receiver Hahn and Williams considered him to be. A.J., we miss you, man.

I mention young Phegley because he was the hero tonight, hitting the two-out, ninth-inning single that drove in the winning run. Not some excuse-me squibber, but a sharp line drive into left field allowing young Avisail Garcia to score and end the game. Garcia, it should be noted, was on third because after singling he speedily advanced from first on young Dayan Viciedo's single. From the bats of babes came the sweet song of victory.

Am I carried away? I suppose so. But tightly-played games with winning outcomes have been so rare this year that I feel the need to savor those few we have. I don't know if the young'uns are the whole reason for the Sox' late surge, but let's enjoy it while we can.

Things did not look promising before the game began. Yu Darvish, one of this season's flavors of the month, was starting for Texas. He's good. He had a breaking ball working tonight that mystified hitters of all stripes with its serpentine movement. He mixed speeds in unnatural ways, going from 92 to 64 miles per hour within the same at-bat.

But he didn't have great control and threw a lot of pitches tonight, giving the Sox a chance to wear him down. The Rangers scored first in the sixth inning when Pierzynski singled and Alex Rios, recently dispatched from the White Sox, hit a two-run homer that traveled deep into the left-field seats. Hector Santiago, tonight's hometown hurler, fell into the no-man's land Sox pitchers often found themselves in this year: falling behind and feeling the need to throw perfect pitches in anticipation of no run support.

Whether it was that concern or simply poor control, Santiago hit three batters and had thrown 105 pitches by the sixth inning, prompting Robin Ventura to awaken the bullpen. The rolling organism that was the ballpark crowd heaved a collective sigh in anticipation of another limp peformance from the White Sox.

Not so fast. In the next half-inning, Gordon Beckham singled and Adam Dunn hit an opposite-field homer to tie the game at two. Buoyed by their recent winning behavior, we watched for signs of baseball savvy. Those signs came with the entrance of Matt Lindstrom, Donnie Veal, and Nate Jones, whose pitching was good enough to prevent the hard-hitting Texans from scoring.

Then came the bottom of the ninth. As described above, the kiddie corps came through. Garcia hit a one-out single to right, scampered to third on Viciedo's single to center, and Phegley hit his authoritative liner to left for an RBI and a ballgame. Handshakes, high-fives, and the throbbing sounds of "Sweet Home Chicago" provided the topping to the White Sox' lovely baseball confection.

We filtered out of the ballpark slowly to absorb the good cheer and the cool evening air. You might call it something else but I'd call it a night for the romance of anticipation and wishes fulfilled.

WSI's
Hawk and Stoney's Thumb Guide:
Two Thumbs Up! "Stoney, did you see Minnie Minoso out there tonight? He's played in almost as many decades as I have. But I don't know if he ever talked to Yaz."


submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Josh Phegley

Big game-winning hit in the ninth and looking like a real prospect to a ballpark full of prospectors.

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