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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

The Sox Win In A Challenge Festival

July 19th vs. the Houston Astros


Daily Sox Crop Report:
Strong Growth
In a challenging environment, the crops stood strong. Maybe its hardier stock than we thought.

Short Take:The Sox scattered 13 hits and the bullpen held the line as the Sox beat the Astros 4-3.

A remarkable night! The White Sox beat the Houston Astros 4-3 on a lovely Saturday and did it with some peculiar twists. To wit:

  • The Sox won on a Saturday! That in itself is peculiar, being only the second win in fifteen Saturdays this year.
  • This being the year of the replay challenge, tonight's game saw not one, not two, but three successful challenges. Clearly the umpires need some help.
  • With a one-run lead, Jake Petricka came in the ninth to close. With two outs, Robin Ventura brought in Zach Putnam to get the third out. This was truly a closer-by-committee effort.
  • Alejando De Aza, Tyler Flowers, and Ronald Belasario, three guys who've been the focus of derision for much of the year, combined defensively and offensively to spark the victory. I feel like I owe them an apology.

Thanks to the availability of a friend's tickets, your starstruck TBGR correspondent attended tonight's contest. It was Noche Tropical night at the ballpark, complete with a post-game fireworks show. But the Sox lit the fuse earlier as they held on to win a one-run game. So how did it go?

Hector Noesi started tonight and looked strong and also economical with his pitches. By the fourth inning he had thrown exactly half as many pitches as had his opponent, Dallas Keuchel. The Sox hit freely, knocking around 13 hits but leaving 11 on base and going only 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position. A familiar tune, one this team has played for us many times. Typically this ends in a maddening loss as the bullpen opens the gates to let the opposing horses roam freely, but not tonight. Let me begin my apology tour with Ronald Belasario.

After Javy Guerra gave up two leadoff singles in the seventh, Belasario was brought in. I clenched my scorecard tightly, expecting the worst, but with nobody out and the Sox holding a 4-3 lead, Belasario authoritatively dispatched the Texas spacemen. He came back and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth to set the stage for the Sox' closer du jour. Mr. Belasario, after seeing you pitch two dominant, game-stabilizing innings tonight, I beg your pardon for the scornful things I've said about your skill.

The strange ninth inning followed. I heard Ventura's press conference after the game in which he said he liked Putnam's "swing-and-missability" in that situation. Hmm...a new stat, maybe?

The Sox scored their runs in the conventional way, but not efficiently. Only four runs resulted from all those hits and a couple of walks, but that was enough. Tyler Flowers had two RBIs in his 3-for-3 evening. I'm not ready yet to call him Mr. Clutch, but he's the next stop on the apology tour: Mr. Flowers, I've used some hyphenated opprobium in reference to your performance, but after watching tonight's effort I am sorry for my intemperance.

Defense was sharp as well. Alejandro De Aza dazzled the 28,210 revelers with some spectacular catches in left field. These were from a player who couldn't seem to find a fly-ball route with a map. Mr. De Aza, my contrition extends to you as well for the offensive things I've said in the heat of disappointment.

The three replay reviews were notable by being so many. The first came in the third inning when Gordon Beckham was hit by a pitch. Not so fast, said Houston manager Bo Porter. The headphones were dropped on the blue-men's heads and it was determined that Beckham wasn't hit after all. Weird that the umpire who was right there couldn't see it, but somebody with an Xbox in New York apparently could. In the fourth, the Sox challenged a 5-3 putout of Alexei Ramirez that should've been an easy call but wasn't for the first-base ump. New York's screensavers said Ramirez was safe. After Jose Abreu singled to put Ramirez on second, Paul Konerko grounded into what appeared to be a single as the 'stros tried to force Abreu at second. Abreu was called safe, and the Astros challenged the call. New York's monitor mavens said Abreu was out.

After all that commotion, nobody scored. What's interesting is that all three challenges were upheld. What game are the umpires watching?

This marks my Saturday TBGR record as 2-13, which is igominious in any league. But I love me a White Sox winner and a festive fireworks show, and I got both tonight. Maybe the All-Star break was the tonic these guys needed. I know I did.

WSI's
The Futures Market:
I'm back on the "buy" recommendation on the bullpen. Get 'em now while the price is low.


submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Tyler Flowers

They said it couldn't be done (not by this guy). 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs. You like that All-Star break, eh?

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

 

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Totally Biased Game Recaps

September 28...A Royal Loss, but Hail to The King

September 27... Paulie

September 24... Same Sale, Same Bullpen

September 21...Danks and Offense Sting the Rays

September 20... 2014 Is Mercifully Winding Down

September 17... Sale Hit Hard

September 14... Sunday Afternoon Dud

September 13... Like One Win? Here, Have Two

September 10... Becoming Spoilers

September 7...Shut Out and Swept

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