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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Home Wrecker

April 5th, 2018 vs Detroit Tigers

WSI Playdate Funtime:
Soria was the block that tumbled the tower.

Short Take:Joakim Soria blows save in the 9th and Sox eventually fall in 10 innings

The rebuilding White Sox returned to 35th and Shields for their 2018 home opener after a successful 3W-2L road trip to face the Detroit Tigers in a late afternoon tilt on the South Side. The weather waiting to greet both teams was not unlike a winter snowglobe that would be better suited for a Chicago Bears game than the boys of summer. I was in attendance for this one and I can tell you that the longer the game went on, the colder and more wet it became. It was rough conditions all around for players and fans alike. In a sloppy game that did not feature a lot of stellar pitching on either side, it was the Tigers that would ultimately stun the White Sox in a soul crushing 9th inning and ruin the home opener.

After James Shields escaped some early 1st inning jeopardy unscathed, Yolmer Sanchez got the Sox going in the bottom of the 1st inning with a 2 RBI triple into the RF corner. It would have been the first of two triples for Yolmer on the day and the Sox drew first blood. Tigers CF Leonys Martin answered back in the 2nd with an RBI single making it 2-1. The Sox would eventually expand their lead to 4-1 on the back of a sac fly from Adam Engel in the 2nd and an RBI single from Leury Garcia in the 3rd . Jordan Zimmerman was not dazzling the Sox and they were making him pay. Unfortunately, James Shields did not exactly dazzle either.

The Tigers would chip away on James Shields and the Sox in the middle frames. Long time Sox nemesis Victor Martinez got the Tigers to within 1 run on an RBI single to RF. Overall, this was your typical laborious James Shields start. He struck out only one batter, put a lot of baserunners on, and the wipeout pitch with 2 strikes just is not there for him anymore. The Tigers finished with 3 runs and 8 hits against him and he was definitely rescued by some line drives hit right at Sox defenders. It is tough to see a scenario right now where Shields is still in the rotation beyond late May or early June.

After allowing the Tigers to close to within one run, the Sox finally started pulling away in the 5th. Matt Davidson touched the top of the wall for an RBI double with a drive that probably goes 6 rows deep on a hot summer day. Davidson continues to look reborn in this 2018 season and could be a player to watch if this continues. He would even finish with 2 walks on the day! Let us hope this trend continues for Matty D. Yolmer Sanchez then added his second RBI triple of the game and suddenly it was 6-3 White Sox. The Sox were not done scoring yet. In the 7th, they tacked on an insurance run on an RBI double from Leury Garcia that split the gap that made it 7-3 and this one felt like the South Siders were putting the game in the bag. Oh how wrong we were!

Detroit managed to grab a run in the 8th off a shaky Nate Jones to cut into the Sox lead but it was the 9th inning where disaster struck. Veteran closer Joakim Soria entered the game for his 3rd save and struggled with command of his secondary pitches. Soria kept burying his sinker into the dirt and letting his curveball run too far inside to get any strike calls from the ump. This allowed the Tigers to squeeze the sawdust out of the bat and just wait for a Soria fastball which was topping out at 91mph according to the radar display near my section. Niko Goodrum poked a HR into right center that just cleared the top of the fence for a 2 run shot. Suddenly it was 7-6 White Sox with 2 outs but the heart of the Tigers order coming into play. Things were getting tense and they were about to get worse. Castellanos would extend the inning with a base hit and this allowed Victor Martinez a chance to tie the game and tie it he did. Victor slapped a soft liner into LF that Leury Garcia got a late break on. Instead of keeping the ball in front of him, Leury played it into a double by letting it roll past him all the way to the wall which allowed Castellanos to score from 1st and the game was now tied 7-7. If you heard loud groans from your TV set, I guarantee one of them was me. Just like that, all the good Opening Day vibes vanished into thin air. The blown save is certainly not all his fault but this was just a really bad play by Leury Garcia.

After a quiet 9th from Sox hitters, Gregory Infante came into the game and continued the poor pitching he put on display in Toronto by allowing the Tigers to plate 2 runs and take a 9-7 lead. If the Sox want to make quick improvements to their bullpen woes, they can start by sending Infante back to Charlotte. The South Siders put up a mild uprising in the bottom half of the 10th getting the winning run to the plate but the game would end on a Moncada strikeout, capping his rough day at the plate. This was such an unfortunate end to what otherwise should have been a successful, albeit chilly home opener. Soria was 1 strike away from ending the game 3 different times and just could not get the job done. Very small sample size so far, but it appears the bullpen is a big crater on the 2018 roster and if this trend continues, we could have more fan murdering losses in our future. The Sox will have to wait until Saturday to get the taste of this one out of their mouths as Lucas Giolito is set to make his second start of the season as he takes on Michael Fulmer.

Game Notes-

-James Shields line was 5.0IP, 3ER, 8H, 1BB, 1K

-Yolmer Sanchez was 3 for 5, 3RBI, 2 triples, and 1 single

-This was Joakim Soria's first blown save since July 19th, 2017

-Miguel Cabrera left the game in the 1st after tripping on 1B and did not return

Fun Da Mentalz:
 That 9th inning was quite unfortunate

submitted by Foulke You

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Matt Davidson

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