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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Slammin' Second!

April 16 vs. Cleveland.  

Short take:  Lowering the boom on Cleveland

The temperatures were in the 80's, the walk up gate was over 13,000, and the atmosphere was ripe for a wild night at Comiskey.  Our Sox didn't disappoint--and neither did Sox Fans--in a 10-5 thrashing of Cleveland.

It was a rowdy night at 35th and Shields!

Rookie Jon Rauch got his first major league start against 11-1 division rival, Cleveland.  Their rabble of fans were in attendance, too.  They can't help but be obnoxious, even though they live in what even their state's fellow citizens refer to as "the armpit of Ohio".  Backing into a division crown last season, combined with their fast start in 2002, has them crowing a bit louder than usual.  They wouldn't be crowing for long.

Rauch spotted them a one run lead in the top of the second inning when everyone's favorite strikeout machine (not counting Sammy Sosa), Russ Branyan hit a solo shot dinger to give the Indians the early 1-0 lead.   For obnoxious Tribe fans, Branyan's bit of excitement would be long forgotten in the bottom-half of the same frame.

The Sox sent twelve men to the plate.  It started innocently enough with Matt Lawton misplaying a Magglio Ordonez pop up into a  two-base error.  Lawton was everyone's bitch for the rest of the night.  Besides all the taunts, Sox Fans even tossed him a giant inflatable baseball to see whether he could handle it.  Predictably, the ball fell to the ground.  Back at homeplate, the table was set for a big inning.

The Sox pounded Chuck Finley for nine runs on seven hits.  The big blows were Royce Clayton's two-run dinger, and Magglio Ordonez (batting for the second time in the innning) launching a grand slam into the seats in right-center.  The score was 9-1, and smelly old man Charlie Manual had to come get his pitcher before his hair caught on fire!  Na Na Na Na,  Hey Hey Hey, Good bye!

Pitching with that sort of lead, Jon Rauch was in the driver's seat.  He faced eight hitters over the next two innings, allowing one meaningless hit in each.  Yeah, Kenny Lofton and the Sox "D" bailed him out along the way in his 4+ innings, but the kid was impressive nonetheless.

After walking the first two men in the fifth, Jerry Manuel signaled for the bullpen, much to the anger of the 23,502 Sox Fans in attendance.  They naturally wanted to see the rookie get his first career win, which was there for the taking if he could just get out of the inning.  However, Rauch was on a pitch count and his time was up.  Antonio Osuna trotted in from the left field bullpen, expecting another quick win in relief.  Unfortunately for him, he allowed both of Rauch's runs to score.  The win would be awarded to Damaso Marte who, in the opinion of the official scorekeeper, was the most effective reliever in the game.  Funny how much discretion goes into the statistics these guys make up, isn't it?

With the game clearly in hand and Tribe fans left sulking, attention was drawn towards several fisticuffs in the upper deck, and both left and right field.  Perhaps the patrons were drinking a bit more than the Pepsi that got them in for half-price? 

Not everything happening in the stands was violent.  At least two women were flashing themselves to the Sox Fans in left field.  Though not as loud as the applause drawn by Magglio and his fellow Sox teammates for their on-field heroics, this duet definitely succeeded in drawing the evening's most lustful applause.  Make love, not war--indeed!

It was a wild night reminiscent of those at Old Comiskey in the late 70's.  Let's hope the real excitement remains on this young team and its quest for the elusive Chicago baseball championship.

Then all of us can expose ourselves, and nobody will mind.


George Bova is editor and founder of White Sox Interactive.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Magglio Ordonez

3 for 4 at the plate, 4 rbi's all coming on his fifth career grand slam in the second inning, blowing the game wide open.  Scored three runs.  The best rightfielder in Chicago!

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

 

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