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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Sale Can't Buy a Win Over Twins

September 1 at Minnesota Twins


Sox Project Update:
The bullpen sprung a leak.
Ok, who forgot to solder?

Short Take:   Despite struggling early, Chris Sale exits the game in line for a rare win over the Twins, but the Sox bullpen lets Twins run away with it in the 8th; final score, 8-6 Twins

The 2015 Twins have owned Chris Sale. There, I said it. They can ink a big ol' "Property of the Twins" logo on his forehead. And please ink it mirror backwards, so Chris can read it every morning when he shaves. Perhaps add an asterisk with an "especially Kurt Suzuki" in fine print.

In tonight's matchup, Sale managed to hold the Twins batters off for an entire inning before they jumped all over him. In the 2nd inning, Twinkie singles, and doubles, compounded by a couple of wild pitches, saw the Twins up 4-0 by the end of the inning. Hawk and Stone kept talking about the cookies Sale was serving up. Like big warm chocolate chips that the Twins devoured warm out of the oven. Delicious.

But that was all the runs that Chris Sale gave up tonight. After settling down, he held the Twins at bay, while the Sox managed to scrape up just enough runs to give Sale a shot at the win when he exited the game in the 7th.

So blame this loss on the bullpen – specifically, on a get-me-over pitch from Nate Jones to Miguel Sano that Sano launched into the left field upper deck, taking Sale's win with it into the muggy Minneapolis air.

I was pleased when the Sox managed to dig themselves out of that 4-run chasm that opening after the 2nd, especially because the Sox were facing rookie pitcher Tyler Duffey. The White Sox must have no idea how to scout rookie pitchers, because they can never seem to hit against them. (Oh wait…maybe they just can't hit much at all this season? But I digress.) Predictably, Duffey had a no hitter going until the 4th inning, when Adam Eaton singled; but then Tyler Saladino promptly ground into a double play.

The rest of the game, I was afraid that we Sox fans were going to be treated to watching our apathetic team mostly flail away at the plate, looking overmatched, like an AA team facing an MLB team. It's been very disappointing too many times this season, and I longed to turn the game off.

So I was glad when the Sox at least made a game of it. The good guys finally got on board in the 5th, when Duffey might have gotten rattled after a couple of marginal pitch calls. Adam LaRoche singled, followed by walks for Alexei Ramirez and Carlos Sanchez – both gifts from the home plate ump CB Bucknor. Duffey then walked Tyler Flowers, scoring 1 run. With bases still loaded, Eaton singled to drive in 2 runs, and it was 4-3 Twins with runners on 1st and 2nd. That drove Duffey from the game, and the Twins brought in our old friend Neal Cotts (yes, THAT Neal Cotts). Saladino lined out to center to end the threat.

And after some much-needed run support from his teammates, the real Chris Sale suddenly showed up in the 5th inning. His slider was sharp and his changeup was awesome. Despite (or maybe, helped by) some inconsistent ball/strike calls, Sale struck out the side.

Then the Sox took the lead in the 6th, when Jose Abreu doubled off of Cotts, and then Avisail Garcia homered off reliever Casey Fein to give the Sox a 5-4 lead. Sale got to finish the 6th inning with – gasp – a win on the line, over the Twins! I was sure Sale was done for the night after the 6th, with 109 pitches. Then I nearly fell out of my chair when he was back on the mound for the 7th inning. Sale got Mauer to ground out, and then Robin Ventura lifted him for Nate Jones.

And then Nate Jones threw a get-me-over pitch to Sano on a 3-2 count with 2 outs, that was launched into the left field seats. Tie game, and just like that, Chris Sale's win against the Twins evaporated.

In the 8th, the wheels completely fell off the Sox bullpen bus. Zach Duke came in and promptly gave up a double to ex-Sox player Eduardo Escobar (remember him? We got Francisco Liriano for him. Yay.). Escobar, actively campaigning for the title of "Sox killer" with a 3/4 night, came home to score when Duke threw away a bunt by reigning Sox killer Kurt Suzuki (who's hitting something like 1,000,000,000 against the Sox; at least it feels like it). The Twins took a 6-5 lead.

A grounder to 3rd was botched by Saladino, advancing runners to 2nd and 3rd. With 1st base open, Duke intentionally walked Dozier to face Joe Mauer with bases loaded and no out. How can that ever be a good idea? Mauer singled in another run to make it 7-5. Bye, bye, Zach Duke, and in came Daniel Webb. Trevor Plouffe hit a sac fly off Webb to make it 8-5 Twins. Webb finally got the last two outs but the damage was done.

The Sox made a mild attempt to come back in the 9th off Twins closer Glenn Perkins. Singles by Gordon Beckham, Eaton, and Saladino brought the Sox within 2, and Jose Abreu came to the plate with 2 outs and the winning run on 1st. But on the first pitch, Abreu flew out to end the game. Twins win 8-6.

A disappointing finish to a disappointing game in a disappointing season. I think I have now used up my quota of "disappointing"s, at least for today.

The Sox face the Twins at Target Field tomorrow at 7:10 pm CST. Carlos Rodon scheduled to face Tommy Milone.

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Totally Biased Game Recaps

September 4... Fien Day at Target Field

September 2... Silly Soft Stuff

September 1...Sale Can't Buy a Win Over Twins

August 30... Gifts From The Sea

August 29... Toothless Shark

August 28... Crying All The Time!

August 27... Rodon Rolls Over Mariners

August 26... Down to the Bottom

August 25...Without Our Trayce, the Sox Don't Win This One

August 24... Same Old Story... Just Not Enough

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