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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Garland nails Twins

April 26, 2003 vs. Minnesota

Today's temperature:
"Yeah, the team played well, but make some noise if your starter gets unjustly ejected!"

Short Take: With job on the line, Jon answers the call!

Jon Garland and the rest of the Sox knew that even though the calendar says we're still in the first month of the season, they needed to step up tonight at "The Cell" against the Minnesota Twins.  With the rest of the rotation off to good starts, Jon's 6.39 ERA and 6 home runs made him the odd man out in the staff.  With fans, media, and possibly the organization calling for a demotion to the bullpen, or even AAA, Jon knew he needed to go out and pull the Sox even with Minnesota in the series.  On a larger scale, the Sox were in jeopardy of falling to .500 for the first time since the 9th after a loss to Cleveland (a game that was, coincidentally, started by Jon Garland).

Carlos Lee tacked Jon to a 1-0 lead when he drilled a Kyle Lohse offering well into the left field bleachers in the bottom of the 2nd.  In the top of the next frame, however, it looked like Jon was ready to cough it up, as A.J. Pierzynski homered on the second pitch of the inning to tie it at 1.  With two outs, and runners at the corners, Miguel Olivo made a nice stop on a wild pitch, but Bobby Kielty made it runners at first and second and a 1-0 count to Corey Koskie.  Instead of folding like a lawn chair like he's done all year, though, Jon toughened up and struck Koskie out to end the mini-threat.

The teams swapped scoreless innings before Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez went back-to-back to lead off the Sox's 4th.  A hustle double by El Caballo allowed for Joe Crede to get himself an RBI on his birthday with a blooper into short right field.  It all fell apart for Lohse the next inning.  A Jose Valentin walk and solid single by Thomas put runners at the corners for Maggs, who would end up being plunked square in the bat (remember this... It comes in handy a little later).  Brian Daubach showed some sign of life, knocking what would be Kyle's last offering of the game right back up the middle to make the score 5-1 Sox.  Mike Fetters came in, struck out Lee (who took three hacks at the Dan Ryan) and forced Armando Rios to ground out to end the threat.

This is were it gets interesting.  After a Corey Koskie homer made the score 5-2, Mr. Popularity on the South Side, Doug Mientkiewicz, took a Jon Garland fastball square in the right butt cheek.  Garland was immediately ejected by home plate umpire Bruce Froemming and the benches cleared.  Could this be the climax of the growing feud between these two teams?  Would Jerry Manuel forget Ghandi for a minute and argue on behalf of his pitcher?  No and no.  The teams pretty much stood out there and looked at each other, and Manuel merely came to confirm Garland had been tossed.  Jon was deservingly awarded with a standing "O" by the South Side faithful as he left the field.

Sox fans everywhere where undoubtedly sitting on the edge of their seat or drinking heavily in anticipation of another bullpen implosion as Tom Gordon trotted out to the mound.  Instead, Tom topped Jon's stellar performance, going for 2 1/3 strong innings, only allowing 1 hit, to the first batter he faced, Matthew LeCroy, struck out 3 and most importantly, walked none.

Offensively, the Sox had been silenced by the Twins' bullpen, except for another Carlos Lee hustle double until the 8th inning, with two outs, when Frank Thomas drew a walk from Johan Santana, before Magglio muscled a line drive home run just over the right field wall to give Billy Koch a 5-run lead heading into the 9th inning.  A 2-out, 2-run home run by pinch hitter Mike Cuddyer added minimal drama in the ninth, as Koch put the Twins down in the non-save situation.

The win keeps the Sox above .500 and still 5 1/2 games behind Kansas City, who won again today in the ninth against Toronto.  The rubber match is tomorrow afternoon as Esteban Loaiza looks to keep his hot-streak against Rick Reed before Oakland comes to town.  After tonight's game, one can only wonder what will happen tomorrow...

WSI's Tinkerer Update: Konerko sits, Daubach hits 5th, despite coming into the game with a .053 slugging percentage.

submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Carlos Lee

  Got the offense going and kept it up for the whole game, going 3-4 with two hustle doubles.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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