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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Night and day

July 12, 2003, doubleheader at Cleveland

Today's temperature:
"More Jerry lineup magic almost costs the Sox a sweep, but they get lucky when the Tribe throws away the first game. 2 wins in the last 9 games after sweeping the Twins. Will the All-Star break finally end Jerry's Reign of Tinker? Sox fans can only hope..."

Short Take: Sox capitalize on Indian mistakes to steal first game but waste gifts in disheartening Game 2 loss...

After dropping the first game in a series against the third-worst team in the American League, the Sox looked to grab a bit of momentum heading into the All-Star Break with today's day/night doubleheader.  The games couldn't have been any less alike, as the Sox pounced on Indian mistakes to sneak away with a win in the opener, but fail to accept Cleveland's gifts in the second en route to another dull loss.

Game 1 started bleak enough as starter Mark Buehrle looked like he was about to sink into another meltdown.  He allowed an infield single, single, and double to the first three Tribesmen to take bat and before an out was retired Cleveland led 2-0.  Buehrle would settle down to the fourth, with the Indians still up 2, when yesterday's lumberjack Ben Broussard hit a sac fly into deep left to plate Shane Spencer with the third run of the day.

The Sox finally woke up in the sixth after managing a robust 1 hit in the previous five.  Though, it didn't look good early as Tony Graffanino and Robbie Alomar went down to lead the inning off before Frank Thomas singled to left and was moved to second as Magglio Ordonez singled.  Thomas came around with the Sox's first run as Carlos Lee doubled before Paul Konerko flied out to end the inning.  In the 8th, Thomas was again on second and again, a Carlos Lee double scored him and suddenly, the Sox were right back in the game at 3-2.

After walking Milton Bradley, getting Spencer to bunt a pop out to third, and then walking Jody Gerut, Buehrle was finally pulled for Damaso Marte.  Buehrle pitched well in 7.1 innings, allowing only 2 earned runs and scattering 8 hits while striking out two and not walking a soul until the 8th.  However, in the style of the 2003 Sox, another solid pitching performance looked to go down the tubes thanks to anemic offense and "swiss cheese" defense.  The 8th inning hadn't ended and it looked as if the Sox had thrown away another.  After Victor Martinez struck out, Bradley and Gerut attempted a double steal, but both managed an extra base (which would be home plate for Bradley if your keeping score at home) on an error by Robbie Alomar.  4-2 Cleveland and it didn't look good as the Sox headed into their last raps.

Danys Baez, the Indian closer, however, opened up a window of opprotunity.  Carl Everett reached on a single and Joe Crede walked.  After a Miguel Olivo sacrafice, the Sox had the tying run in scoring position, but Jose Valentin's fly out to left field left the Sox with one out left.  Robbie Alomar hit a chopper back up the middle that looked like it would end the game, but Baez's throw went up the right field line and allowed Carl and Joe to score and tie the game at 2.  Next inning, facing Terry Mulholland, Maggs and Caballo started things off with a bang and stood at third and first for Konerko, who launched a three-run job into right field to put the Pale Hose up by 3.  Tom Gordon came into pitch and struck out the side in the 10th (with one walk) to ice the first win of the day.

Game 2 looked to be an offensive showdown as the Sox trotted Mike Porzio to the bump to counter Cleveland's Jake Westbrook.  However, the teams traded scoreless innings until the Sox drew first blood in the third.  After Willie Harris walked and stole 2nd, he scored on a Carlos Lee double that nestled itself at the base of the Jake's right-center field wall.  However, the Sox would not score another run until the ninth, despite being granted seven free passes in the game from Cleveland pitching.  The Sox left runner(s) on in scoring position three innings.  They were caught stealing twice.  They bounced into a double play.  All in all, the Sox left nineteen runners stranded.

The Indians, on the other hand, slowly (and painfully) pulled away.  Travis Hafner's double in the 4th scored Milton Bradley and Tim Laker to give the Indians a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.  In the sixth, Hafner looked to tally two more RBIs with another double.  While Shane Spencer scored, the relay of Harris to Valentin to Olivo nailed Ricky Gutierrez at home, who was trying to score from first.  While the score now stood at 3-1, surely the Sox would use the momentum their defense had just created at the plate... Right?  Crede, Olivo, and Harris went down 1-2-3 in the 7th and the game looked to be over.  The Tribe added an insurance run when Shane Spencer launched a solo shot off Rick White (who relieved Porzio after Hafner's RBI double).  Though Baez looked like he was ready to hand the Sox another gift win, it wouldn't be.  His wild pitch did send Carl Everett to third, and he did score on an infield single by Jose Valentin, but this time it was too little, too late.  Cleveland's 4-2 win in game two earned them a double-header sweep.  Hey, it could be worse...  The Sox played .500 ball today (a drastic improvement over most of the days of the past week).

The White Sox now find themselves 7 games behind front-running Kansas City and a 1/2 game behind the quickly sinking Twins.  Jon Garland looks to keep his hot streak alive tomorrow as he faces Billy Traber in the fourth and final game of the series and last game before the All-Star Break.  Kudos also go out to Magglio Ordonez, on being selected as the replacement for Boston's Manny Ramirez in Tuesday's All-Star Game at U.S. Cellular Field.

WSI's Tinkerer Update: Jerry... They have three days off after tomorrow... Manuel uses two asinine lineups that included such nuggets of baseball joy as Tony Graffanino leading off in the first game while Willie Harris leads off in the 2nd.  Konerko gets the nod at first in Game 1, While Daubach plays there for the 2nd.  Frank sat for the 2nd Game until pinch hitting in the ninth.  There's more, but you get the idea. 

submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Paul Konerko, Carlos Lee

  Walnuts drills his 2nd clutch homer in a week to seal today's win while Caballo had two multi-hit games today and drove in the lone run in tonight's loss.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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