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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Duel in Murder City

August 31 at Detroit

Today's temperature:
"The Sox get the series win, but fans can only wonder what might have been. Hopefully a couple of near sellouts for the Boston series will drive the Sox to victory."

Short Take: Loaiza outpitches Cornejo and the Sox blow it open late.

No one would have been amazed if the Sox had simply folded up on Sunday and played some corpseball, and for a while it looked like that actually might be the case. But with Esteban Loaiza on the mound, the Sox at least figured the Tigers weren't going to score a lot of runs and indeed that proved to be true. Loaiza's counterpart, Nate Cornejo has had an up and down year against the Sox, getting shelled the first time he faced them, but pitching well the next two times. Today, Cornejo continued his recent trend against the Sox, pitching well and for the most part shutting down the Sox bats. He worked 7.2 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 walks and 6 hits and was actually leading 1-0 entering the fateful 8th inning. Joe Crede led off that inning with a solo homerun to tie the game and after that Cornejo struggled. Still, even though he takes the loss, he pitched well, getting lots of pop-ups and grounders from Sox hitters. Almost anything hit hard by the Sox off of Cornejo went too a Tiger defender and they recorded two double-plays during the game to keep the Sox from generating scoring threats when they did get someone on. But, as well as Cornejo pitched, Loaiza was just plain better.

After solidifying his Cy Young bid with a splendid performance in New York this last Tuesday, Loaiza came into this game needing a good performance to pick up his teammates. Loaiza needed to be an ace and let the Sox heal from the brouhaha about starting pitching this last week in NY. He needed to give the Sox another road series win and allow the team to lay claim to first place for one more day at least. All of this he did and more. Working 8 innings, Loaiza gave up only four hits and walked one while striking out an average of a man an inning. He was quite simply the best player on the field and he showed it. Even when the Sox scored zero runs for 7 innings for him, he never faltered and when they took the a tenuous 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth, he took the ball and came back out for the bottom half. He struck out the last two outs he recorded, sandwiching them around a walk to pinch-hitter and Sox nemesis, Bobby Higginson. When the Sox blew the game open in the top of the ninth, one wondered if he would come back out, but Tom Gordon was already warmed up and he finished the game 1-2-3 to seal the victory and series win. I guess 5 out of the last 6 against the Tigers will have to do...

The offense was horrible for the first 7 innings Twice the Tigers recorded double plays once after Frank Thomas walked which followed Carlos Lee getting picked off. Crede continues to hit well, going 2-4 with the game tying home run in the eighth that seemed to awaken the Sox from their corpseball ways. After that it was all good as Magglio Ordonez drove in Robbie Alomar (3 doubles, 2 R, 1 RBI) after an intentional walk to Thomas. In the ninth the Tigers walked a LOT of Sox players and hit one for good measure too. Then the Sox bats started cranking and the next thing you knew the Sox had four insurance runs and it was time to start worrying about Boston.

A strange week to be a Sox fan for sure. From the sublime to the surreal, but in the end the Sox come home with 2 road series wins and that is what you hope for. It could have been better, but it's gone and done with now. Boston comes to town on Tuesday and the Sox are sending Big Bart and BurlyMon to the mound in another series against a possible playoff opponent. If the bats stay hot and the pitchers continue to shine, the Sox are going to be a September force. How cool is that...

Tinkerer Update:
 A Sunday day game and a regular lineup. A properly used PR and PH... Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks.

submitted by The Warden.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Esteban Loaiza

Kept his head when others around him were losing theirs. For that alone he deserves Cy Young consideration.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!


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Totally Biased Game Recaps

September 29... The Last (And Lost) Weekend

September 24... Covey Captivates, but Kluber Cruises

September 22... At Least They Won't Clinch Here

September 18...Klubered, but Not Clobbered

September 16... Baltimore Blanked

September 10... Thrown Away

September 8... Anaheim Annihilation

September 3... Power Special

September 1... 18 Strikeouts Later, the White Sox Lose

August 30...Leaky Bullpen Bombed by Boston

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