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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

We’re Gonna Party Like It’s 1983…

September 5 Vs. Cleveland

Today's temperature:
"A good win after the two disappointing losses. Twinkies aren't going anywhere and they come to town Monday, so Jerry and the boys have to find a way to beat the Cleveland's of the world."

Short Take:  : The term “Winning Ugly” gains new life as the 1983 A.L. West Division winners are reunited for the first time in nearly a generation.

20 years ago this month, the White Sox clinched the American League Western Division…literally captivating Sox fans to a near euphoria. On this, the Reunion Weekend of that division winning team, many fans of that era brag about that “Winning Ugly” team to this generation of “O-E-O…Magglio” Sox fans. Members of the division champs were introduced before tonight’s game, including many of the players that are household names in Sox fan’s homes, such as Vance Law, Floyd Bannister, Julio Cruz, Ron Kittle, LaMarr Hoyt, Tom Paciorek, and Harold Baines…to name a few. Out of the many players and coaches from that era, Baines received the loudest reception…many fans chanted “Harold…Harold…Harold” just like the “Good Ol’ Days.” Notably absent from this pre-game ceremony was catcher Carlton Fisk, who was one of the most popular players in baseball back then. However, they would surrender their spotlight to the current 2003 Sox who would emulate the “Winning Ugly” style in tonight’s 5 to 3 win over Cleveland.

The start of the game would set a precedent. After the first 2 players flew out, left fielder Jody Gerut walked. Then, first baseman Ben Broussard hit a deep fly ball in Carlos Lee’s direction. It looked like a 2-run homer, but C-Lee jumps over the fence to snag the ball. He would land funny and be hurt for a few minutes. Fortunately, he’d get up, jog to the dugout, and not miss any of the game.

The second inning started the scoring…C-Lee, who’s still hurting after his 1st inning catch, was hit by a pitch by Indians’ starter Billy Traber. Carl Everett singled afterward, and then Paul Konerko connected for his 16th homer of the season…making the game 3 to nothing. In the 5th, Everett singles again. Then Konerko singles. Joe Crede, much to the delight of “Crede’s Crew” on the center field Fan Deck at the Cell, hits a double to deep right-center field scoring Everett…making the game 4-nothing. Maggio Ordonez would cap the Sox’ scoring tonight with a solo HR…the 26th of the season. By then, the Sox were ahead 5-nothing, and it looked like an easy game. But these are the Sox…nothing is easy as far as they’re concerned, as the Indians would soon show.

Up to the 7th inning, starting pitcher Jon Garland had been pitching well. He’d surrendered only 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2. But in the 7th, leadoff hitter Broussard triples. Then Garland strikes out Alex Escobar before giving up an RBI single to DH Travis Hafner…. making it 5-2 Sox. Then the next batter, catcher Victor Martinez, hits into a double play to end the inning.

In the 8th, Garland surrenders a solo homer to 2nd baseman Brandon Phillips. Jerry Manuel takes him out and replaces Garland with Scott Sullivan…then the fun begins. Sully gives up single to center fielder Coco Crisp. Another pitching change…this time, it’s Damaso Marte. Marte walks 3rd baseman Casey Blake, and then hits Gerut. When that’s over, there are runners on 1st and 2nd with only 1 out. Then, Broussard hits into what should’ve been an inning-ending double play by Paul Konerko. His homer earlier in the game must’ve clouded his judgment, because he tagged 1st for one out, and then threw to 2nd to get the other out. The runner was safe, and Crisp would score to make it a 5 to 3 Sox lead. The play was ruled a 3-6 fielder’s choice. Marte would then strike out Escobar to end the inning.

In the 9th, Marte strikes out Hafner. Then Manuel brings in Tom “Flash” Gordon to finish the job. Gordon gives up a single to pinch hitter Zach Sorenstam, and then strikes out Matt Lawton and Phillips for the win.

Overall, Garland didn’t dominate batters, but he kept his control throughout the game. Statistically, he didn’t have the numbers he had in his last few starts. He threw for 7 1/3 innings, and gave up 2 runs on 5 hits. He struck out 3 batters, and won his 11th game of the season against 10 losses. His strength, though, will be found in the fans that were at the ballpark, and the defense that helped when it could. With possible trouble in the bullpen, however, it’s a long way down this playoff stretch.

Just a few side notes…I commend the fan who did NOT throw back the Cleveland home run ball despite pressures from fans around him/her to do so. I also commend Paul Konerko for his offensive performance…2 for 2 with a homer and 2 intentional walks. However, his choice to throw the ball to 2nd instead of home in the 8th inning let a run score…he got questioned about his decision in the locker room. Paul said it was a bang-bang play he was trying to make. Also, the Sox would leave 2 runners on base for 4 straight innings (4th through 7th), and leave a total of 10 runners on base throughout the game. That has to change…and FAST. They might be able to leave runners on against Cleveland, but that won’t do against the Boston’s, New York’s, and K.C.’s of the world. Not to mention, the Sox’ graphics department needs some brushing up. They would show pictures of current players’ heads on the ’83 jerseys, and make the players look like bobbleheads. Just silly…really silly.

On Saturday, Esteban Loaiza goes for his 19th win of the season in a 12:15 PM start. The Sox will be wearing replicas of the 1983 A.L. West Division Champs, and will be going for their 30th win since the All-Star Break. They are now 29-17 since they hosted the mid-summer classic.

Tinkerer Update:
 Jerry uses an all right-handed lineup tonight. No Valentin…Graffanino leads off, and goes 2 for 5. Konerko reaches base in each at-bat. Ron Kittle and Greg Luzinski still have monster grips when they shake hands…my hands are still hurting.

submitted by hsnterprize.

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Jon Garland

Another solid performance from the guy who replaced Matt Karchner...

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