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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

It's Not How You Start...

April 28, vs. Cleveland

Today's Free Agency Value:
"Another mediocre 1-5 game, but had a big, 2-run homer in the 5-run 9th. Oh, and congrats to Magglio and his wife, who announced on the JumboTron today she is expecting their third child, a girl."

Short Take: Shoeneweis shelled, offense dead for 8 innings only to score 5 in the 9th to pull another win out of their hat.

Maybe this is all part of Uncle Jerry’s sadistic plan to eliminate Sox fans. He tried to blackmail the city and state in 1989. He helped cancel the postseason in a year in which the Sox looked destined to break their 35-year World Series drought. Yet, we're still around. Perhaps he’s trying to induce heart attacks for the remainders of the Sox Nation. Someone get on this conspiracy! In any case, the White Sox offense looked good as dead for roughly 8 innings today at U.S. Cellular Field before stunning the fans and Indians with a 5-run 9th inning explosion in a 9-8 win.

The game started good for the Sox, though. Scott Shoeneweis took to the hill, looking to have another impressive start, and he pitched pretty well for the first three innings, scattering three hits and striking out two. It looked as if he may have gotten all the support he would need from the “O” in their two-run first. If only Willie Harris could get on base at a rate higher than his .288 OBP because he’s an absolute nightmare on the bases. With Harris standing on third, Magglio Ordonez grounded hard to third baseman, Casey Blake who threw home and got Willie in a rundown. Harris, however, was able to run up and down the line at least 4 times, allowing Magglio to get to second, and finally forced the usually sure-handed Omar Vizquel to drop a throw from Cleveland's starter, Jason Davis. Willie scored and it looked as if the whole bench was pumped up.

However, for the next two hours that looked like it would be the lone highlight for the Pale Hose. Magglio scored on a Carlos Lee single, making the score 2-0, but the wheels fell off for Shoeneweis in the fourth. With one run already in, Scott walked catcher Tim Laker to load the bases. However, he struck out Coco Crisp and looked like he might escape the inning relatively unscathed, but after a 10-plus-pitch battle with Ron Belliard, Belliard slapped a double just fair over third to clear the bases and put Cleveland up 4-2; but it didn’t even end there. Magglio Ordonez dropped a fly ball off the bat of Omar Vizquel to score Belliard. After Jody Gerut reached on an infield single, Blake doubled to deep left to score two more runs and put the ‘Toons up 6-2.

Notice that no where in that paragraph do the words, “… came in to replace Shoeneweis” appear, and to his credit, Scott ate another solid inning of work for the Sox, but after Vizquel drove a 2-run tater over the left field wall, Ozzie Guillen finally made an appearance to pull the struggling lefty. All in all, he worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing 10 hits, walking 4, fanning 4 and allowed 10 runs, 8 of them earned to raise his season ERA to 4.38. The bullpen combo of Shingo Takatsu and Mike Jackson can’t be overlooked today, as they pitched a combined 2 2/3 innings, striking out three and only allowing 1 base runner (an Alex Escobar single to left in the 7th), to keep the Sox close.

However, it looked as if the bleeding had been stopped too late to salvage the win. After Tim Laker grounded out to end the Cleveland 7th, the Sox still were trailing by 6 runs and only had 9 outs to work with, and even though solo shots by Juan Uribe in the 7th and then Joe Crede in the 8th cut the Tribe’s lead to 4, they also seemed to reinforce the feeling of the day that the Sox were again unable to manufacture runs and could only score runs on freak plays and solo home runs.

And then there was the ninth. It started innocently enough with a single from Juan Uribe off Dave Riske. Magglio Ordonez homered to left to quickly cut the lead in half. However, Ross Gload grounded out to second, and it looked like this would be nothing more than a tease of greatness. El Caballo then doubled to left, promptly getting Cleveland manager Eric Wedge to the mound to pull Riske in favor of Rafael Betancourt, but he would fare no better. The first batter he faced was Paul Konerko, who meekly hit a routine pop up, but the gods of wind smiled on the Sox today, and the near 40 MPH gusts toyed with the ball enough to cause Ben Broussard (who was brought in as a defensive replacement at the start of the inning... I luuuuuv irony) to drop the ball and metaphorically the game. Back-to-back singles by Crede and Timo Perez and a sacrifice fly by Sandy Alomar, Jr. was all the Sox would need to cover the last three runs and take another thrilling victory from the jaws of defeat, and save themselves the embarrassment of being swept at home by the Cleveland Indians.

Not too much time to celebrate this win, though. The Sox are back in action tomorrow night at the Cell when the Toronto Blue Jays come to town for a four-game set. Esteban Loaiza looks to nab his fourth win of the year and will be opposed by Pat Hentgen. Game time is 7:05 CDT and the game will be aired over WCIU.

Ozzieball Update:
Willie Harris put on a solo display of smallball today in his first two at-bats. Stealing second, advancing on a sac bunt, giving Magglio enough time to get into scoring position and then scoring on Vizquel's error in a crazy rundown, and then moving a runner over with a slap to the right side of the field. If he could only get on base more often. But, for the game small-ball again takes a backseat to the masher tendencies of the Sox "O."

submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Juan Uribe

Juan had himself a day at the ol' ballpark. 3-3 with a walk, double, 2 runs scored and one batted in.

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Totally Biased Game Recaps

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

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