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Seattle Shocker

June 6th at Seattle

Magglio Watch
Days left on the DL:
Number of special newspaper articles covering it:

"Day 1 of life after knee surgery is uneventful as Magglio catches up on some light reading after staying up late watching Sabado Gigante. Scheduled to be re-examined tomorrow, and assuming all is well start rehab."

Short Take:Sox play well enough to win until Billy Koch implodes in the 9th in front of a national audience.

It wasn't supposed to end this way.

The White Sox, behind a solid yet unspectacular performance by Esteban Loaiza, managed to grab defeat from the jaws of victory in a 5-4 loss to the Mariners at Safeco Field in Seattle tonight. Loaiza would not figure in the decision, but was in line for his 7th victory of the season until the Sox (read: Billy Koch) decided to gift wrap one for the struggling M's.

The evening started innocently enough, with the White Sox touching up Mariner starter Jamie Moyer for a run in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. Willie Harris, batting second in the order and playing centerfield, started the rally with two outs with a single up the middle. Frank Thomas then drew his second of three walks on the evening, advancing Harris to second. Carlos Lee then followed with an RBI single, scoring Harris and in the process extending his personal hitting streak to 22 games. Loaiza flirted with trouble in the home half of the third, but was able to strand two runners on and preserve the one run lead.

Sox bats went back to work in the 4th, when makeshift rightfielder Aaron Rowand led off with a single. He came home to score when the next batter, Joltin' Joe Crede, ripped a double off the base of the wall in left center, 2-0 Sox. Jose Valentin, batting in the #8 slot tonight, followed with a beautiful bunt single which moved Crede to third. Still with no outs, catcher Miguel Olivo delivered an RBI single to score Crede and give the Palehose a 3-0 advantage. Surely this would be enough against the anemic Mariner offensive attack, wouldn't it? More on that later. Anyhow, the Sox went on to load the bases but were unable to get anymore across, and the score remained 3-0 going into the bottom of the 4th. Loaiza again flirted with trouble in the 4th, allowing a leadoff double to Bret Boone. But he was able to work out of the jam with no damage. His luck would run out in the 5th, however. Fan favorite Ichiro laced a one-out double down the leftfield line and moved to third on a Randy Winn single. John Olerud would then ground out, but Ichiro would score on the play to tighten the score to 3-1. In the bottom half of the 6th, DH Dave Hansen would lead off with a double but would not score. Loaiza had a knack for getting big outs when he needed them tonight. He would pitch into the 7th inning, when with one out Winn would tag him for his first home run of the season, a tape-measure shot off the rightfield facade. Loaiza would give way to Mike Jackson, who would retire one of two batters faced in the 7th. Damaso Marte would finish the inning by inducing ancient Mariner pinch hitter/DH extrordinaire Edgar Martinez to ground out. 3-2 Sox thru 7 innings.

The White Sox would add some insurance in the 8th inning off the Mariner bullpen. Rowand was hit by a pitch in the foot from Ron Villone to start the inning off. He would walk gingerly to first after a visit from Herm Schneider, having fouled a pitch off the same foot during the at-bat. Rowand would stay in the game, and was advanced to second with two outs. Shigetosi Hasegawa would be brought in to relieve Villone, and to counter Ozzie would pinch hit Ross Gload for Olivo. The move was a good one, as Gload hit the first pitch straight up the middle to drive home Rowand and give the Sox a two-run advantage 4-2. After Shingo Takatsu pitched a quick and impressive 1-2-3 8th inning, everything seemed to be going the Sox way. Until the 9th.

The White Sox would go quietly in their half of the 9th, and would pass the ball to their closer, Billy Koch. Koch retired the first batter, speedy centerfielder Hiram Bocachica, on a groundout 6-3. Then disaster struck. Ichiro would single and steal second base, the first of 4 (four, yes FOUR) stolen bases in the 9th inning for the Mariners. Randy Winn broke out of a season-long slump by going 4-5 on the evening, including an RBI double off Koch in the 9th scoring Ichiro to make the score 4-3 Sox, still two outs to go. Koch, making no effort at all to hold Winn on second, threw ball four in the dirt to Olerud. In the process, Winn stole third off a weak throw from Sandy Alomar, who was in defensively after Olivo was pinch hit for in the previous inning. Bret Boone would tie the score at 4 with a single, still only one out. Koch again would ignore the baserunners, and on a 1-2 pitch in the dirt to Martinez, the M's would pull a double steal. Alomar wasn't even able to make a throw. With 1st base open, Martinez would draw an intentional walk to load the bases and set up a force or double play. Didn't matter. Jolbert Cabrera would draw a bases loaded walk, and with that the Mariners would win 5-4. The line on Koch: 1/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 3 BB, and 4 SB against. It was his third blown save of the year, and the timing was pretty bad as the Sox come home battered from a 1-4 left coast trip and clinging to 1st place by a game over the Twins.

The White Sox have tomorrow to lick their wounds before beginning interleague play on Tuesday, June 8 against the Phillies, 7:05 pm CDT from USCF. Scheduled to start for the Phillies is lefty Randy Wolf (2-3, 2.91), but this may be subject to change as Wolf has been having some tendinitis in his elbow and was rumored to be going to the DL. Nevertheless he is still scheduled as of this writing to face Mark Buerhle, (5-1, 3.30), AL Pitcher of the Month of May. As mentioned, the Sox (30-24) maintain a tenuous one game lead over the hated Twins (30-26), but are two up in the loss column. Let's put this one behind and get back to work!

EDIT: Ryan Madson (3-1, 1.07) is tentatively scheduled to make his first start of the season in place of the ailing Randy Wolf.

Ozzieball Update:
Played smallball early. Wasted a sacrifice bunt by Rowand in the second, but cashed in with a run in the fourth with the help of a bunt hit by Valentin. Manufactured an insurance run in the 8th, but it went for naught.

submitted by beckett21.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Ross Gload

Stroked a pinch-hit RBI single in the 8th to drive in an insurance run. Too bad Sox couldn't make it hold up.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!


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