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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Doing Everything to Lose

August 6, vs. Cleveland

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

"When he heard about Frank being done for the year, he called up the Big Hurt to arrange a game of Gimp Golf to cheer the big man up."

Short Take: Sox react to being called out by Kenny Williams by trying their hardest to lose. Hey, it worked!

There’s an old baseball adage that states that good teams do the little things it takes to win. Surprisingly, there is no adage that says bad teams do all the little things to lose. But maybe that’s because no one has ever been tormented by such a talented team that is so unbelievably brain dead. Just as the Sox seemed poised on the brink of glory, disaster strikes and again fans are left to ponder, “what if,” as the offensively dead White Sox dropped the first of a four-game stand to Cleveland, 3-2.

Taking the mound for the Pale Hose was one of the pair of aces, Mark Buehrle. The last time he faced the Toons he shut them down for a near perfect game in the best pitching performance of the year. Well, he was far from perfect today, but battled with the young scrappy team. The only runs he allowed were in the top of the second when Coco Crisp hit a 3-run homer over the left field wall. And, in typical recent luck, Crisp missed popping this thing up by about a width of a hair. When the instant replay came on, everyone watching must have muttered to themselves, “How did that go so far?” Blame the wind, blame the baseball gods, heck, blame an ancient voodoo curse if that’s what floats your boat, but somehow, Crisp *just* managed to get enough to deposit it over the wall.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a rougher start than some may make it out to be. In the fifth, the Indians still up 3-0 threatened again, when Matt Lawton drilled a Buehrle offering that would have left the yard had he hit it to anywhere but the deepest part of the park. With Ronnie Belliard on first and running, the ball bounced off the wall and then off the leg of the leaping Aaron Rowand. Belliard made the turn at third, but a perfect relay from Rowand to Robbie Alomar to Jamie Burke at home nailed Belliard, who pulled up in disappointment a good 2 steps before reaching the plate.

Speaking of Robbie Alomar tonight was his first game with the Sox since he departed at the end of last year and paid dividends immediately. The defense up the middle was excellent, and in the 6th inning, still trailing 3-0, lifted a deep fly ball to left field. The sac fly proved to be *just* deep enough to score the slow-footed Jamie Burke.

But there wasn’t much to talk about offensively again. The combination of a dead offense and excellent pitching from the left-handed starter, C.C. Sabathia and the Sox were left to look foolish all night. It just didn’t seem like anyone had any idea what to do at the plate. When they guessed away, Sabathia threw inside. When they guessed off-speed, they helplessly watched a 96-MPH heater cruise in for a strike. Juan Uribe and Jamie Burke each had two hits a piece, accounting for 67% of the Sox’s hits.

Buehrle, meanwhile, kept the Sox in position to win, which is really all you can ask of your starter. He threw 120 pitches over 6 2/3 innings, allowing 9 hits, 3 runs, a walk, and struck out 5. He gave way to Cliff Politte who pitched an uneventful inning. Damaso Marte and Shingo Takatsu also pitched well. The pitching was on tonight fans. Guess what went awry?

In the 7th, after Carl Everett and Joe Borchard meekly went down, Juan Uribe electrified the crowd with a home run to center to cut the Indians lead to 1. The Sox, though, could not solve the enigma that was their former closer, Bobby Howry in the 8th, and he gave way to Bob Wickman in the ninth. Paul Konerko drew a walk with an out and was immediately replaced by Willie Harris. After a lengthy at-bat by Everett, the Sox found themselves with the tying run 2 stations away from home and with one out left to use. However, Harris surprised everyone by bolting for second and, *gasp!* making it! Now the pressure was on Joe Borchard to get a hit down to tie things up and hopefully bring back happy memories of earlier in the year. Instead, Borchard hit a come backer that bounced off Wickman’s glove. Would the baseball gods finally give us a break, having one weakly hit ball just out of the reach of the defense?

Ronnie Belliard fielded the ball deep behind second and looked to throw the ball to first to try and get Borchard for the 27th out. Instead, he came home with it and nailed Harris, who had been sent home by third base coach Joey Cora, by a good 10 feet or so to end it. As if the mounting losses weren’t painful enough, fate had to find a new way to stab us in the back. Gee, thanks.

The Twins, however, lost again, meaning that despite the horrendous play, the Sox don’t lose any more ground to the division leader. However, they do fall into a tie with the Indians for second in the division, and the way both teams have been playing, Sox fans can only wonder when we’ll be talking about the heated Sox/Tiger race for third in the division.

The nightmare that has become the second half of the 2004 season continues tomorrow at U.S. Cellular Field. In another spectacular pitching match up, the Tribe will send All-Star Cliff Lee to the bump to face Freddy Garcia. Game time is 6:05 PM Central Time and will be aired over Fox Sports Net.

Ozzieball Update:
The tying run made the last out of the game at home plate. Can't get any more anti-small ball than that. Oh, a solo home run goes for half of the offensive output of the day. Shocking.

submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Juan Uribe

Two hits and a homer proves he was the only one today who gave a damn..

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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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