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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

All A's in Comeback Win!

September 1, vs. Oakland

Magglio Watch
Days left on the DL:
Spring 2005
Number of special newspaper articles covering it:

"Went to Office Depot to stock up on notebooks and other school supplies with the kids."

Short Take: Sluggish offense wakes up just in time for 5-4 comeback win over Oakland!

Though the 2004 season has been pretty much forgettable since the All-Star Break, Wednesday night provided Sox fans with memories of earlier in the year, as the Sox mounted an unexpected comeback to win the second of three against Oakland, 5-4.

Getting the nod was Jason Grilli. Last week in his White Sox debut, he was less then spectacular against the Cleveland Indians. While he may have pitched better than the line indicated, it seemed that Grilli would need to be sharper Wednesday against Barry Zito, still one of the premier pitchers in the American League. At first, it looked like Grilli was not up to the challenge. With two outs and Mark McLemore on first, Grilli allowed a single to Scott Hatteberg and walked Erubiel Durazo to load the bases. He then hit Eric Byrnes to score McLemore and the A’s seemed destined for more than a run when Damian Miller lined a screamer that looked to find home in the right field corner, but Paul Konerko stretched out to snag the ball and end the threat. Don’t ever say first base is a completely defenseless position.

In the second, the A’s again got to Grilli. A two-out walk to Mark Kotsay turned into a run when McLemore doubled to right-center and then he came around to score when Eric Chavez singled. Thankfully, the rally ended there as Chavez was thrown out trying to extend his hit to a double. Still, the Sox were down 3 and Zito was dealing.

2004 has also been a disappointing year for Barry Zito. Only two years removed from an American League Cy Young Award, he has failed to find consistency, entering the action at 10-9 with an ERA hovering around 4.50. Not bad, but not the Zito of old. Tonight, though, he rekindled fond memories for Oakland, dazzling the Sox with his big, slow hook. Through 6 2/3 he fanned 6 and held the Sox scoreless until the fifth.

In that fifth, the Sox finally got some offensive production. After being handcuffed all night, a Jamie Burke double and then a Joe Crede single set the table for Aaron Rowand, who grounded into a fielder’s choice to plate the run and nab Crede at second. Still, Zito was firmly in command. However, it is worth noting that Grilli had settled down in a big way and completely shut down the A’s after the second. However, in the 7th, he began to tire allowing two singles to lead off the inning. With Kotsay at third and McLemore at first, Ozzie Guillen went with his lefty specialist, Damaso Marte. Though he did induce a 6-4-3 double play from Eric Chavez, Kotsay scored making it 4-1.

Then the Sox finally woke up. After being in a trance for most of the first six innings, the bats started hitting. Maybe Oakland manager Ken Macha stayed with his lefty too long, but hey, when you’re given a present you don’t complain. No matter what the cause, Zito allowed Carl Everett and Juan Uribe to reach base to lead off the inning. However, it looked as if the minor threat would go by the wayside as Jamie Burke and Joe Borchard couldn’t even move the runners over, let alone get them in. With two outs and Joe Crede stepping to the plate, you had to wonder how many TVs were turned off in disgust in Chicagoland. However, Crede came through, singling to center to cut the Oakland lead in half and ending the night for Zito. Ex-Sox reliever Chad Bradford came in to face Aaron Rowand who promptly singled (submarine that!) to score Uribe and Jim Mecir was brought into face Robby Alomar, who also singled and a two-out rally had turned into three runs and a tie game.

Marte and Shingo Takatsu held the A’s in place in the eighth and ninth just in time to cue the dramatics. Jamie Burke led off the ninth against Justin Duchscherer with a single. Willie Harris came into run. Joe Borchard sacrificed Harris into scoring position for pinch hitter Ross Gload. He singled into right field, scoring Willie and sending the home town crowd happy. 5-4 Sox win! Welcome to the Midwest, Oakland!

The keys to the win were the efforts of Jason Grilli, Damaso Marte, and Shingo Takatsu, as well as the offense, that managed to score 5 runs without a single long ball. In fact, this has to be the first time in a while U.S. Cellular Field has not yielded one souvenir to the bleachers in a while. If only they could play consistent smallball… Oh, what might have been?

But no time to sit back and enjoy the taste of victory. The Sox and A’s tangle in the rubber game of the set tomorrow afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field when the A’s send Mark Redman to the mound against Jose Contreras. Game time is 1:05 PM Central and the game will be aired locally on Fox Sports Net and nationally on ESPN2.

Ozzieball Update:
After looking dead the first 2/3's of the game, Ozzie's O plays near perfect smallball... Clutch hits, sacrifices, moving runners over... See guys, this game isn't really that hard.

submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Ross Gload

1-out ninth inning single secures the win for the South Siders! And there was much rejoicing!

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!


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