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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Buehrle brilliant in Opener

April 4, vs. Cleveland

How many Grinders did KW use today:
"Can't complain too much in an Opening Day win, but the Sox only eeked out 4 hits. Still, the Sox manufacture the game's lone run on a double, fly out to right, and a grounder to short. And any 8 IP, 2 H performance deserves "grinder" status."

Short Take: Dazzling performance by Mark Buehrle opens up 2005 season on the right foot.

In all the pomp and circumstance of Opening Day, it would have been understandable if Mark Buehrle would have been just a bit flustered. Although the now veteran lefty had opened the season for the White Sox for the last several years, this would be the first on his home turf, in front of a sold-out crowd already buzzing from the unseasonably warm weather, the official opening of Ozzie Guillen’s grinderball era, and the lofty expectations for the organization; well, you get the picture.

Instead, Buehrle threw the first gem of the young baseball season, out dueling Cleveland’s Jake Westbrook to a tune of a 1-0 winner for the White Sox to send off the 2005 championship campaign.

To say that he was brilliant, or dazzling, or any other clichéd expression would not have done justice to the masterpiece he painted over 8 innings; retiring the first 12 batters he faced, only allowing 3 base runners, and facing just 1 over the minimum. He threw 103 pitches on the day and sent the giddy crowd home happy, and early, as the game took only 1:51.

However, despite Buehrle’s efforts, the outcome of the game remained questionable to the end, thanks to Westbrook, who worked 8 innings, allowing 4 hits, a walk, 3 strike outs, and 1 run in the loss.

That lone run came in the seventh inning, when Paul Konerko led off with a double to left field. He moved over to third when Jermaine Dye flied out to right field and scored when Jhonny Peralta, who was pulled in, mishandled a ground ball off the bat of Aaron Rowand. More runs would have been nice, but you can afford to conserve the offense when your starter in the zone.

Ozzie Guillen opted not to give Mark the chance at the Opening Day shutout, opting instead to go to closer Shingo Takatsu to finish off the Tribe and cement the Sox’s 1-0 victory.

Today also marked several White Sox debuts, though none were too impressive offensively. Scott Podsednik went 0-3 with a walk, Tadahito Iguchi marked his MLB debut going 0-4 with a K, Jermaine Dye went 1-3 with a K, and A.J. Pierzynski went 1-3 with a K but handled the game brilliantly behind the plate.

In short, a win is a win, especially the first one of the season. Freddy Garcia has a tough act to follow, as he will start the Sox’s next game, Wednesday afternoon in Chicago. He will be faced by Kevin Millwood. The game will be aired on WGN and start at 1:05 Central time.

Ozzieball Update:
Not that much bad, not that much great. Could have let Mark go for the shutout, but already 100 pitches into the game, had the Tribe squeezed home a run, we'd all be calling for his head.

submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Mark Buehrle

8 IP, 2 H, no runs. Hey, I thought Cleveland could hit, too.

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