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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Twin Killing!

April 19, vs. Minnesota

How many Grinders did KW use today:
"Scrappy win all around. Special recognition goes to Orlando Hernandez for his gutsy outing, the bullpen for three strong innings of work, Scott Podsednik for going 1-3 with an RBI, and out PTC winner Joe Crede... 10-game hitting streak, yeah!"

Short Take: Without his best stuff, Orlando Hernandez out battles Brad Radke as El Duque, clutch offense, and timely Twin mistakes propel Sox to two-game sweep of the Twinkies.

Of all the words to describe the collective effort of the White Sox Tuesday night against the Twins, spectacular was not at the top of anyone's list. But, as the old axiom goes, you get no points for style. In their final meeting for months, the Sox sent a strong message to the Twins, outfighting Minnesota to for 3-1 win and a 2-game sweep.

After baffling Minnesota his first start of the season, Orlando Hernandez was clearly off his game at U.S. Cellular Field tonight. No inning was easy and the Twins seemed to be perpetually threatening to score. Add the early lost opprotunities and miscues by the Sox offense and the already humid air in Chicago grew a bit thicker with each passing inning, as pessimistic Sox fans undoubtedly waited for the pesky Twins to break the game open as they have done so often the last 3-4 years.

After El Duque started the game with a sharp 1-2-3 first, the Sox immediately jumped on Brad Radke. Scott Podsednik started the inning with an infield single. A single by Tadahito Iguchi put runners on the corners for Carl Everett with no outs. Everett lofted a fly ball to shallow center field, and Podsednik tested Torii Hunter's arm. With Joe Mauer blocking the plate, umpire Brian Onora ruled that Podsednik never touched home and was tagged out by Mauer after it seemed the action had ended. Though a wild pitch moved Iguchi to third, Paul Konerko ended the inning meekly with a flyout.

From here on out, Hernandez would battle the Twins all night long. In the second, Minnesota loaded the bases with an out. After Michael Cuddyer struck out looking Nick Punto (I know... who?) would battle El Duque through several tense, 3-2 pitches before popping out to Timo Perez in right. In the fourth, with runners at first and second with an out following a beautiful bunt single by Lew Ford, Hernandez would pull a string on Cuddyer for a sharp grounder to Juan Uribe and and inning ending 6-4-3 double play. In the fifth, with Shannon Stewart already at third base with an out, Hernandez issued the lone walk of the game to Mauer before getting Terry Tiffee to harmlessly grounding out to end the threat. Minnesota again threatened in the sixth, with three straight 1-out singles by Jacque Jones, Ford, and Cuddyer before Hernandez hunkered down and drew a pop out from Punto and and fly out to right by Stewart. See the pattern? Constantly in trouble, Orlando Hernandez consistently answered the call, finding the right pitch at the right time to keep Minnesota off the scoreboard.

Good thing, too, as the Sox offense struggled more and more with Radke as the game progressed. After nearly scoring in the first, the Sox could only muster 2 baserunners in the second, one in the third (an inning that ended when Everett struck out swining and Iguchi was caught stealing at second), and went down 1-2-3 in the fourth. In the fifth, however, A.J. Pierzynski opened up the inning against his former battery-mate with a sharp single to right field. Joe Crede, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games earlier, then dug a ball seemingly out of the dirt to center field. Hunter initially moved in, but the ball carried well over his head, to the wall and the Sox took advantage of a rare Minnesota mistake to claim a 1-0 lead. Crede moved to third on a sacrifice by Juan Uribe and came home to score on a sacrifice fly by Scott Podsednik to left fielder Shannon Stewart. The Sox handed Hernandez and the bullpen a 2-0 lead they would not relinquish.

In the sixth, Paul Konerko homered to extend the Sox lead to 3-0. It seemed they were poised to score more, but Aaron Rowand was gunned down at second by Jones and instead of two runners in scoring position with an out, the Sox were left with two outs and Timo Perez at third. Pierzynski flirted with a home run, but unfortunately hit the ball to the deepest part of the park, and Hunter took the ball off the top of the wall to rob A.J. of extra bases and keep the Twins within striking distance.

Back-to-back scoreless innings by Luis Vizcaino and Dustin Hermanson set up the save situation for Shingo Takatsu, but again, the closer was less than sharp. Though he got Punto to ground out for the first out of the inning, a double by Stewart and RBI single by pinch hitter Matt LeCroy put the Twins on the scoreboard and chased Ozzie Guillen from the dugout to call on lefty Damaso Marte, who retired Mauer and Tiffee to seal the sweep, secure the win for El Duque and earn his first save of the still young season.

With the win, the Sox not only sweep away Minnesota to take a 4-1 series lead on the rival Twins, it also makes the Sox the first American League team to win 10 games this year. Their record of 10-4 is best in the Junior Circuit and bested only by the 11-2 Dodgers. There will be little time to celebrate the sweep, however, as the Sox will be in action tomorrow night in Detroit to face the reenergized Tigers. Jon Garland goes for third win in as many tries as he squares off against Wilfredo Ledezma. Game time is 6:05 Central time and the game will be aired on Comcast Sports Net Plus.

Ozzieball Update:
Sending Podsednik in the first on a shallow fly ball to Hunter gutsy and ultimately proved to be costly. Still, Sox battle and manufacture enough runs to win the game before Paul Konerko's 7th homer of the season seals the deal.

submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Joe Crede

Extended his hitting streak to 10 games with 2-3 night, but more importantly had a huge RBI double in the 5th to break the scoreless stalemate and would eventually score on a *gasp* sacrifice fly.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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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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