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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Crushing Colorado

June 6, at Colorado

How many Grinders did KW use today:
"Solid win, so all starting nine and Freddy get the nod tonight.  Everyone reached base, and all had a hit, except for Tadahito."

Short Take:  After igniting a slugfest in the first, Freddy Garcia settles down big-time.  Meanwhile, offense takes advantage of infamous thin, Denver air and comes up with multiple 2-out runs in impressive 9-3 win over Rockies.

Even before the Sox dropped yesterday's game to Cleveland, it seemed that two distinct camps had formed about the upcoming visit to Colorado.  The first welcomed the trip with open arms, citing the thin air in Denver and hoping it would be just what the sluggish Sox offense needed to spark their bats.  With few regulars even approaching .300, let alone hitting it, the Sox are indeed in need of something.  The second, the Debbie Downers of the world, meanwhile closed their eyes in terror, imagining the effect the thin Denver air will have on the pitching staff, the main reason this team has yet to lose 20 games.  After merely three games of pummeling, would they ever rebound?

Freddy Garcia
simply responded by tossing one of the best pitching performances ever in Denver.  The Sox offense also rose to life, pummeling Joe Kennedy and a horde of Rockie relievers, en route to an impressive 9-3 win.

In the first, though, it seemed as if the two teams had gotten themselves into an old fashioned slugfest.  After Joe Kennedy effortlessly put out Scott Podsednik and Tadahito Iguchi, Aaron Rowand extended the inning to Paul Konerko with a single to left.  Konerko deposited a two-run blast over the left field wall to the delight of the impressively noisy collection of Sox fans in Denver.  Staked to the 2-run lead, however, Garcia found himself in trouble right away.  Eddy Garabito pushed a single just over the fully extended Juan Uribe into center.  Garcia then plunked Todd Helton before falling behind Brad Hawpe.  Garcia left a 3-1 fastball too far up in the zone and Hawpe hammered it to nearly dead-center.  Kennedy and Garcia's combined game ERA after the first?  22.50.

The Sox quickly got their run back.  Juan Uribe marked his return to Colorado with a 3-5, 2 run day.  In the second, however, he managed an infield single and moved to third (just narrowly beating out Hawpe's throw) on a single by A.J. Pierzynski.  Joe Crede did his best to kill the rally, though, grounding into a 6-4-3 double play, but Uribe did score, so all wasn't lost.

So after an inning and a half, the two teams had combined for 6 runs on 6 hits.  Freddy Garcia then settled down in a big way.  I mean, a big way.  Considering the circumstances of where he was playing, the most infamous hitter's wonderland in the world, and you'd have to surmise this was probably as good as he's been in South Side pinstripes.  Brad Hawpe's home run was the last baserunner Colorado would manage off Garcia.  Not until Shingo Takatsu walked Desi Relaford to lead off the ninth would the Rockies even make the game mildly interesting for the hometown crowd.  Starting with Matt Holliday's pop up to end the first, until the last batter he faced, Garcia set 22 down in a row, including 10 strikeouts.  If you missed this one, watch the replay tomorrow, for a clinic on pitching.

The outcome, however, wasn't always as certain as it seems now in hindsight.  Though the Sox had tied the game for Garcia in the 2nd, it remained tensely 3-3 for the next few innings.  The Sox were doing a pretty good job of wasting opportunities, stranding a runner in scoring position in both the third and fourth innings, and although Garcia was in the zone, with each passing inning, it seemed more likely for Colorado's bats to wake up than it did for the Sox to finally make something of th threats.  In the fifth, though, the offense finally came through. Joe Kennedy was doing a good job of getting himself in trouble all night, and it finally caught up to him. The inning started harmlessly enough with a ground out by Iguchi and a strike out by Rowand.  Paul Konerko then worked a walk and Jermaine Dye then hit a swinging bunt grounder down the third base line.  Kennedy raced over to field it, but in his attempt to slide and throw (to be honest, I have no idea what he was planning on doing), the ball squirted away, leaving runners at first and second for Juan Uribe, who responded with a single to left.  Joey Cora waved Konerko home, and Kennedy might have escaped the inning unscathed had Holliday's throw been anywhere near the plate.  Already up 1,  A.J. Pierzynski shut the door on the Rockies with a line drive double into right field, scoring both Dye and Uribe and giving his battery-mate a 3-run lead.

In the 6th, Jermaine Dye finally chased Kennedy from the game with a 2-run, 2-out double (if you've been paying attention, the Sox scored 7 of their first 8 runs with two outs, and the 9th would come an inning later, with 2 down).  Marcos Carvajal relieved the ineffective starter, and got out of the inning, but gave up a run in the 7th, when Freddy Garcia sacrificed Joe Crede to 2nd to he could score on a double by Scott Podsednik.  David Cortes and Blaine Neal finished the game for Colorado, while Shingo Takatsu provided an inning of quiet relief.

The Sox and Rockies play their second ever regular season game tomorrow at Coors.  Byung-Hyun Kim gets the nod for Colorado and Jose Contreras take the hill for the Sox.  The game will be aired on WCIU and will start at 8:05 Central time.

Ozzieball Update:
 Hard to complain after a 6-run win, but the Sox definitely let a few scoring chances slip through their fingers.  Still, the runs they did score were pretty much all with two outs and the product of some major manufacturing.

submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Freddy Garcia

Hard to argue with this one.  Goes into Coors Field and tosses a perfect 7 innings.  If Garabito's single is an inch lower and Hawpe doesn't pound his 1 mistake on the night, and you've got yourself a no-hitter.  Did we mention it was in Colorado?

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!


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