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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

A Night to Remember

July 6, vs. Tampa Bay


How many Grinders did KW use today:
25
"Maybe I'm cheesy, but the electioon of Podsednik to the All-Star Game is too feel-good to not mention one more time.  Honestly, who thought he had a prayer being matched against 2 Yankees and ESPN favorite Torii Hunter?  Thanks to the support of his teammates and the Sox, we have 4 All-Stars for the first time since 1975."

Short Take:  Everything goes Sox's way; Jose Contreras pitches beautifully, Frank Thomas drops another bomb on Tampa, and Scott Podsednik wins All-Star berth, all as Sox sweep away the Devil Rays, 7-2.

It was a great night to be a Sox fan.  After several shaky starts, Jose Contreras looked as dominant as ever, only struggling with his command in the second inning, but basically mowing down the Tampa Bay Devil Rays like the AAA team they are.  Frank Thomas connected for another monster, three-run blast in as many days off Tampa pitching.  And, before the start of the third inning of the game, it was announced that Scott Podsednik had won the internet voting for the final spot on the American League All-Star team, thanks to support from his team and organization.  As he ran to left field, his 24 teammates and all 24,000-plus in attendance gave Podsednik the standing ovation he deserved.

As for the game, Casey Fossum got the start for Tampa Bay, despite a threat by Lou Piniella to start a reliever and let his starters work the end of the game.  Piniella, surely losing his mind after the White Sox dropped another blown save and bullpen loss on the pathetic Devil Rays, eventually stuck with tradition and started Fossum.  Casey made sure there'd be no need for Sweet Lou to cringe over his bullpen; he'd lose the game early enough for the last few innings to be meaningless.

Tampa, though, did jump on the board first.  With two outs, Aubrey Huff just barely cleared the right field wall.  The damage could have been worse though.  Just moments before, Carl Crawford was picked off second base by Contreras after the speedster lead off the game with a double.  Contreras looked a bit shaky in the second, issuing walks to Damon Hollins and Toby Hall, but neither moved beyond second.  Jose would pitch into the seventh and look sharp the rest of the night.

The Sox, meanwhile, finally got some runs on the board for their starter in the third.  Pablo Ozuna, getting the start at third for Joe Crede, started the inning off with a bunt single in which he won a footrace with Fossum to the bag.  After a strikeout by Juan Uribe, All-Star Scott Podsednik singled and some aggressive baserunning put runners at the corners for the Sox.  Tadahito Iguchi then singled to left to score Ozuna and knot the score at 1.  Fossum opted not to pitch to the Big Hurt, walking Thomas and loading the bases for Carl Everett, who lifted a shallow fly ball to center field that dropped just in front of Joey Gathright to score Podsednik and Iguchi.

In the next frame, the Sox added another, with Jermaine Dye at third and Ozuna at first, and only one out, Uribe lofted a deep fly ball to center field.  Gathright made the grab and Dye scored on the play, but just barely, as Pablo Ozuna was gunned down trying to make second.  It would really be the only blemish on the Sox's record for the night.  Fossum finally buried himself in too deep a hole to be saved from in the 5th.  After walking Podsednik to lead off the inning and allowing a single to left field by Iguchi, he battled with Frank Thomas, but proving that mathematical equation, "Frank Thomas > Casey Fossum" is true, Thomas destroyed the pay-off offering from Casey, landing well over 10 rows up from the left field wall and giving the Sox a 7-1 lead at that point.

Contreras did allow another run in the 6th, on a lead-off solo home run to Jorge Cantu, but he pitched like you're supposed to with a lead all game, throwing strikes, forcing the Devil Rays terrible offense to beat him, and not let himself get beat.  In all, he went 6 innings allowing 6 hits and 2 runs and striking out 1.  Neal Cotts, Shingo Takatsu, and Bobby Jenks all combined to throw three scoreless innings of solid relief.  Special congratulations go to Jenks, who made his Major League debut after getting called up from AA Birmingham.  The big righty made quite an impression on the remaining fans at U.S. Cellular Field, as he consistently powered 97 and 98-MPH fastballs past the overmatched Devil Rays.

As for the Sox, they have a day of rest on Thursday before returning to action at the Cell Friday to face off with the suddenly hot Oakland A's.  Game 1 of the series will begin at 7:05 Chicago time and see Jon Garland go for his 14th win against Kirk Saarloos.

WSI's
Ozzieball Update: 
Great game, all around.  Contreras pitches well and Sox offense manufactures enough runs to win before the Big Hurt puts a big exclamation mark on the night.


submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Frank Thomas

Buried Tampa Bay in a 6-run deficit with another monster home run in the 5th.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

 

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