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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Mike Sweeney, Professional Sox Killer

July 27, at Kansas City


How many Grinders did KW use today:
6
"Jon pitched well enough to win today. We'll give props to Damaso, Dustin, and Bobby Jenks, each for their 1.1, 1.1, and 2 IPs of scoreless relief, respectively. Offensively, Jermaine and Joe homer, but neither had another hit the rest of the day.."

Short Take: Sweeney homers twice of Sox pitching, including game-tying 3-run blast in 8th inning, as Sox drop rubber match to Royals in 13-inning affair.

If yesterday's loss to Kansas City was ugly, then today's was ugly and dissapointing. Jon Garland pitched well enough to earn his league-leading 16th win of the season, and considering the opposition, there couldn't have been a nervous Sox fan in the world. But, a combination of bad fielding, questionable managing, a 7-inning offensive drought, and, oh yeah, Sox killer extrordinare, Mike Sweeney, push Kansas City to a 6-5 win over the Sox.

Though both teams looked a little slow out of the gate against each's respective starters; Garland and Runlevys Hernandez, the Sox finally struck first blood in the 4th. Joe Crede walked with one out and moved into third base on a single by Chris Widger. Juan Uribe then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Crede and give the Sox a 1-0 lead. An inning later, with Jon still in cruise control, Hernandez (who sparked last weekend's Royals-Tigers brawl with a heater off the helmet of Carlos Guillen), plunked Tadahito Iguchi (a moment that surely stopped collective hearts of Sox fans worldwide). After a brief visit from the trainer, however, Iguchi would stay in the game for the rest of the affiar. A single by Timo Perez set the stage for ex-Royal Jermaine Dye, who crushed his 20th home run of the season over the left field wall and put the Sox in a 4-0 driver's seat. One out later, Joe Crede dropped a solo shot on Hernandez and the Sox were in business, up 5-nil.

From there on out, though, things get, well... Not so nice. The very next frame, Garland surrendered his first runs of the game, coming in the form of a 2-run homer from Mike Sweeney. No problem, you say to yourself, this game is still ours to lose. Garland did pitch well, retiring 4 of the next 6 he saw and keeping the Sox up 3. In the 8th, David DeJesus lead off with a single and that would be it for Big Jon. Neal Cotts came in and faced Terrence Long, enducing a ground ball that would have been a double play at best, but was at least a fielder's choice. Instead, rolled right under Ross Gload. Long was safe at first and DeJesus moved to third and again Ozzie summoned his bullpen for help in the form of Cliff Politte... who promptly served up a 3-run shot to Mike Sweeney and in the blink of an eye, a safe 3-run lead had evaportated into a 5-5 tie.

Now, a lot of people are going to want to hang this game on the bullpen, and there is probably a grain of truth to that. I mean, Cotts and Politte did only need two batters to erase a 3-run lead, but a bigger culprit may have been a bit of overmanaging on the part of Ozzie Guillen. Given the fact that DeJesus's lead off single in the 8th was only Jon's 88th pitch of the game, and that Ozzie has preached the montra of letting Jon work out of jams (not that a runner on first with no outs even qualifies as a jam, mind you), it did seem odd to watch Jon depart. Still, even after an implosion, Politte, Damaso Marte, Dustin Hermanson, and Bobby Jenks were impressive in holding Kansas City at bay until the 13th.

Interestingly, in the 12th, the Royals sent Shawn Camp to the mound. This generally wouldn't get mentioned, especially since nothing of interest took place during the inning. However, Camp, who had just been promoted from AAA was apparently not listed on the Royals' line-up card. Guillen and the Sox have protested the game from there out. Still, nothing was doing, and after not being able to make good against the likes of Camp, Ambiorix Burgos, Mike MacDougal, and Leo Nunez (to name a few), the Sox finally bowed out in the 13th, when Luis Vizcaino, who yes, had pitched in the three previous games, was forced into action by the limited number of available arms. If only the Sox had known, maybe we could have flown in Jeff Bajenaru to fill a hole? At any rate, the gassed Vizcaino allowed three singles to start the 13th, before striking out Joe McEwing to open up a slight window of hope... But Emil Brown singled to squash those dreams and Kansas City walked off with a 6-5 win. But who knows, maybe the Royals are bad enough to lose games they actually won, depending on the protest.

As for the Sox, they get a much needed day of rest to travel to Baltimore. The last time these teams met at the Cell earlier in the year, it was a battle of the top two records in the American League. Hey, if you think the Sox have problems, just thank God we aren't the Birds, who have freefalled right out of a play-off spot for the time being, if the season were to end today. Friday is the first of the 4-game set. Orlando Hernandez will take the hill against lefty Erik Bedard. Game time is at 6:35 PM Central time and the game will be shown on WCIU in Chicago.

WSI's
Ozzieball Update:
Not much to talk about today. Big home run by Jermaine in the 5th against his former mates, but the offense took a dive the rest of the way through. Poor bullpen management plus poor bullpen effectiveness not usually the best recipe for success, either.


submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Jermaine Dye

Did his job, with a big 3-run bomb in top of 5th to give Sox a then seemingly safe 4-0 lead.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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