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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Reigning Champs Swingin' in the Rain

April 2 v. Cleveland

How was the trophy defended today?
Stellar relief pitching and offense set the tone for Title defense.

Short Take: World Champion White Sox unveil banner, unload on Indians to take season opener 10-4.

The 2005 White Sox were World Champions. Tonight, the 2006 version took the first step in defense of their crown, beating the Cleveland Indians 10-4 in a rain-delayed opening night tilt broadcast on ESPN.

The game started quickly enough. Following the unveiling of the World Series Championship banner, Sox starting pitcher Mark Buehrle came out firing. He struck out the first batter of the season, Grady Sizemore, and retired the Indians in order in the top of the first inning. Buehrle retired the first seven Indian batters he faced, holding them scoreless through the first three innings.

Buehrle's counterpart, C.C. Sabathia, retired the first four Sox hitters before World Series MVP Jermaine Dye delivered an infield single for the first hit of the season. The Sox would break into the scoring column in the bottom half of the third inning off Sabathia. Juan Uribe led off the third inning with a walk, which was followed up by a double off the bat of centerfielder Brian Anderson. Anderson's ball was deflected off the glove of the leftfielder, Jason Michaels, but was scored a hit. Scott Podsednik then grounded into a sacrifice to second, scoring Uribe and moving Anderson to third base on the play. With the Sox up 1-0, Tadahito Iguchi singled into the left centerfield gap to score Anderson and give the Sox a 2-0 lead off Sabathia. There was a brief delay as Sabathia was pitching to Jim Thome, and Sabathia would end up being pulled out of the contest with what was later defined as an abdominal strain. Sabathia was replaced by Danny Graves, who would walk Thome and make an errant pickoff attempt on Iguchi at second base to put Sox runners on second and third. Paul Konerko would cap off the scoring in the third with an RBI sacrifice fly to put the Sox up 3-0 going into the 4th inning.

The Indians would get to Buehrle in the top half of the fourth, just before the rains came. After Travis Hafner reached on a fielder's choice, Indians catcher Victor Martinez would double off the right field fence to score Hafner and put Cleveland on the board. The Sox actually had a play on Hafner, but an errant relay throw by Iguchi bounced over A.J. Pierzynski's head allowing Hafner to score. Had the throw been on line, Hafner would have been out by several feet. The Indians capitalized on this mistake as the next batter, first baseman Eduardo Perez, homered off Buehrle to tie the score at three. Buehrle would retire the next two batters, and then the rains came.

Following an approximately three-hour rain delay, the Sox got their offense rolling again in the bottom of the fourth off Indians reliever Fernando Cabrera. Cabrera was wild, walking Uribe and Anderson to start the inning off. Podsednik then sacrificed Uribe to third base, and Anderson would later steal second base to move into scoring position. Iguchi would then hit a sacrifice to left centerfield, scoring Uribe and putting the Sox back on top 4-3. The next batter was Thome, and he turned on the first pitch from Cabrera and deposited it deep into the right field seats. It was Thome's first regular season home run as a member of the White Sox, and it put the Sox up 6-3.

Brandon McCarthy would take the mound for the Sox in the fifth, retiring the side in order to make the game official. The Sox were not done, however, and they went back to work in the bottom half of the fifth off Cabrera. Dye walked and stole second to start the inning, and he scored on a single by Pierzynski to put the Sox up 7-3. Pierzynski moved to second on an error by the rightfielder Casey Blake, and Cabrera would then walk Joe Crede to mark the end of his night. Uribe sacrificed the runners over to second and third off reliever Matt Miller, and Anderson delivered a seeing-eye single through the left side of the infield to score both runners and put the Sox up 9-3.

The White Sox made it 10-3 in the bottom of the sixth, thanks to two walks and an RBI single by Dye. McCarthy, meanwhile, continued to silence the Indians bats. McCarthy was perfect in three innings of work, retiring all nine batters he faced and recording two strikeouts in the process. Cliff Politte relieved McCarthy to start the 8th inning. Politte allowed one run on two hits in 0.2 of an inning, and was relieved by Sox newcomer Matt Thornton. Thornton, acquired from Seattle for Joe Borchard, had a successful debut for the Sox. He struck Hafner out looking to end the 8th and keep the Sox in command at 10-4. Thornton stayed in the game and pitched a scoreless ninth inning to give the Sox the victory. McCarthy was the pitcher of record and earned the win.

Ozzieball Update:
Ozzie picked up right where he left off last season, making all the right moves. McCarthy was brilliant in relief following the rain delay, and that was the difference in this game tonight.

submitted by beckett21.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Jim Thome

1-2 in Sox debut with mammoth 2-run homer following rain delay in the 4th inning. Welcome to Chicago, Mr. Thome.

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