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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Vazquez & Co. Show Signs of Getting Back to the Grind

April 7 vs. Minnesota Twins

Back to the Grind,
or Just Grinded?

Today's Sox cut of meat:
Prime Rib
Dominating starting pitching and small ball are finally resurrected!

Short Take:   "Smart Ball returns and Cuddyer's baserunning blunder help the Sox reach the .500 mark for the first time in the very young season."

Dressed more for a Bears game in January than a Sox game during the inaugural week of the season, Sox fans were treated to a 3-0 victory, and signs of 2005's style of play were everywhere. Dominating starting pitching from Javier Vazquez, timely hitting, and solid outings from the bullpen helped the Sox reach the even mark of 2-2 on the young season.

On this chilly April afternoon, the Sox wasted no time getting the scoring started. Newcomer Darin Erstad made the most of an 11 pitch at-bat in the first inning and hit one right back up the middle for a basehit. Erstad advanced to second on Thome's at-bat and Paul Konerko's single up the middle brought Erstad in from second, making the score 1-0 Good Guys. Dye, who continues his slow start, killed the potentially big inning by grounding into a 6-4-3 double play.

The top of the second looked to be the new sixth inning for Vazquez as he quickly got himself into trouble. Thanks to a couple of walks, Vazquez loaded the bases with only one out. Knowing the "piranhas's" style of play, this could've proven disastrous. Jason Tyner popped out to Uribe for the second out, but then something strange happened- the pesky Twins ran themselves out of the inning. Apparently his mind was numbed by the cold because Michael Cuddyer lazily ran home from third, thinking there were two outs. Juan Uribe saw Cuddyer asleep at the switch and quickly fired the ball to Joe Crede to double him off. Sox fans cheered the boneheaded move by Cuddyer and the smart play of our defense.

Vazquez was absolutely lights out through the 6 2/3 innings he pitched. At one point, he sent down 11 Twins in a row, making them look foolish at the plate. That streak of 11 consecutive batters being retired ended when Cuddyer, the same guy who forgot how many outs there were earlier, was grazed by a pitch on his jersey. Trouble started brewing for Javy in the 7th after the hit by pitch and the walk that followed. But hated Hunter's 5-4-3 double play saved the Sox and Vazquez from the big inning Sox fans have become accustomed to seeing from him. Vazquez was positively masterful, surrendering one measley hit! Andrew Sisco came in and relieved Javy, stranding the lone runner at third.

Mike MacDougal and Matt Thornton shared the duties of retiring the Twins in the eighth and both looked fantastic doing so. MacDougal had life on his fastball, fooling Jason Bartlett. With one on, Thornton relieved MacDougal and struck out Nick Punto, sending the frozen crowd into a frenzy.

The bottom of the eighth inning proved to be the inning the Sox would really put this game away. Juan Uribe smacked one into the left field seats off Dennys Reyes for his first homerun of the season. Scott Podsednik followed that homerun with an outstanding bunt single before the crowd even settled back into their seats after Uribe's dinger. A few pitches later, and in at-bat remeniscent of one Sox fans saw countless times in 2005, Darin Erstad delievered a textbook sacrifice bunt, advancing Pods on second. A pick-off attempt by Reyes then went awry when the ball hit the bag and scooted into center field. Third base coach Razor Shines took advantage of Podsednik's speed and sent him home, just beating the tag of Joe Mauer, making the score 3-0 Sox and giving the Sox the insurance they needed.

Bobby Jenks came out of the bullpen in the ninth, trying to notch his first save of the season and he came in throwin' heat. Despite a one out double, Jenks maintained his form and nailed down his first of what will be many saves in 2007.

Our Sox are now 2-2 on the young season and will try to take the series tomorrow afternoon. The Sox are sending rookie John Danks to the mound against the always pesky southpaw, Johan Santana, who's 1-0 so far this season. The first pitch is slated for 1:05p and the game will be televised on WGN. Let's see those brooms!

Back to the Grind Update:
 Grinder Ball resurfaced Saturday afternoon, thanks to excellent bunting and basrunning by Scott Podsednik, and a great sacrifice bunt by Darin Erstad. Two of the three runs were manufactured, rather than scored waiting for the long ball.

submitted by ChiSoxGirl.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Javier Vazquez

Anybody who doesn't fall victim to the sixth inning and holds the pesky Twins to just one hit is definitely deserving!

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