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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

On the road again...

April 9 at Oakland Athletics

Back to the Grind,
or Just Grinded?

Today's Sox cut of meat:
Beef jerky and Arby's roast beef
Food for champions, both on the diamond and on the highway

Short Take:
Time for a drive...

The Sox kick off the first road trip of the season in the small, beachside community of Oakland, a three game set against the dusty Athletics. As a tribute to these mighty Kings of the Road, join this lowly scribe as I take a road trip of my own, from the tulip-filled fields of Holland, MI back to Sweet Home Chicago. The team travels in what I assume to be some sort of metallic aero-copter yet all I have is my uncle's '89 Jeep Comanche. The tank is filled, the stars are aligned and Podsednik steps to the plate. Time to hit the pavement!

Mile marker 45 hasn't even been passed and Pods has cast aside his wooden shoes and turns a single into a double. The Dutch are with you! The tulips aren't yet in full bloom but they quickly fade from memory as this rusty two-seater plows south. Excitement is fleeting as Pods and Konerko make it to second and third, respectively, yet the team can’t push them across the plate.

Contreras takes the bump today and one can only hope for a better outing than Opening Day. The moon may be shining here in Michigan but the sun is shining on Contreras as a couple grounders to second and a liner to Crede retire the A’s side. And just like that, Contreras’ ERA is halved from 63 to 31.5. The Shell station outside Saugatuk looms large and I pull over for some beef jerky.

So what’s the deal with “Michigan left turns”? You drive through the intersection, make a u-turn and then turn right onto the road you want to head down. What kind of a wonky state is this? These are the thoughts that consumes one’s mind as the Sox go down weakly, 1-2-3 in the 2nd.

I nearly crash the mighty Comanche into the Exit 26 sign biting my nails in the bottom of the 2nd. An inside pitch that gets away from Contreras results in a two out walk. A single and double later, the walk comes around to score and the Sox are down 1-0. Was Contreras losing it? The A’s pull a Sox and can’t get their runners on second and third home with two outs. Whew.

Uribe leads of the 3rd with a walk. The Palisades Nuclear Power Plant must be radiating fumes that reach all the way to Oakland. It always seems spooky driving by that thing, especially at night. You can’t see the actual plant from the road but you know it is there. Pods hits into a fielder’s choice and ends up stealing second but strikeouts by Erstad and Konerko leave Pods stranded once again.

Jose almost again causes me to crash the ride! I-196 meets I-94 in Benton Harbor and it looks like the A’s were partying on a yacht. Two walks and a single load the bases. Cooper makes his first visit of the night and it didn’t loom like it helped much as Jose’s next two pitches were way outside. Luck was on his side as Swisher flies out to end the threat.

Warren Dunes State Park is a lovely spot to take the family in the summer. Too cold to check out on this chilly evening but Thome gets things heated up nicely with a solo shot to center to lead off the 4th. Tie ball game. That was all the Sox could muster in the frame. Maybe I’ll invite Thome to the dunes this summer. What a time we will have…

If I’m going to make it through this game (and this drive), I’m going to need some grub. Jerky is a decent snack but it isn’t a meal, you know? New Buffalo is ahead and that means Arby’s! Contreras earns his first strikeout of the game as I pull into the parking lot. About damn time! A grounder and a fly out and the A’s are done. Roast beef and curly fries, here I come.

Eating a driving isn’t my bag so this meal will be “for here”. Just your basic roast beef, fries and a Coke for me. I had barely sat down and the Sox had two quick outs. What was that, 5 pitches? Pods wasn’t going to take this crap and parks the ball in the right field seats. Another home run and the Sox have the lead in Oakland! The other customers probably wondered what was up with that guy throwing fries in the air and pumping his fist. Erstad hustles out an infield hit but Konerko goes down swinging to end the frame.

The meal consumed, it was time to once again take to the trail. Might as well get some gas while I’m here, this Comanche gets some pretty crummy mileage. In the time it took me to put in 8 gallons, Contreras had put the A’s down 1-2-3, ground out, fly out and strike out. That makes 7 in a row for the big Cuban. Onward!

Thome gets things started in the 6th with a broken bat single. Excellent. It is quickly for naught as a Dye pop up and Crede GIDP erases the single as I cross the Indiana state line. Back home agaaaain…in Indiaaaaana…

Contreras started out the 6th in decent form. Pizza Man grounds out, Chavez singles but then Swisher’s hair goes down swinging. Hold up, good grief, the US Steel site is HUGE! To think there were a few more facilities of that size back in the hey-day. Wow. Anyway, Contreras walks Crosby and it starts to get interesting. Ozzie makes a trip to the mound and MacDougal starts to warm up. The sweet nothings of Ozzie do the trick as Buck goes down swinging and the A’s strand a pair.

Ah, Gary. What more needs to be said? I rev the engine in a 3200 RPM salute as is my want. Harden is out for the A’s and the side-arm lefty Marshall is in. Before I even reach the sewage treatment plant, the Sox are done in order. 12 pitches are all that Marshall needed.

How does Krazy Kaplans make any money? His profit margins must be razor thin. Everything is two-for-one or in some cases, three-for-one! I debate buying a box of snakes but it’s getting late. MacDougal is in for Contreras. A nice outing for Jose as he goes six and gives up one run on four hits. He had four strikeouts but also four walks and was only one out away from dropping his ERA into the single digits. Not too bad for a guy entering tonight’s contest with an ERA of 63! MacDougal Ks Ellis, Kendall flies out and Stewart grounds out. I can smell Illinois…

Pods keeps whacking the ball around with a grounder past the shortstop. Opposite field, very nice. Erstad bunts him over. It is too dark to tell if anyone is fishing on Wolf Lake but I would have to imagine it is few, if any. The A’s walk Konerko to get to the recently awakened giant Thome? The percentages don’t work out in the A’s favor as Thome smacks one up the middle to plate Podsednik. 3-1, Sox. Dye flies one out there but will it be deep enough to score Paul “Carl Lewis” Konerko? Konerko is in and someone get that guy an oxygen mask! 4-1, Sox! I drive over the High Bridge as Crede knocks one into right. Brain farts about on the basepath as Thome is held at third but Crede goes for second. Kendall throws to second and Crede is caught between first and second but Tome is way off of third. He lunges for the bag but can’t beat the throw.

I debate stopping at the Skyway McDonalds but I figure that the toll is enough money to shell out this evening. Besides, like I need any more food. Bradley hustles an infield hit and the Oakland crowd gets into it with Pizzaino at the plate. Double play! I’m going bananas in the truck! Good thing I wasn’t still on the High Bridge or it could be curtains for me. MacDougal is relived by Thornton as I regain control of the rig. Thornton throws two pitches and Chavez grounds out to third. Bring forth the Dan Ryan…

AJ leads off the 9th with a single but it is quickly erased by a Cintron double play. Uribe hacks at the first pitch and the Sox go down quickly. I figure the Ryan would be decent at this time of night but some nighttime closures are really bogging it down. Ugh, all I want to do is get home. Time to close it out, boys.

Thornton stays in to start the 9th. No Jenks? Hey, no problem! Thornton gets Swisher to ground out to first and Ozzie makes the move. Boom, here comes the Boom! Crosby flies out and we have one out to go. And wouldn’t you know it, I’m closing in on 35th St. Buck grounds out to Uribe just as I drive by the Cell. I imagine the fireworks going off in my head. The best I can do is honk the horn. La Cucaracha? C’mon, uncle!

Well, the drive wasn’t too bad and the Sox pulled out a win. Nothing like beating Oakland in Oakland. Time to hit the sack; I need to get the Comanche to my uncle by 7:00 AM. Maybe I’ll disconnect that horn for him, free of charge…

Back to the Grind Update:
Pods legs a single into a double, steals a base, hits a homer and adds an opposite-field single. Get grounded or get pounded.

submitted by itsnotrequired

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Scott Podsednik

Is it not obvious? 3-4 with a homer, double, single and stolen base. Keep it up, lunatic!

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