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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

So Close, Yet So Far

August 11 vs. Seattle Mariners

Back to the Grind,
or Just Grinded?

Today's Sox cut of meat:
Slightly Undercooked Slab of Ribs
Great relief pitching by Contreras, but a shaky start by Floyd doesn't quite add up to a victory.

Short Take: After being down by five for a good portion of the night, the Sox made a game of it in the ninth, but fell just short.

It was a perfect night for baseball and Sox fans came out in droves, hoping to see another victory. With Gavin Floyd toeing the rubber, the Sox looked to him to continue the team's winning ways. Unfortunately, Floyd showed no sign of the solid pitching we saw last weekend in Detroit and only lasted four innings. Even though Jose Contreras pitched five strong innings out of the 'pen, the team fell short of a win, 7-6.

Things for Floyd were rough from the get-go. He walked Jose Vidro with one out in the top of the first, and Jose Guillen singled, bringing Raul Ibanez to the plate. Ibanez continued his hot hitting off Sox pitching and hit a three-run shot, putting the Mariners up 3-0 before the seats were even warm.

The bottom of the third started off well, thanks to Scott Podsednik's lead-off single. Toby Hall flied out to left field, but with Richar at the plate, Pods stole second. Richar's patience at the plate paid off when he walked, putting runners at first & second. Jerry Owens followed with an RBI single, bringing Pods around from second and cutting the Seattle lead to two.

The top of the fourth proved detrimental for Gavin Floyd and ended up being the last inning he'd see tonight. With Darin Erstad making a sparkling defensive play on Adrian Beltre's line out to first, it looked like Floyd was going to be alright out there... or not. Richie Sexson hit a single to left and then Floyd hit Kenji Johjima, putting runners at first & second. Jose Lopez singled to left and a great throw by Podsednik held Sexson at third, but the bases were still loaded. Yuniesky Betancourt came to the plate and hit a grand slam, collecting four RBIs in the process. Floyd got Ichiro Suzuki to fly out to Jermaine Dye, but allowed a single to Jose Vidro. He got Jose Guillen on strikes, but the damage had been done; it was a 7-1 ballgame.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Sox started to chip away at the lead ever so slightly. Danny Richar took a one-out walk and Jerry Owens followed with a single, advancing the speedy Richar to third. Josh Fields came through with a base hit, scoring Richar and making it a 7-2 game. The Sox loaded the bases with a Jermaine Dye walk, but Erstad failed to come through in the clutch and went down swinging.

Jose Contreras pitched five solid innings of long relief out of the bullpen and things were quiet on both ends until the bottom of the ninth. Toby Hall led off the inning with a single. Andy Gonzalez was called on to pinch-hit for Danny Richar, and he blooped a single to left, advancing Hall to second. Eric O'Flaherty, who replaced Miguel Bautista in the 6th, was pulled in favor of George Sherrill, who promptly allowed Owens to reach base via the free pass. All of a sudden, "the sacks were packed with Sox" and nobody was out. Dominating Seattle closer, J.J. Putz, came in from the right field bullpen and with his 1.34 ERA, Sox fans (including this one) likely thought the end was near, but not if Josh Fields had anything to say about it. Fields took the first pitch he saw from Putz and drove it deep into the August night for the first grand slam of his Major League career! As Hawk said during the broadcast, he "stripped his gears" making the call of Fields's slam, and there's no doubt that Sox fans shared his excitement. There was still nobody out, but Putz regained his control, retiring Thome on a hard fly out to right, and Dye & Erstad on strikes to end the game.

The Sox look to take the series from the Mariners tomorrow afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. The southsiders will send John Danks (6-9) to the mound against Seattle's Jeff Weaver (3-10). The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05p CDT and the game will be televised on CSN.

Back to the Grind Update:
Some Grinder Ball early on, combined with a slam in the bottom of the ninth, brings the team just shy of a come-from-behind victory.

submitted by ChiSoxGirl.

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