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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Despite their best efforts...

May 15, at Los Angeles

"These ain't your daddy's White Sox... We're going to keep going after a championship as aggressively as we can."

KW's Hole Cards:
Nails the inside straight
KW and Ozzie stick to their guns, even when things looked bleak and eventually pulled in the pot after a nice victory.

Short Take:  Jim Thome's 9th inning, 2-out RBI single scores deciding run as Sox earn 4-game split in Orange County.

If you're a lifelong White Sox fan, you're undoubtedly familiar with those "woulda, shoulda, coulda" games.  You know, when everything seems to go right, but one critical mistake undoes a lot of good and suddenly a win turns into a loss?  Tonight, karma wore silver and black, as the Sox overcome critical mistakes in the field and leave plenty of runners on base, yet still come away with a 4-3 win over the Angels to earn a split in the series.

The game started poorly enough for the Sox.  A 1st inning rally against the familiar face of Jon Garland was squashed by more lackadaisical bat work by the "meat" of the Sox order, the Angels pounced on Javier Vazquez for an early lead, though much of that can be attributed to a single hit by Maicer Izturis that landed between the trio of Joe Crede, Orlando Cabrera, and Carlos Quentin.  The pop up was playable, but found a patch of grass between the three in a defensive effort that would have made Moe, Larry, and Curly blush.  Okay, maybe Javier didn't pick up his defense, as he then allowed a pair of singles to Vladimir Guerrero and Garrett Anderson, but the inning may have ended there, as Torii Hunter popped out to short.  Instead, the Angels used their gift out to score another run on a double by Casey Kotchman and before the crowd could get settled in their free 70's-style, lowercase Angel hats, the home team was up 2-0.

The Sox showed their moxy, however, as they quickly loaded the bases against Garland and scored their first run of the night on a fielder's choice by Juan Uribe.  A sacrifice fly by Orlando and a double by A.J. Pierzynski brought home another pair of runs and the South Siders quickly turned a 2-run deficit into a 1-run lead.  Poised to do more damage after a walk to Quentin and a single by Jermaine Dye, Sox fans could only watch in frustration as Jim Thome meekly grounded out to second base to end the inning and keep his bat completely frozen.

After that, both starters settled in, as Vazquez again stepped up.  He scattered 9 Angel hits and didn't walk anyone while striking out 6 in 6-2/3 innings of work.  Garland was effective as well, allowing only 7 hits in 6 innings, but walking four and only striking out Orlando Cabrera in the 6th inning (who is now hitting .233 as the lead-off hitter.  Granted, that's still 13 points better than he was hitting in the 2-hole).  After Garland departed, the Angels brought out Darren Oliver and had a golden chance to pad their slim lead in the 7th, but a double play courtesy of Paul Konerko kept the Angels in the game, and you knew a team as offensively explosive as Los Angeles would have at least one more crack at the scoreboard.

That finally happened in the 7th.  After Javier got two quick outs, Izturis (again) started the rally with a slow grounder to Cabrera that he beat out for an infield single.  Vlad then scorched a double off the right field wall to put runners at 2nd and 3rd.  Ozzie played the numbers and brought out Matt Thornton to face the lefty Anderson.  Thornton only needed 1 pitch to get his job done, inducing a ground ball to third that looked to end the threat and inning and send the Sox to Scott Linebrink/Bobby Jenks time.  However, Joe Crede brought his cement mitt with him to the park today, bobbling the chopping grounder, allowing the tying run to score, and blowing the win for the very deserving Vazquez.  Octavio Dotel came on in relief and immediately walked Torii Hunter to load the bases for Kotchman.  And panic ensued.  Dotel was able to get a ground ball from Kotchman that Crede fielded cleanly and got the force out at 2nd.  However, it would be a battle of the bullpens in a tie game from here out.

After an uneventful 8th, Pierzynski started the winning rally, with a lead-off double to right-center off Francisco Rodriguez.  Carlos Quentin moved A.J. to third on a deeply hit ball to the right field wall that Reggie Willits was able to snag as he crashed into the padding.  After Jermaine popped out to first, Jim Thome finally collected his first hit of the 4-game series, lining a single into right field to score Pierzynski and put the Sox up 4-3.  Bobby Jenks would pitch an easy 9th, striking out Willits and retiring Izturis and Guerrero on a pair of 1-3 ground outs for his first save since April 16th in Baltimore.

With the win, the Sox are back at .500 and leave Los Angeles behind for a trip up I-5 through the Valley to San Francisco for a rendezvous with the Giants in the first interleague series of the year.  Gavin Floyd looks to rebound from his first subpar outing of the season against Jonathan Sanchez, the Giants' 25-year-old lefty who hasn't pitched past the 5th inning since April.  Game time is 9:15 Chicago time and will be aired on WGN.

Quest For the Final Table Update:
 Jim Thome finally comes through as the Sox break even in Anaheim.

submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

A.J. Pierzynski

The Angel fan favorite continues to respond to batting 2nd, pushing his batting average to .315 (top 5 in the A.L.), going 3-5 with a pair of doubles an RBI and scored the decisive run.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!


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Totally Biased Game Recaps

September 29... The Last (And Lost) Weekend

September 24... Covey Captivates, but Kluber Cruises

September 22... At Least They Won't Clinch Here

September 18...Klubered, but Not Clobbered

September 16... Baltimore Blanked

September 10... Thrown Away

September 8... Anaheim Annihilation

September 3... Power Special

September 1... 18 Strikeouts Later, the White Sox Lose

August 30...Leaky Bullpen Bombed by Boston

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