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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Vazquez, Bullpen Struggle Yet Again

September 27 vs. Cleveland Indians


Sox Magic Number:
3
It was nice for the number to be reduced, but it wasn't reduced as much as we would've liked it to be.

Short Take:   Another big-game situation for Vazquez, another short outing and eventual loss.

Pitching on short rest and trying to redeem himself from his last two outings, Javier Vazquez took the mound for the Sox in what was arguably the most important game of the year. Unfortunately, as per usual with Vazquez, he imploded under pressure and only went 4 1/3 innings, giving up seven earned runs on five hits. The bullpen imploded and for the second time in as many nights, saw a "six" go up in the fifth inning for the Indians. Despite not giving up and mini-comebacks, the Sox dropped their fifth ballgame in a row and squandered another opportunity to gain ground on the Twins. The end result of tonight's slugfest was 12-6 in favor of Cleveland.

Vazquez wasted no time in giving up a run, as Shin-Soo Choo went deep off him in the first inning with two out, giving Cleveland the early 1-0 lead. That lead was short-lived, thanks to Jermaine Dye. J.D.'s solo homerun in the bottom half of the inning tied the game at one. When the score went final in Minnesota, the crowd stood up and cheered the out-of-town scoreboard, but it was up to the Sox to make that final score matter. Unfortunately, it was just a few innings later when it became clear the opportunity to take over sole possession of first place would be wasted.

Just like last night, it was the top of the fifth that was a nightmare for the Sox and their fans; the boo birds came out yet again. After Victor Martinez was retired to begin the fifth, the wheels fell off for Vazquez. He allowed a single to Ryan Garko and then a walk to David Dellucci, putting runners on first and second. Ben Francisco singled to left, loading the bases for Asdrubal Cabrera. He doubled to deep right, clearing the bases and putting Cleveland up 4-1; they weren't even close to being done. Grady Sizemore was intentionally walked to set up the double play, but that line of thinking failed, as Jamey Carroll followed with a double to right, scoring both Cabrera and Sizemore, and it was a 6-1 ballgame just like that. Ozzie had seen enough and pulled Vazquez in favor of Clayton Richard. He allowed a single to Shin-Soo Choo, driving in Carroll with the seventh Cleveland run. Richard allowed a Jhonny Peralta single, but retired the side with a Victor Martinez fly out and a Ryan Garko fielder's choice to short.

Also mirroring last night's game was the fact that the Sox didn't quit in this one, despite the life being sucked right out of the ballpark with that Cleveland crooked number. The Sox scored one in the bottom of the seventh when Paul Konerko hit his 20th homerun of the season, making the score 7-2, but Cleveland got that run right back in the top of the eighth when Victor Martinez doubled and Lance Broadway, who relieved Clayton Richard after the Martinez double, allowed Ryan Garko to double, scoring Martinez. It was an 8-2 game and the Sox went to work in the bottom half of the inning.

With Brendan Donnelly having relieved Zach Jackson to begin the inning, the Sox took full advantage of the pitching change. Juan Uribe led off the inning with and infield single and went to third on Orlando Cabrera's double. Dewayne Wise was called on to pinch-hit for Brian Anderson and struck out swinging, so it was up to Jermaine Dye. He lifted a fly ball to right, scoring Uribe and making it an 8-3 game. Rafael Perez was brought in to face Jim Thome, who singled the opposite way and scored Cabrera. With the score 8-4, Paul Konerko, facing Jensen Lewis (who relieved Perez), came to the plate and drove Lewis' first pitch deep, and all of a sudden the Sox were right back in it, 8-6!

The top of the ninth was a nightmare, brought to you by another White Sox bullpen implosion. Scott Linebrink was brought in to relieve Broadway and only recorded one out. He allowed Asdrubal Cabrera to lead off with a single to right, and then Grady Sizemore singled to center, advancing Cabrera to second. Jamey Carroll sacrified the runners over to second and third, so Linebrink intentionally walked Choo to load the bases for Jhonny Peralta. Peralta singled, scoring Cabrera. It was 9-6 in favor of the Indians when Matt Thornton was called on to stop the bleeding- it didn't happen. He allowed Victor Martinez to single, scoring Sizemore. With the score 10-6, Thornton retired Ryan Garko on a fly out to right, but Franklin Gutierrez hit for David Dellucci and singled to right center, scoring Choo and Peralta. The Sox's bullpen gave the four runs the offense worked so hard to score right back in that inning, resulting in a 12-6 eventual final score.

Tomorrow afternoon, it's all on the line again for the White Sox, as they play what could potentially be their final home game of the 2008 season. Mark Buehrle (14-12) will pitch on short rest against Bryan Bullington (0-1), as Buehrle will try to do everything in his power to keep the Sox alive in this crucial game. The first pitch is set for 1:05p CDT on this Fan Appreciation Day, and the game will be broadcast on CSN.

WSI's
Quest For the Final Table Update:
 Tonight's hand was lost in the 5th inning- despite Kansas City helping us out- just like last night.


submitted by ChiSoxGirl

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Paul Konerko

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