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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Down, but Not Out

October 2, at Tampa Bay


Sox Magic Number:
11
"Down 0-1 sucks, but as long as Javier Vazquez stays the hell away from the pitcher's mound, we should be in good shape."

Short Take: Javier Vazquez sucks, Sox offense wastes chances, and Rays win Game 1 of ALDS, 6-4.

Though Thursday afternoon's loss to Tampa Bay will sting tonight, let's not overreact, Sox fans.  Really, what did we learn?  The Sox rely (heavily) on the long ball for offense?  They don't necessarily play well in crappy, ugly domes?  Javier Vazquez has the mental and emotional fortitude of a 16-year-old girl who didn't get asked out to Homecoming?  I mean, what didn't surprise anyone?  I know they're the Rays, but these aren't the same old Devil Rays that wore multi-colored uniforms and had ERA's that challenged their average attendance; this is still a team that won 97 games and the American League East.  And they fed of Little Game Javier, to the tune of a 6-4 win in Game 1.

The worst part about Javier's meltdown is that is occurred immediately after the Sox jumped out to a 3-1 lead courtesy of a 2-out Dewayne Wise homer.  Predictably, as soon as he was staked to a lead, he coughed it back up.  A seeing-eye single by ex-Twin Jason Bartlett was followed by an Ankinowri Iwamura triple he hit to the base of the wall in dead-center on a fastball Vazquez left pretty much right over the meat of the plate.  A sacrifice fly and a 2nd solo homer by Evan Longoria and the meltdown was complete.  In a blink of an eye, a 3-1 lead turned into a 4-3 deficit.

Vazquez couldn't even get through the fifth, allowing another 2 runs and leaving with 2 runners on and only 1 out; a mess to be cleaned up by Clayton Richard.  After allowing an inherited runner to score, Richard settled down in a big way and gave media folk and armchair managers plenty to chew on tomorrow, pitching 3.1 innings with 5 strikeouts, but he tired toward the end of his outing, allowing 3 of his 5 baserunners to the last 3 hitters he faced.

As for the offense, they found a nice way to waste plenty of chances, especially in the 7th, when a tiring Shields loaded the bases with one out, but Grant Balfour came in and struck out Juan Uribe and Orlando Cabrera, despite O.C.'s theatrics at the plate that made him look more like a clown and less like a crafty vet, especially considering he chased a splitter in the dirt.  Nice!

Now for the good news!  With Mark Buehrle and John Danks set to go tomorrow, we should point out that the Rays batted .246 against lefties this season, 2nd worst mark in the American League in front of only Oakland.  They also were incredibly mediocre in games started by lefties, 25-24 this year.  As Steve Stone said during today's broadcast, the Sox goal for these two games should be just to steal one.  If they can come home to Chicago this weekend tied at 1, everyone should be happy and feelin' fine.

Game 2 is tomorrow at Tropicana Field, as Buehrle faces off with Scott Kazmir.  First pitch is 5 PM Chicago time and the game will be aired on TBS.

WSI's
Quest For the Final Table Update: 
Sox remain 11 wins away from their 2nd World Series Championship in 4 years, but hopefully an important lesson was learned today:  Javier Vazquez sucks.


submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Dewayne Wise

Provided 75% of the Sox offense with 3-run homer in 2nd.

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