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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Too Close for Comfort

April 16, at Tampa Bay

KW's Daily Special:
Hot Dog
Yeah, they'll fill you up and yeah, you dont' want to complain, but they'll leave you feeling pretty unsatisfied.

Short Take:  Sox get just enough offense and just enough bullpen to keep another quality start from John Danks from going to waste.

Its a strange box score to look over.  14 hits, 3 runs, and nearly a 9th inning blown lead.  But alls well that ends well, at least in this case, as the Sox toppled the defending American League champs, 3-2.

Pitching on a week's rest, John Danks was predictably sharp.  He made one mistake all night, a 6th inning fastball that caught too much plate that Carlos Pena deposited into the right field seats.  Aside from that he brought his A game, going 6 innings and allowing 2 hits and the 1 run.

The Sox, meanwhile, were facing young Jeff Niemann, making only his 7th career start and his 2nd of the 2009 season, following a rocky debut in which he lost to the Orioles and ballooned his ERA to over 10.  Now, I know you're thinking this sounds like the classic "No-name young kid that comes out of nowhere and baffles the Sox for 7 innings" but remember last April he faced the Sox at Tropicana Field and was rocked over 3-ish innings, so there was hope!  Jermaine Dye got the Sox on the board first in the 2nd inning, with a 2-run homer following Jim Thome's lead-off walk.  But from there, things got ugly.

Later in the second, Alexei Ramirez and A.J. Pierzynski stood at 2nd and 3rd following a wild pitch with 1 out.  Neither Brian Anderson or Chris Getz could get a run in.  In the fifth, with Getz at third and Josh Fields at first, Carlos Quentin blew a golden RBI opportunity by grounding into an inning ending double play.  In the sixth, the Sox loaded the bases on three straight 1-out singles by Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko, and A.J. Pierzynski.  Neither Alexei Ramirez nor Brian Anderson could get the ball out of the infield; grounding into two fielder's choices.  In the 7th, facing reliever Lance Cormier, Josh Fields stroked a 1-out triple.  He didn't move, as neither Carlos Quentin or Jim Thome could get the ball out of the infield.  It was another night of missed opportunities, fortunately the Rays were completely stifled at the plate.  After Danks departed following the 6th, Octavio Dotel and Matt Thornton came on to pitch relatively quite 7th and 8th innings.

Finally, in the 9th, the Sox broke through and scored a critical insurance run, after back-to-back 1-out singles by Anderson and Getz put runners at the corners, Josh Fields grounded into what could have been an inning-ending double play, but Getz was moving on pitch, forcing Jason Bartlett to hesitate before trying to get Fields at 1st.  His throw was too late, and Anderson scored the 3rd Sox run of the game.  However, following Fields' RBI infield single, Carlos Quentin drew a walk to load the bases, but Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye missed golden opportunities to blow the game wide open, helplessly striking out to end the innings.

Bobby Jenks came in to close the game in the 9th, and things got a bit testy.  After retiring Ben Zobrist to lead off the inning, a single by Jason Barlett, error on Chris Getz, and walk to BJ Upton loaded the bases for the Rays.  Carl Crawford's fielder's choice pushed the Rays to the brink, but put the tying run at 3rd, and following a stolen base, the winning run in scoring position.  Jenks, however, was able to induce a harmless ground ball from Gabe Gross, that Paul Konerko fielded to put away a White Sox winner.

Well... That was close, and yes a win is a win, but another day of wasted chances nearly cost the Sox a victory they should have won easily.  Luckily, the Rays continued their struggles against left-handed pitching.  During last year's magical run to the World Series, the Rays posted the 2nd worst BA in the American League against lefties and were only 25-24 in games started against southpaws.  This year, their BA vs. lefties is in the middle of the road, but they've already lost 4 of their first 5 games when facing a lefty.  That doesn't bode well for tonight, as Bartolo Colon makes his 2nd start of the year against Rays ace James Shields.  Game time is 6:38 PM Central time and will be on Comcast Sports Net.

Critic's Corner:
 I don't want to complain after a win against the AL Champ on their home turf, but I think the Sox just stranded another runner at third base.

submitted by doublem23

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Brian Anderson

Only one hit tonight, but it was huge; his 1-out single in the 9th started a small rally and he eventually scored the run that provided the winning margin for the Sox.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!


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

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