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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

How Many Angels On The Head of The Pen?

September 12th vs. the LA Angels of Wherever

KW's Daily Special:
Typical California menu: just enough nutrition to win, but you still wish you had more.

Short Take:The bullpen lets a series of hits tie the game, but the Sox hold on for a 4-3 win over the Angels in ten innings.

Today was one of those days when the spice cabinet in Kenny's Burger Joint was running low. No time to go to the purveyors and get some more; we'll just have to make do with what we've got. And that's what happened as the White Sox just got past the Los Angeles Angels of Orange County, 4-3 in 10 innings.

John Danks started and looked good for six innings. That qualifies him for a "quality start," which is good for bragging rights but doesn't necessarily produce winning games. Danks didn't give up any runs, earned or otherwise, notching five strikeouts and two walks. Octavio Dotel came in the seventh and clipped the Angels' wings, striking out two in the process. But it was Matt Thornton and Bobby Jenks who uncharacteristically gave up the tying runs and pushed the game into extra innings.

But I'm jumping ahead in my story. The Sox scored in the first off the golden bat of Gilded Gordon Beckham, who hit a solo homer to get things started. But the real excitement of the game was in the Sox' half of the third, when the irrepressible Scott Podsednik got an inside-the-park homer around the bumbling Bobby Abreu in right field. Pods launched an enormous fly ball that hit off the top of the wall in right, about a foot away from the bemused Abreu. The ball ricocheted toward center with Abreu in pursuit. While this spectacle was going on, Podsednik was rounding second toward the windmill motion of third-base coach Bobby Cox. Kerflumping into home with a textbook slide far in advance of the relayed throw, Pods showed once again that speed thrills.

But the Sox weren't done. Rookie-Of-The-Year-Guy Gordon Beckham singled and advanced to second on a groundout. Mark Kotsay hit a fly to right that bounced off Abreu's glove for an error, scoring Beckham, though Kotsay was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. So now it's 3-0 Sox in the middle of the third.

No more scoring by anybody for the next 4-1/2 innings, as described above, but there was a peculiar event in the Sox' fifth involving plate umpire Doug Eddings. Eddings is the kind of guy you wouldn't want to help you if you were changing a tire -- weird things seem to happen when he's involved. In this case, Beckham walked and stole second while Jermaine Dye was at bat. The throw got into center field and Beckham scampered to third. Then Eddings marched around the infield grass like it was a parade ground, instructing Beckham to return to first and telling Dye that he'd committed Unintentional Catcher Interference. This of course brought Ozzie Guillen out for an explanation, followed closely by Mike Scioscia. Neither Guillen nor Dye knew what Dye had done to interfere, and Scioscia wanted Dye called out if there really was interference. Apparently the "unintentional" part of the offense allowed Dye to stay in the game, but Beckham was back at first nonetheless. Doug Eddings clearly sees umpiring as an art form, with the rule book made to dance with improvisational twists.

Everybody shrugged and went back to the game. Beckham promptly stole second again, though he was stranded and the score remained 3-0 Sox.

But three runs are not enough against a team like the Angels, and in the bottom of the eighth Matt Thornton gave up four singles in a row. Guillen made the atypical move here, calling in Bobby Jenks with one out in the eighth and the Sox hanging on to a 3-2 lead with two Angels runners on base. Jenks was efficient, getting Juan Rivera to hit into an inning-ending double play on the first pitch. 3-2 Sox after eight. Whew.

The Sox didn't add any more runs in the ninth, coming up short again when they needed it. But in the bottom of the ninth things got scary as Jenks walked Gary Matthews, Jr., to lead off (always a bad idea), then gave up a single to Kendry Morales. First and third with no outs, and Maicer Izturis hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Matthews. Now it's tied 3-3. Jenks was able to get the next two Angels to pop out, but the hurt had been had, and the game went into extra innings.

Good news in the tenth though. Scott Podsednik doubled to lead off the tenth, and Gee-Whiz Beckham singled him to third. Kevin Jepsen came in to pitch, facing pinch-hitter Paul Konerko. One wild pitch later, the Sox took the lead 4-3 after Podsednik came skipping home. Randy Williams pitched the bottom of the 10th for the Sox and gave up a leadoff walk to Abreu (argghh!). Reggie Willits bunted Abreu to second, and Tony Pena came in to pitch. After getting Torii Hunter to ground out, Pena gave up an infield single to Juan Rivera, putting runners on first and third with two outs. As Sox fans prepared to rant again about blown ballgames, Mike Napoli hit into a game-ending fielder's choice. Geez!

The lesson learned this season at Kenny's Burger Joint (at least we hope somebody learned it) is that you can't let the spice rack run too low. You need them all, from Anise to Za'atar, from Advancing the runner to being in the Zone, to build a winning menu for a winning season.

Critic's Corner:
Three stars. The win is good, but too much drama from the bullpen.

submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Gordon Beckham

3-for-4 with an RBI, two runs, a walk, and so many stolen bases they had to take one back. Is there anything he can't do?

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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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