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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Rios Rocks!

April 24th against the Seattle Mariners

Alex Rios
Bobby Jenks

Rios is the man -- 'nuff said. But Bobby, you're makin' me crazy! You owe Alex big time for the win.

Short Take: Freddy Garcia looks good, but Alex Rios looks better, hitting the walkoff homer to beat the Mariners 5-4.

On a cloudy, rain-threatening Girl Scout Day at U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox tried to squander a great pitching perfomance by Freddy Garcia. But Alex Rios would have none of that, putting the game away in dramatic fashion in the ninth for a 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners.

It didn't come easy. Seattle starter Doug Fister kept the Sox scoreless until the fourth inning. And in that inning and later in the ninth, third-base umpire Fieldin Culbreth did his level best to tilt the game toward the Mariners. More on that later, but let's talk first about the pitching duel.

Garcia threw a lot of pitches, as is his wont, but he threw them well, retiring the first 11 Mariner hitters until giving up a solo homer to Franklin Gutierrez in the fourth. Then he retired the next seven until hitting a rough patch in the top of the seventh, when he gave up The Dreaded Leadoff Walk to Chone Figgins, allowing him to get to second on a throwing error to first, then giving up an RBI double to Jose Lopez. Garcia squirmed out of that inning without further damage, but that second run allowed the Mariners to tie the game. Fister looked nearly unhittable for most of his eight innings of work, but this season the White Sox could make Ryan Bukvich look unhittable.

Lack of run support has been Freddy's fate for a long time. Today was no exception, as the Sox only scored two runs through the first eight innings, leaving Garcia with a no-decision for his two-hit, five-strikeout effort. The Sox scored their feeble two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out single by Alex Rios, followed by another single by Mark Teahen, and then a "double" by Alexei Ramirez, courtesy of third-base ump Fieldin Culbreth. Despite bouncing off the top of the wall in front of the left-field bullpen, Officer Culbreth ruled that it was not a home run. Replays showed that it was deflected off Mariners leftfielder Eric Byrnes' glove. Harumph.

So it stayed tied 2-2 until the top of the ninth. Bobby Jenks was brought in to pitch and hold at bay the Seattle intruders. But Bobby loves the drama, yielding a two-out single to Lopez, followed by a walk to Ken Griffey, Jr. Jack Wilson was brought in to pinch-run for Griffey. Then Casey Kotchman hit one down the first-base line that was picked up by some joker in the front row, forcing a fan-interference double. Lopez scored and Wilson was sent back to third by the home-plate ump. But third-base blueshirt Fieldin Culbreth, whose name sounds like the lead character in a bad paperback, deigned that Wilson should score. With his remarkable gift for clairvoyance, Culbreth divined that Wilson would have scored had the ball not been interfered with. The only people in the building agreeing with that judgement were those in the Seattle dugout (and Tim McCarver, opining pointlessly on behalf of the Fox television network). Ozzie Guillen expressed his skepticism in a way that offended the delicate sensibilities of Mr. Culbreth, and was instructed to leave the premises. 4-2 Seattle.

Ah, but the bottom of the ninth was sweeter than wine. With one out and things looking bleak, Paul Konerko hit a majestic home run to left that tightened the score 4-3. After a Pierzynski fly ball for the second out, (The) Carlos Quentin worked a walk out of Mariners closer David Aardsma. Alex Rios came to the plate, having already knocked two hits in the game, and connected with a 1-1 fastball for a towering, no-doubt-about-it home run that landed way back in the left-field seats. What a way to end the day!

Bill Veeck once wrote that umpires, as a class, never impressed him as much as they impressed themselves, an opinion I've shared my whole life following baseball. It's ever sweeter when the White Sox win a game that an umpire's caprice might have taken away. It's a winning streak, boys; let's keep it up!

TBGR Diary:
Alex Rios deserves my apology for my lack of faith. 3-for-4 with a walkoff winner. Not much else to say.

submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Alex Rios

He came, he saw, he hit. Don't know if it's his Wheaties or his aftershave, but whatever it is, it works.

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Totally Biased Game Recaps

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

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September 18...Klubered, but Not Clobbered

September 16... Baltimore Blanked

September 10... Thrown Away

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