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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Oakland Goes From Crisp to Overdone

May 13 at Oakland

Levels Finished:
Sox jumped barrels early and held on to win after Oakland threw some late fireballs.

Short Take:   With the Sox clinging to a one-run lead, Coco Crisp was tagged out trying a straight steal of home plate to help preserve the Sox win Friday night.

It seemed like old times at the ballpark with Hawk and Wimpy calling the game with Tom Paciorek filling in for Stone Pony. It was fun to listen to them as they were treated to a game that provided some late-inning excitement. Don't look now, but the Sox have won five of six after the 4-18 garbage fest they treated us to before that. The offense has still struggled in spots, but the Sox have been able to capitalize on some good pitching from our staff, clutch hitting, and key defensive plays. Last night was no exception as the Sox held on late while getting a gift from Coco Crisp to beat the A's 4-3.

Let me start with this, Sox starter Phil Humber has been a Godsend. At beginning of the season, Humber was an unproven pitcher picked up off the Kansas City scrapheap, to now perhaps our best pitcher on the starting staff. He once again kept the Sox in the game going six innings giving up three earned runs, six hits, a strikeout and no walks to earn the win. With the win, Humber ran his record to 3-3. His ERA stands at 3.18, which is the lowest among Sox starters.

The Sox struck early off former Sox prospect Brandon McCarthy. In the top of the second, Paulie started it off with a single. TCQ and AJ Pierzynski both walked to load the bases. Alex Rios and Omar "Ageless Wonder" Vizquel then followed with a fielder's choice and double, respectively, to put the Sox up 2-0. A Gordon Beckham sacrifice fly would plate Rios and make it 3-0. Juan Pierre then reached on an infield single, but Brandon McCarthy would follow by throwing the ball away in a pickoff attempt. The throwing error would score Vizquel to make it 4-0.

The score would stay that way until the bottom of the seventh. Ryan Sweeney, Hideki Matsui, Kurt Suzuki, and David DeJesus all hit consecutive singles off of Humber to make the score 4-2. Jesse Crain came in to relieve Humber with nobody out. After striking out Mark Ellis on a nasty slider, Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a sac fly to score Suzuki to make it 4-3. DeJesus, who had earlier singled, would then get picked off of first to end the rally.

In the bottom of the eighth, things would get interesting. After Crain got the first out, he was relieved by left-hander Matt Thornton. You gotta' love the lefty-lefty, righty-righty matchup, NOT! I was leery seeing Thornton come in during a tight game because he's stunk it up more this year than a sewage treatment plant in July. Of course, Thornton promptly walks Coco Crisp on pitches that were nowhere near the strike zone. Crisp promptly stole second and went to third on Daric Barton's groundout. With the camera now on Thornton pitching to AJ, all of a sudden you see this moron diving across home plate. Could it be? YES, Coco Crisp attempted a straight steal of home plate, but an alert AJ Pierzynski dove forward and was able to tag Crisp out to end the threat. Not a smart decision by Crisp, especially against a reliever in Thornton who's struggled all year. Thanks for the gift!

It was all academic in the ninth as Sergio Santos was summoned to close things down. He promptly did that with his fourth save in four chances with some absolutely sick pitches. After getting Conor Jackson to ground out, he struck out both Hideki Matsui and Kurt Suzuki on a combo of fastballs, sick changeup's, and nose-diving sliders. The save also kept Sergio's ERA at a nice trim ZERO.

The Sox will try to go for win six out of seven as we again play at Oakland, Saturday, May 14th. It's an afternoon game starting at 3:05 p.m. CST with Gavin Floyd (4-2, 3.67 ERA) facing Tyson Ross (2-2, 2.51 ERA). The game can be seen on Comcast SportsNet.

Ozzio's Game Rant:
 "My mental telepathy kick in. I told Crisp to get thrown out at home because I didn't want another Thornton walk."

submitted by tstrike2000.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Omar Vizquel

Omar has been huge lately. Friday, he had a double, RBI and run to help carry the Sox.

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