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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Sox Fall Through Thin Ice

May 28th vs. the Toronto Blue Jays


Levels Finished:
2
The Sox made it up the first couple of ladders by scoring eight runs, but the barrels hurled by Corey Patterson in the 14th inning lit up the light that said "Game Over".

Short Take: A 14-inning marathon in Canada ends badly as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the White Sox 9-8 on a walkoff homer by Corey Patterson.

"Ice Road Truckers" is a TV show about the freight haulers who drive 18-wheelers across the frozen lakes in northwest Canada. Always dangerous, the route is a grueling path that seems endless and carries the risk of sudden death. Even if the trip is completed, the whole thing is an ordeal for the drivers that leaves them spent and exhausted. If faced with an obstacle like a sudden blizzard, the drivers fall back on their experience and professionalism to see it through. If given opportunities like an unexpectedly clear day or a stretch of firm ground, they sieze the moment and move ahead.

Compare that to the 2011 White Sox. They traversed north-central Canada to face the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday and endured a grueling 14-inning contest only to lose 9-8. There are several differences between the Sox and the tundra truckers described above: both were in tiring contests in Canada, but the truckers did what they had to do to get through the ordeal and the White Sox did not. The Sox' inability to close the 14-inning deal today was emblematic of this season.

Today's starter was Edwin Jackson, whose forte is the strikeout. He got seven of them in 6-2/3 innings of work, which was nice, but he also gave up six runs and nine hits. A strikeout pitcher throws a lot of pitches and Jackson is no exception. 100 pitches in less than seven innings means that the bullpen is heavily used and the opposing team will see enough pitches to crack the code, which the Blue Jays did. Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain, Chris Sale, Sergio Santos, and Gavin Floyd (yes, Gavin Floyd) all saw work in today's marathon and gave up three more runs before the game was done.

But the Sox' weakest link this year has been their offense, or more accurately, the lack of it. Though they got 14 hits, they were scattered among the 14 innings in mostly unproductive ways. The Big Hit is something the White Sox can't seem to produce, leaving runners in scoring position like shipwreck survivors just out of sight of a passing boat.

The Jays got three runs off the first three hitters in the first inning. Yunel Escobar led off with a walk, Corey Patterson singled, and Jose Bautista homered to make it 3-0 before Jackson recorded his first out. The Sox answered those with three runs of their own in the top of the second when Alex Rios doubled and Brent Lillibridge homered, followed by a Brent Morel single, a sac bunt by Juan Pierre and an RBI single from Alexei Ramirez. Now it's tied 3-3 in the second.

The Jays came back in the third with two more runs after Aaron Hill doubled home Patterson and Bautista, who'd both singled. 5-3 Jays at this point and there's a long way to go.

The Sox did come to life in the fifth after Pierre reached on an error, advanced to second on a groundout, and scored on a single by Adam Dunn. What's that you say? You don't believe Dunn actually drove in a run? I'm here to tell you that he did, a rare event ranking up there with things like a total eclipse or a midwest earthquake. Paul Konerko doubled, sending the speedy Dunn to third, and A.J. Pierzynski doubled, sending them both rumbling home like rolling boulders. This put the Sox ahead 6-5.

The Jays couldn't sit still, and in the seventh they picked up three more. Jose Molina singled, and after Jackson got two outs (and 100 pitches), Matt Thornton was brought in and gave up a single to Patterson, the first hitter he faced. Thornton was replaced by Jesse Crain, who walked Bautista to load the bases and then gave up a bases-clearing double to Juan Rivera. Now it's 8-6 Toronto and we can discern a familiar pattern as the Sox fall behind.

Brent Lillibridge got a two-out triple in the top of the eighth and scored on a passed ball, making it 8-7. The cynic in me expected that to be the final score, but in the ninth the Sox tied in after Ramirez and Konerko had successive doubles. The Jays didn't score in the bottom of the ninth, so they all stepped into the no-man's land of extra innings.

The Sox could have put it away in the 11th but, exasperatingly, could not. Morel led off with a double (that's a runner on second with no outs) and was sacrificed to third (that's a runner on third with one out), but fungo-like popups from Dunn and Carlos Quentin doused the flame of the budding rally. Man, oh man, oh man...

Gavin Floyd came in to pitch the 13th. I guess Guillen and Cooper figured that's more effective than long toss for between-starts exercise. Apparently not being familiar with a late-inning reliever's role, Floyd threw a fat pitch to Patterson (leading off the Jays' 14th) that was deposited in the right-field seats for a walkoff game-winning homer. The Blue Jays beat the White Sox 9-8 in 14 innings.

The narrator from "Ice Road Truckers" once said in referring to the drivers dealing with their Canadian ordeal, "You become a pro fast or you wash out." The White Sox are going to have to become pros pretty fast to salvage this season, because we saw that in dealing with their own Canadian ordeal today, they simply washed out.

WSI's
Ozzio's Game Rant:
"Hey! Who the #@*% is Corey Patterson?"


submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Alexei Ramirez

3-for-6 today, actually getting hits when it mattered.

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Totally Biased Game Recaps

September 17... Sale Hit Hard

September 14... Sunday Afternoon Dud

September 13... Like One Win? Here, Have Two

September 10... Becoming Spoilers

September 7...Shut Out and Swept

September 6... September Swooning

September 3... Not Worth Remembering

August 31...Tigers Fumble, Punt Game to White Sox

August 30... Saturday Split, And So Did De Aza

August 27... Snapping the Slump

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