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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Cat Scratch Fever

June 4th vs. the Detroit Tigers

Levels Finished:
The Sox made it up the first ladder thanks to Beckham's two-run homer, but were felled by Verlander's fireballs and Cabera's and Boesch's barrels as they lost 4-2 to the Tigers.

Short Take:Dunn and Rios can't hit, but the Tigers can, as they beat the Sox 4-2 in Chicago.

Detroit is a sad place, hollowed out by industrial decline and official neglect. One bright spot in Detroit's post-industrial darkness is its baseball team. The Tigers are charter members of the American League and a source of pride for western Michigan. Being there at the birth of the AL in 1901, the Tigers have built a long history rich with folklore of joy and heartbreak.

But so have the White Sox, a team that was also there at the 1901 hatching of the American League, and the history in Chicago is no less rich. Both of these strains of shared identity were on loud display tonight at U.S. Cellular Field as the Sox lost to the Tigers 4-2 in a game that should have had a much different ending.

A large and noisy proportion of the 31,000-plus at tonight's game were Tigers fans. And who can blame them? Their team is strong and getting stronger, they hit consistently, and they have one of the game's best pitchers in Justin Verlander, who started tonight's game. The White Sox, in contrast, started Edwin Jackson, a strikeout mechanic who would not be described by the same adjectives as those applied to Verlander.

Verlander was good, but not perfect. He's human too, and among the seven hits he gave up there were chances for the White Sox to score more than their meager two runs. But these are the 2011 edition of the White Sox, the ones utterly incapable of hitting with runners in scoring position and unable to finish off an opposing pitcher when his back's against the wall. Let's tell the tale:

The top of the first was ugly. Jackson seemed to have a magnetic device on the ball that caused it to consistently miss the strike zone. Austin Jackson led off with an infield single. Don Kelly fouled off what seemed like dozens of pitches until he struck out, but Brennan Boesch clanked a home run to right, making it 2-0 Tigers only after one out in the first inning. Jackson then walked Miguel Cabrera, gave up a double to Victor Martinez, then another walk to Jhonny Peralta to load the bases for Alex Avila, who mercifully struck out. Only two runs scored after all that -- it could've been a lot worse. Jackson threw 40 pitches, allowing three hits and two walks in just the top of the first. By the fifth inning Jackson had thrown 108 pitches. Not very efficient.

I'll tell you who was efficient, though: Alex Rios, who made five outs in his first three at bats. Rios was the Sox' designated rally-killer tonight, hitting into double plays in the fourth and sixth that threw cold water on the flame of run production the Sox had begun to put together. But if you want rallies killed before they begin, Adam Dunn is your man. Dunn had three strikeouts tonight, looking like a guy utterly without a clue. I was at the game tonight and noticed after I got out of my car that the parking-lot attendants could use help. Rios and Dunn are stuck on the payroll, so why not have them park cars? They clearly have nothing else to do. Both are big guys and drivers would have an easier time seeing their waving hands, and at least Rios and Dunn couldn't make any more outs while they're lining up vehicles.

The Sox' two runs came after an infield single by Brent Lillibridge (on which he was able to get to third on a wild throwing error by Verlander) was followed by a Gordon Beckham home run. That was it, though. As they've done all season the Sox couldn't bring anybody else home.

The game ended in a most unsatisfying way when Cabrera, hitting against Jesse Crain in the ninth with two strikes and two out, hit a no-doubt-about-it homer to right, scoring himself and Jackson, who had tripled to lead off the inning. The Sox surrendered meekly in the ninth, even after a leadoff walk to Rios. No more scoring was done and the Sox lost 4-2.

Henry Ford was from Detroit and he was quoted as once saying, "Don't find fault, find a remedy." I'd like to, Henry, I really would, but I look at Dunn and Rios and can only find fault. If there's a remedy it must involve reassigning both of them to parking-lot duty.

Ozzio's Game Rant:
"Hey! This is a #%@#% simple game. Why is hitting with runners on base so complicated?"

submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Gordon Beckham

Provided all the runs with his 2-RBI homer tonight, showing that the mighty Verlander is hittable. Are you listening, Dunn and Rios?

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!


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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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