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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Danks Goes Down, Bullpen Steps Up

June 25th vs. the Washington Nationals

Levels Finished:
Dancing up the ladders, dodging the barrels of doubt after a tough loss the night before and pitching that was the best of the best.

Short Take:If you've got great pitching, you don't need much else. Even after losing John Danks to injury in the second inning, the Sox beat the Nationals on masterful relief pitching from Bruney, Peavy, and Santos.

What a game! If you were to write a script describing a tight, well-executed baseball game, you could use today's 3-0 Sox win over the Washington Nationals as your template. No extra-base hits -- the Sox' ten hits were all singles, enough to score three runs. But the real story was the pitching, so let's tell the tale.

John Danks started the game and is on something of a roll, having won three in a row after losing eight straight. He was looking good: he struck out two and had command of his pitches until the second inning. After a flyout by Jerry Hairston for the second out, Danks stepped awkwardly off the mound holding his hip. Ozzie Guillen and Herm Schneider looked on in deep concern as Danks flexed, talked, and threw a few times. Danks walked off the field with a strained right oblique muscle, necessitating an unplanned relief pitcher's entry. Brian Bruney answered the call and pitched 2-1/3 shutout innings, striking out two more and looking good.

Then, remarkably, Jake Peavy came in to pitch the next four innings in his first Major League relief appearance. He put on a pitching-mastery clinic. Peavy struck out seven, yielded no runs and no walks, and gave up only one hit. His pitches were moving and they were hot. Ultimately, the three White Sox pitchers got a two-hit shutout against the Nats, a team that's been unstoppable for the last two weeks. The Nationals are also coming off the principled and bizarre sudden resignation of manager Jim Riggleman, who abruptly quit just before this series with the Sox. Reportedly Riggleman was unhappy his contract wasn't extended, but hey, man, you've got a winning ballclub on a hot streak. But what do I know?

The Sox offense was maddening today as they've been much of this season. They left ten men on base and were 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Arrghh! But when the pitching is as good as it was today, offensive weakness doesn't matter.

The first run came in the first inning after leadoff back-to-back singles by Brent Lillibridge and Brent Morel. Carlos Quentin hit a sacrifice fly to score Lillibridge, who had gone to third on Morel's single. That was it until the eighth.

Henry Rodriguez came in to pitch the eighth for the D.C. dandies, relieving Tom Gorzelanny, who'd pitched a terrific game for seven innings. He held the Sox to that one run, striking out eight along the way. But Rodriguez didn't have Gorzelanny's mojo today. He gave up a leadoff single to Paul Konerko. With Omar Vizquel pinch-running, Rodriguez threw a wild pitch to put the ageless one on second. Adam Dunn walked (marking his first time on base for quite a while), and Mark Teahen was sent in to pinch-run. Ramon Castro then fisted a single to right that scored both Vizquel and Teahen. Hoo-hah! Suddenly a three-run lead looks unbeatable. An unsuccessful squeeze attempt failed to score another, and the Sox ended the eighth leading 3-0./p>

Sergio Santos came in to pitch the ninth and struck out the first two he faced, and induced a grounder to first to end the game. Gotta love it!

The concern now is for Danks -- how serious is the strain, how long will he be out, and can the WSI server handle the angst that will be expressed if the Sox lose the little momentum they've developed. These and other important questions will be answered in due time. But as for me, it was a great day to watch a ballgame!

Ozzio's Game Rant:
"Hey! Six starters is a good idea, huh? And they said I was %#*@# crazy!"

submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

The Bullpen

Bruney, Peavy (honorary bullpen member), and Santos. Lights out, and taking names.

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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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