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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Texas Tanks Against Danks

August 20th vs. the Texas Rangers

Levels Finished:
Five big ones as the Sox made it slowly up the ladders behind the barrel-dodging work of John Danks, Jesse Crain, Sergio Santos, and...Alex Rios?

Short Take: In a well-pitched contest, the White Sox edged the Rangers 3-2, with Alex Rios (!) providing the game-winning RBI.

It was a rare night. The White Sox won 3-2 in a taut, well-pitched game against the hard-hitting Texas Rangers. The night was rare because in 2011 games like this have become frustrating losses, not fist-pumping victories. Tonight, this was the way baseball was meant to be played.

John Danks was the the Sox starter tonight, and though he went seven innings and gave up only two runs (both of which were solo homers by Ian Kinsler), he got no decision. That's been Danks' story all year: a solid effort and nothing to show for it. His 5-9 record could easily have been reversed to 9-5 (or better) if he'd had consistent run support. But alas, these guys are the 2011 edition of the White Sox and they're not big on getting clutch RBIs.

Except tonight. A critical baserunner was not left on base late in the game, and the Sox came back to break a tightly-packed 2-2 tie. That counts as a rare event.

Things began on an ominous note. Ian Kinsler hit Danks' second pitch into the seats to put the Rangers up 1-0 before people had spilled their first beer. Then [The] Carlos Quentin made a diving catch on Craig Gentry's fly ball for the first out and injured his shoulder. TCQ came out of the game and was replaced in the cleanup spot by [Arrghh!] Alex Rios. But there was a Disney-esque end to this story, so stick around.

The Sox came back with a run in the bottom of the first against the hard-throwing Alexi Ogando. Alejandro De Aza singled, followed by Paul Konerko's flawless execution of the hit-and-run, putting runners on first and third. Rios struck out, which did not endear him to the restless crowd, but Alexei Ramirez singled De Aza home to tie the game after one inning.

In the Sox half of the second, Tyler Flowers doubled hard off the right-center wall. Watching Flowers so far this year, I don't think he knows any other way to hit a ball except hard. Brent Morel, to my amazement, laid down a textbook sacrifice bunt to put Flowers on third. Juan Pierre, who has risen from the ashes of his early-season morass, singled home Flowes to put the Sox ahead 2-1.

In the top of the third, Kinsler came back against Danks with another solo homer in a nine-pitch at-bat (his next at-bat in the fifth was a hard liner up the middle that knocked Danks off the mound like Charlie Brown; Kinsler definitely had Danks' number tonight). His third-inning homer tied the game at two, and there it would stay until the eighth.

No real offense occurred on either side for the next four innings. Jesse Crain came in to pitch in the eighth and looked sharp as always. Josh Hamilton got to first on a dribbling infield hit, and then was awarded second when a balk was called on Crain.

[begin rant] As with Mark Buehrle, Jesse Crain has been making the same move to first his whole career. Arbitrary and capricious balk calls, understood by no one except the arbitrary and capricious umpire making the call, take the game away from the players and turn it into a series of random movements. I may live to be a thousand years old and I'll be able to count on one hand the number of times I will have agreed with a balk call. [end rant]

Michael Young was then intentionally walked, and Crain pitched out of his umpire-imposed straitjacket. Now we cue the music for the big finish.

Koji Uehara came in to pitch for the Texans and gave up a one-out single to Paul Konerko (who else?). Brent Lillibridge pinch-ran for PK, bringing Alex Rios to the plate. Remember that he was hitting fourth as nobody's choice to replace the injured Quentin. To everyone's surprise and delight, Rios battled to a 3-2 count and hit a double in the left-field corner that brought Lillibridge around to score the lead run. Predictably, Rios was stranded at third, but the Sox now had a 3-2 lead. The crowd was in a more forgiving mood toward the maligned Rios at that point.

Sergio Santos trotted in to pitch the ninth and did what he does best: got Mike Napoli on a 6-3 groundout, and got Mitch Moreland to hit a grounder to third that should've been a 5-3 putout, but firstbaseman Adam Dunn dropped the throw. What can we say but to sigh deeply and shake our heads. But Santos dialed up his best stuff and got Elvis Andrus and Yorvit Torrealba out on strikes to end the game.

The Sox won a one-run game. Let me repeat that with more precison: The Chicago White Sox won a one-run game with timely hitting and smart baserunning. It's good exercise to pronounce words that are unfamiliar, don't you think?

Ozzio's Game Rant:
"Hey! One-run games make me crazy! What? You say I'm already #%#@% crazy? Ha!"

submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Brent Lillibridge

Scored the winning run as pinch-runner on behalf of the gimpy Paul Konerko. And it was Alex Rios, of all people, who drove him in!

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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