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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Alex Rios a Hero?

September 10th vs. the Cleveland Indians

Levels Finished:
The Sox kept falling off the ladders as they left men on base, but made it to the top with extra-inning heroics by Alex Rios.

Short Take: The Sox win 7-3 over the Indians with an unbelievable walkoff grand slam by Alex Rios in the tenth inning, despite leaving 15 on base.

First, here's the score: the White Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 7-3 in a 10-inning game in Chicago.

Now, the rest of the story:

Your intrepid TBGR correspondent attended, no, endured this game today. It was a maddening 3-1/2 hour affair that was tied 3-3 at the end of nine innings, despite the fact that the Sox had 10 hits and drew 11 walks. The Sox had 15, count 'em, 15 men left on base, leaving the bases loaded three times. The first time that happened was, logically enough, in the first inning. I had a feeling that we were in for an epic display of poor run production, so I started noting the LOB number in each inning on my scorecard. Good thing too, because if I had waited to read it in the paper I wouldn't have believed it.

Yes, yes, the Sox won the game, but let me rant a bit. That first inning I mentioned was emblematic of the game, and for that matter it was emblematic of this whole season. Alexei Ramirez got a one-out single off Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona, followed by a Paul Konerko single that sent Ramirez to third. A.J. Pierzynski drew a walk, loading the bases. There is still only one out at this point and it's a great RBI opportunity.

However, the next two batters were WSI lightning rods Alex Rios and Adam Dunn, who both did what we've come to expect: they struck out. Inning over, no runs scored, three left on base. I'd like to pin all my frustration on these guys but today the absence of timely hitting was a true team effort.

The Sox scored their first run in the second inning. Alejandro De Aza led off with a double, and after being bunted successfully to third by Brent Morel, was driven home by a Gordon Beckham double. 1-0 Sox at that point, with Beckham in scoring position and one out, but he too was left on base.

The Lake Erie intruders took the lead in the fifth, when a leadoff double by Shelley Duncan was followed by a single off Lonnie Chisenhal's bat, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Matt LaPorta then doubled them both home to make the score 2-1 for the Toons. A groundout advanced LaPorta to third, and Kosuke Fukodome hit a fly to leftfielder Juan Pierre. We all assumed it was a certain sacrifice fly, but Pierre threw one of his looping throws right on the mark to nail LaPorta at the plate. We stood, stunned...did Juan Pierre just throw out a runner at home? After a disbelieving moment we cheered lustily.

This, it should be noted, was the only inning in which starter Phil Humber got roughed up. He did a great job, pitching six innings, scattering seven hits, striking out seven and walking no one. Humber is another Cooper reclamation project that is fun to watch.

The Sox came back in the sixth with two more runs to take the lead 3-2. It began, incredibly, when Adam Dunn got a single. He stood at first base and received a rousing ovation that was dripping in sarcastic irony. De Aza followed with a double that sent Dunn to third. Chad Durbin was brought in to pitch at this point and was wild as a March hare, walking Brent Morel to load the bases and then walking Gordon Beckham to drive in Dunn from third and give Beckham a cheap RBI. Pierre singled to score De Aza, leaving the bases loaded with one out. But Ramirez struck out and Konerko grounded to short to end the inning and leave three more on base. Now it's 3-2 Sox after six.

Jesse Crain relieved Humber in the seventh, and promptly gave up a leadoff homer to Duncan to tie the game 3-3. Crain got two strikeouts and a flyout to end the inning, but now the game is knotted up and the Sox don't seem to know how to drive runners home. Chris Sale pitched the eighth and the ninth, getting four strikeouts and giving up no runs, but in each of the eighth and ninth innings, the Sox left the bases loaded and didn't score a soul. In the eighth, the Sox had it handed to them with three walks, but couldn't score. In the ninth, Pierzynski led off with a double...Eduardo Escobar was sent in to pinch-run. Rios was intentionally walked to put runners on first and second, and Adam Dunn did what he does best: he struck out. But that's only one out, right? So Dayan Viciedo pinch-hits for De Aza and draws a walk to load the bases, again. But Morel strikes out, Beckham pops to the catcher, and into extras we go.

Sergio Santos pitched the tenth and did his usual work, striking out two and getting a flyout to left. But it was the bottom of the tenth that had us wondering why the concessionaires don't sell Maalox. With Chris Perez pitching for the other guys, Pierre led off with a double. So far, so good. But Ramirez botched a bunt, popping out to the catcher and provoking a collective groan from the restless mob. Konerko was intentionally walked, and then Tyler Flowers, replacing Escobar, who replaced Pierzynski, drew a walk from Perez to load the bases, again, with Alex Rios coming to bat. I muttered an oath when I saw it was Rios, because I knew we were in for more frustration.

But instead, on the first pitch, Rios spanked a line-drive grand slam into the Sox bullpen in left field. Rios did that. Alex Rios, the metaphorical voodoo doll through which I've funneled my frustration over the 2011 season. What could I do? The Sox won on a dramatic walkoff grand slam -- I stood agape and began clapping.

7-3 was the final score. It was a frustrating taffy-pull of a game, and the Sox won in spite of themselves and in spite of their inability to hit with runners in scoring position. It was the pitching that kept them in the game until Alex Rios could play the unlikely role of game-saving hero. Fifteen left on base? Ten walks? All that and olnly three runs through nine innings? Alex Rios walkoff? Grand slam? I found myself muttering a lot of things on the way home.

Ozzio's Game Rant:
"Hey! Fifteen left on base! Good thing we expanded the #$%@* roster to 40!"

submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Alex Rios

And they said (or at least I said) it couldn't be done! Wins the game in dramatic fashion with a walkoff grand slam.

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