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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

A Win for the Road

October 3 at Cleveland

Today's Sox Crew:
Second-string laborers
Not too many familiar faces on the field tonight.

Short Take: Dan Johnson belts three home runs as the White Sox conclude the 2012 season with a 9-0 win over Cleveland.

If it is any consolation to anyone, the White Sox clobbered the hapless Cleveland Indians 9-0 in the final game of the 2012 season Wednesday night. Dan Johnson belted three home runs as a lineup of mostly reserve players rapped out 16 hits in the lopsided victory.

With the win, the Sox finish their season with an 85-77 record. That's certainly a respectable mark when you consider the preseason predictions of 90-loss gloom and doom, but this was a team that left its fans disappointed and heartbroken. As I watched this final game of the year, I couldn't stop thinking about how the Sox once stood at 81-66. They had a three-game lead in AL Central with 15 games to play. I was hoping they might be able to reach the 90-win plateau.

Instead, it all went horribly, horribly wrong down the stretch. Even with Wednesday's win, the Sox dropped 11 of their final 15 games. The sad thing is, the Sox didn't need to do anything miraculous over these 15 games. They only needed to play average baseball. The Detroit Tigers finished the year with an 88-74 record. That means an 8-7 finish would have been enough to send the Sox to the American League playoffs. Instead, it was a 4-11 disaster, and now a long offseason of wondering what might have been awaits the Sox and their fans. Sigh...

Anyway, Wednesday night's game resembled a JV contest as Sox skipper Robin Ventura put such luminaries as Jose Lopez, Hector Gimenez, Orlando Hudson and Ray Olmedo in his starting lineup. Paul Konerko and Dayan Viciedo and pitcher Gavin Floyd were the only regulars to start the game for the South Siders. Any Sox fan hoping for one last look at A.J. Pierzynski or Kevin Youkilis before they enter free agency had to be disappointed by that lineup, but surprisingly, the backups and September callups put on a decent offensive show.

Johnson, who had not homered at the Major League level since Sept. 29, 2011, got the party started when he hit a high fastball from Cleveland loser David Huff (3-1) out of the yard for a two-run homer in the second inning. The Sox increased their lead to 3-0 in the fourth when Gimenez delivered a two-out RBI single that scored Viciedo, who had walked.

Konerko joined in with a two-out, two run blast in the fifth that made it 5-0. For the Sox captain, it was his 26th home run of the season and 422nd of his career. Viciedo followed with a single, and moments later, Johnson delivered his second two-run homer of the night to make it 7-0.

Viciedo and Johnson added back-to-back solo shots in the ninth to account for the 9-0 final. Viciedo's homer was his 25th of the year and third in as many nights. Meanwhile, Johnson became the first Sox player to hit three home runs in a game since Konerko accomplished the feat on July 7, 2009, also against Cleveland.

Floyd (12-11) was the beneficiary of all this offensive support, and he finished his season on a good note. He fired seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits with six strikeouts. Relievers Brian Omogrosso and Leyson Septimo combined to pitch the final two innings. When Septimo fanned Cleveland's Cord Phelps for the third out in the bottom of the ninth, it was time to shake hands for the final time this year and close the curtain on a 2012 campaign that was exhilarating at times but sorely disappointing at the end.

Sox baseball goes into hibernation now, but hope will begin anew next April 1 when the South Siders open the season at home against the Kansas City Royals. See you all then!

KW Appreciates The Game:
Maybe we should have played the Triple-A team down the stretch.

submitted by JB98.

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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

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September 1... 18 Strikeouts Later, the White Sox Lose

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