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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Cold Open: Sale, Flowers punish Royals in Season Premiere

April 1 vs. Kansas City Royals

Today's Game Rating:
5 stars
Although the action was lacking, the tension was high, and nothing beats a happy ending!

Short Take: Tyler Flowers scores first - and only - run for the Sox with a 5th inning solo shot, but Chris Sale and Co. made sure that was all that they would need.

Welcome to the Opening Day edition of the Totally Biased Game Report! For the second year in a row, this is MtGrnwdSoxFan having the honor and privilege of bringing you a recap of the Sox' season-opening game! It was a cold one out there, with it being the coldest Opening Day in U.S. Cellular Field's history. No matter, though, as the Sox, behind an outstanding performance from ace Chris Sale, proceeded to warm up the fans with a thrilling 1-0 victory against the dreaded Kansas City Royals.

With some new improvements and changes, some well-received (Chicago-Style Burger) and some not (getting rid of the "He's a Pirate" opening montage than has been a Sox staple for years), the main attraction was of course the boys in black. After a long off-season of what ifs and why didn't theys, it was cathartic to finally open the 2013 season and get a victory against an opponent who many say was the reason the Sox missed the playoffs last year. There wasn't much offense to be had in this one, what with the cold temperatures and the quality starting pitching of Sale and the Royals' James Shields. Both men matched each other almost pitch for pitch, holding their respective opponents from the run column in mostly dominant fashion. Sale, who signed a very team-friendly extension this offseason, was brilliant, going 7.2 strong innings with no runs, 7 hits allowed, a walk and 7 strikeouts. Shields, who was making his first start for the Royals after getting traded from Tampa Bay this offseason, was excellent as well, with 6 innings pitched, a run allowed, 8 hits, no walks, and 6 strikeouts.

That run ended up coming in the bottom half of the fifth. Tyler Flowers, the Sox' starting catcher after they allowed A.J. Pierzynski to head to Texas, got a hold of a Shields changeup and blasted it into the left-center field seats, giving the Sox a cushion that they would not need to widen in order to win. However, it's not like they didn't have opportunities. The Sox were brutal with RISP in this game, and hopefully it's just a minor hiccup, coupled with rust and the cold. Gordon Beckham was 1-for-3 today, but he made the defensive play of the game when he made a diving catch to rob KC's Lorenzo Cain of a possible RBI double in the 7th. Besides that, the only two players to have multiple hits today were Alex Rios (2-for-3 with a walk, strikeout, and a stolen base) and Alexei Ramirez (2-for-3 with a strikeout). Promising showings from two players who fans fear may regress and have historically started off very slow in Rios and Ramirez respectively.

Sale departed in the eighth to a standing ovation from the appreciative sellout crowd after allowing a duck snort single to Alcides Escobar. Nate Jones came in for relief, and walked Billy Butler to set up a prime offensive chance for Mike Moustakas. Matt Thornton was summoned to face Moustakas, and Thornton had three things to say to him - "Good morning, good afternoon, and good night" as he struck out the Royals third baseman on three pitches, yelling emphatically after the final pitch. Addison Reed came on to close the game for the Sox, and the Reed-O-Meter (judging how close Reed cuts it before getting the save) wasn't too high, only allowing a walk before getting the final out to preserve the Sox' Opening Day win! You know, the last time the Sox opened the season with a 1-0 win against a divisional opponent was in 2005...take that for what you will. Anyway, the Sox are off on Tuesday, so they will play the second game of this 3-game tussle on Wednesday, with Jake Peavy taking the hill for the South Siders, and Ervin Santana going for the Royals. As long as it's not Cy Chen, Catfish Guthrie, or Sandy Mendoza, I say bring it on. Game is at 1:10pm, so if you can get off of work early and don't mind a little bit of chill in the air, head on out! Sale would, like, be your BFF if you went.

The first of many TBGRs is now in the can. Spaking of cans, I'll end it here...that breakfast burrito I had for breakfast has returned with a vengeance. Hope you enjoyed this recap as much as you enjoyed the Sox take a step to get this monkey from KC off their back. 'Til two weeks from now!

Hawk and Stoney's Thumb Guide:

HAWK: I tell you what, Stone Pony, that right there was some fine, fine pitching by that kid Chris Sale. Arms like his don't come around often.

STONE: He is a gem indeed. Outstanding performance. His confidence was there, his rhythm was great, and he is a joy to watch. THUMBS UP in my book.

HAWK: THUMBS UP from me too. I tell you what, though, I see a little bit of Yaz in that Salvador Perez kid...

STONE: Not this again!

submitted by MtGrnwdSoxFan

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Chris Sale

Filthy pitching performance. And he's HOW old?!

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