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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Noesi Makes It Not So Easy

May 17th vs. the Houston Astros

Daily Sox Crop Report:
Steady growth
Rick's and Robin's new cultivation techniques are showing steady growth. Crops come back after being pushed down by opposing weeds.

Short Take:Hector Noesi walked into a four-run buzzsaw in the first inning and the Sox couldn't recover, losing 6-5 to Astros in Houston.

It seems like only yesterday. We watched, transfixed, as the White Sox -- our White Sox -- drove through four games against the Houston Astros to win the World Series. It was a wonderful time, a magical time. Those of us who'd lived for decades with the weariness of following a team that hovered between mediocre and dreadful felt the unalloyed joy of triumph and redemption. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, joy was unconfined: there was dancing in the streets, drinking in the saloons, and necking in the parlor.

But that was nine years ago. Today the Astros are a team that has been the worst in either league for the last few years. The White Sox are coming back from their 99-loss death march last season with their few star players out of commission with injuries. After winning the first game of this series in comeback fashion 7-2, the Sox lost to the outerspacers 6-5 in a comeback that was too little, too late.

The die was cast in the bottom of the first inning. Hector Noesi, whose ignominious 0 -3 record was on the line, quickly gave up a single, a triple, a walk, and a home run, all before the first out was recorded. Rat-a-tat-tat, and the Houston spacemen had a 4-0 lead. Fortunately for all concerned, no one else scored and after the first inning Noesi seemed to find the user manual for the baseball. He pitched six innings and was responsible for all six runs, five of which were earned.

The Astros are in a rebuilding mode and are staffed with young players who show promise but are getting on-the-job training. Houston starter Jarrad Cosart is one of those. He only lasted five innings after giving up three runs to the Sox, though things could've been worse for him. In those five innings he threw 101 pitches and only 59 of those were strikes.

So what we witnessed here was a sort of sumo match between these pitchers as we waited to see which one fell over first. Alas, it was Noesi's four-run hemorrhage in the first that sealed his fate, even though he lasted longer and threw more strikes than Cosart.

The Sox came back in the second to make it 4-2 on an Alexei Ramirez sac fly and another sac fly by Moises Sierra. So far so good, though the third out of that inning was made when Alejandro De Aza was thrown out at third trying to advance on the fly ball that scored the run. On the WSCR radio broadcast, Darrin Jackson said he was going to start a new category of notable plays: the Bonehead Play of the Game, which he awarded to De Aza for trying to advance to third as a cutoff throw was coming in on the sacrifice fly. I would nominate De Aza for several of those distinctions based on his Benny Hill-esque play this year: running into outs, misplaying fly balls, bad throws, wild swings...he wins the exploding cigar in my book.

The Sox picked up a third run in the third inning when Gordon Beckham scored on Jose Abreu's groundout. Beckham had doubled and advanced to third on a 4-3 groundout. The chatter has been about whether Beckham will still be here after the trade deadline, and who knows? The way he's played the past couple of weeks, he either wants badly to stay here or he altruistically wants to increase his trade value. Whatever the reason, he's got a hot bat to go along with his good hands.

In the top of the eighth, Kyle Farnsworth and his fading career were brought in to pitch for the south Texas rocketmen. The Sox were happy to see him, as they picked up two more runs. De Aza brought in Dayan Viciedo on a sac fly; Viciedo had led off with a walk and went to third on Ramirez's double. Later, after Sierra walked, Beckham singled home Ramirez. Thanks, Kyle -- you'll always be a Cub to us.

But it wasn't enough. The game ended 6-5, but the Sox showed the comeback quality that's characterized them this year. Last year, we recall with a shudder, the Sox would've folded their tents after a first inning like today's. But in this game they keep swinging, and swinging purposefully. It's working. Now if Rick Hahn can bring along pitchers to complement the soon-to-return Chris Sale, they'll really have something here.

Here's hoping it won't be another nine years before we can taste that magic again. I liked the part about necking in the parlor.

The Futures Market:
Call me a bull -- I'm buying as long as the Sox market shows comeback power.

submitted by tebman.

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Totally Biased Game Recaps

September 29... The Last (And Lost) Weekend

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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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