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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

A Saturday Win! Sox Win The Nobelisario Prize

June 28th vs. the Toronto Blue Jays

Daily Sox Crop Report:
A Sunny Day for the Crops
After doing some weeding in the bullpen, the crops are looking much healthier.

Short Take:Amazing! The Sox ended their 12-Saturday skid to beat the Blue Jays 4-3 in Toronto.

I sputtered in disbelief as I watched Alexei Ramirez make the final out today. The White Sox won.

They won. On a Saturday. It was 4-3 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

There's an odd semiconscious state when you just wake up, when you're not sure if what you see and hear is real or if it's a dream. We've gone through twelve successive Saturdays watching the Sox lose, and I entered the day assuming they'd lose again. When today's game was over I was in that half-dream state: what? What just happened?

But I got over it and smiled to myself. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed as I had been working on 13-themed topics to use if they lost again. I also thought that since they're not going to contend this year maybe they could go for an obscure record like the most consecutive Saturday losses. I was trying out some lame jokes having to do with 13 straight: unlucky 13, 13th time a charm, etc.

But that wasn't meant to be. Hey, they won! So how'd they do it?

My theory is that Robin Ventura's new approach of bullpen-by-committee made the difference. Sure, the Sox scored four runs today, but that often doesn't seem to matter when the bullpen gives up more (see Belisario, Ronald -- on second thought, don't). Chris Sale started and was not his usual dominant self, but even Sale on a bad day is better than most other starters on their regular days. Sale pitched seven innings and gave up two runs, both coming on a home run by Darin Mastoianni in the fourth. He also walked five, which is not his style, though he struck out six, which is very much his style.

The Sox offense was stupified by Toronto starter Marcus Stroman, who went 6-2/3 innings and looked like the dominant one until the sixth. Stroman gave up a double and a walk with two outs. He was replaced at that point by Dustin McGowan, who yielded a three-run bomb on his first pitch to Dayan Viciedo to make it 3-2. Viciedo's habit of making his looping swing at every pitch occasionally pays off, and this was one of those times.

The Bridgeport Boys picked up another run in the eighth on three successive singles after two outs. Alexei Ramirez, who had the day off, came in to pinch hit for Conor Gillaspie and singled home Adam Eaton. 4-2 at this point, but I'd seen this Saturday matinee before and wasn't falling for it. There's still time for them to blow it, I thought.

In the top of the ninth, the Sox loaded the bases with no outs. Adam Dunn, Viciedo, and Alejandro De Aza singled in rapid succession. But like clockwork, Tyler Flowers hit a weak foul popout and Leury Garcia hit a comebacker to the pitcher for an inning- ending double play. Now these are the 2014 White Sox I know, I assured myself.

But in the bottom of the ninth with a 4-2 lead, Ventura stuck with his who's-ready-today bullpen approach and kept Zach Putnam in to pitch after bringing him in in the eighth. Belisario was nowhere in sight -- maybe a Sox-fan group got an order of protection.

It was shaky nonetheless, as Putnam gave up a leadoff double to Anthony Gose and an RBI single to Munenori Kawasaki to make it 4-3. But Putnam kept his wits about him and induced three outs, ending in the 6-3 putout by Ramirez that caused me to question whether I was awake or asleep.

Roger Angell once wrote that "Chicago White Sox fans, toiling along in the darkness like Welsh pit ponies, draw our attention only when they occasionaly emrerge, blinking, from the depths." He knows us well, and he certainly knew me today when the Sox finally gave me a chance to write about a win after twelve straight Saturdays of defeat. Among the ignominies we've endured have have been the 2013 season, the 2007 bullpen, and Terry Bevington. I emerged today, blinking, and I like it.

Let's start a new Saturday streak next week. I'm awake now.

The Futures Market:
I'm buying as long as Belisario isn't selling.

submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Dayan Viciedo

Put the Sox in the lead with a first-pitch, 3-run homer, putting a stop to the accursed Saturday streak. I owe you, man.

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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