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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Welcome Back, Mark, Even If Your Team Wins

August 16th vs. the Toronto Blue Jays

Daily Sox Crop Report:
Vermin in Bullpen
Avi Garcia has grown into a strong crop. The weeds in the bullpen are persistent, though.

Short Take:The Blue Jays beat the Sox 6-3, as Mark Buehrle returns to the familiar South Side mound.

This night had so much potential. It was Frank Thomas bobblehead night, with a fireworks show to boot. Avisail Garcia was back in the lineup months earlier than expected. Matt Lindstrom was back in the bullpen. And Mark Buehrle was back, pitching for the visiting Blue Jays, cheering all of us who identify him forever as one of our own.

But this was also Saturday, the day of the week the Sox seem to have marked with a red "X" this year. The Blue Jays beat the 35th Street schmoes 6-3 in a way we know so well. How do you spell relief? Not with the White Sox bullpen, you don't.

John Danks started the game and was his usual too-many-pitch self after a strong first inning. In the second he gave up a single, a double, and a sacrifice fly before he'd recorded the first out. Another single and the feathery Canadians had a 2-0 lead.

Danks gave up another run in the fifth on a double and a single to make it 3-0 for the bluebeaks. Though he went six innings, it took Danks 103 pitches to get there.

Meanwhile, Mark Buehrle was doing for the Labatt's crowd what he'd done for us for so many years. Pitching efficiently, throwing strikes, outguessing hitters. He was cruising until the sixth, when he gave up singles to Alexei Ramirez, Jose Abreu, and Avisail Garcia to make it 3-1. Buehrle was taken out at that point and was given a warm ovation by the admirers in his true hometown.

Dustin McGowan came in relief for Toronto, but after a wild pitch, a sac fly by Dayan Viciedo and an RBI single by Paul Konerko, Buehrle's baserunners all scored to tie it, 3-3. Danks was replaced in the seventh by Matt Lindstrom, so with the tie neither he nor Buehrle would get a decision.

But man, the seventh inning. Bullpen, how can you blow it? Let me count the ways.

Lindstrom, the fellow we've wistfully hoped would replace that gas-can Ronald Belisario, gave up three runs before getting the first out to make it 6-3. Four hits, a couple lucky, a couple not so lucky, gave the Blue Jays a lead they would not relinquish.

The Sox went down quietly, of course. Even Belisario came in to pitch the ninth, and remarkably, did not give up any more runs. The pressure was off, I guess.

Despite the loss, it was a pleasure to see Mark Buehrle pitching in Chicago again. He's our guy and always will be. A player for whom the term "grinder" fits best, always steady, always knowing what to do and how to do it. If not for the vagaries of MLB commerce and Jeffrey Loria's profligacy, he might still be here where he belongs. And "encouraging" is the word to describe the sight of Avi Garcia back in the game and looking strong.

Sigh...well, it's said that if "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas. Yeah, and if bullpen relief didn't cause us such grief, we'd all have a happy October.

The Futures Market:
Still investing hope on Avi Garcia and Jose Abreu. If I could find a buyer for the bullpen I'd move it before my next breath.

submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Avisail Garcia

Came back hitting with authority and gave us something, anything, to be excited about.

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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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