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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

THE CURSE IS LIFTED!

April 15 at Oakland


Sox Project Update:
Found and Killed some nasty wall rot
Stronger efforts the last week have led to some solid project advancements.

Short Take: † Nice comeback and solid bullpen work leads to the Sox winning a sloppy game.

Forgive me dear reader if the title of this recap confuses you. "Curse?" you say. "What curse? I don't feel cursed. I didn't even know we were cursed." Well maybe you weren't, but yours truly certainly has felt cursed since moving to the Bay Area. You see I've been going to a game or two a year in Oakland for the last 5 years. I normally go with the same friend who I've known for 35 years or so. We reconnected after I moved out here and he's a Sox fan too. Our record over that 5 year span has been pretty bad. I think we've seen one or two wins out of about 7 games. It's been ugly. Maybe it was the nice Sox fan couple from Evanston, Bill and Ingrid, we were sitting next to who gave us luck. It matters not. Last night the Sox started off well then faded and just when it started to look like they were heading for another inevitable loss leaving us fans bereft and downtrodden, they broke through for 5 huge unearned runs in the 7th and went on to win 7-6 against the hated Oakland A's. The Sox even won on a Friday. So right now it's like two curses have been lifted from my life and I can't help myself from grinning as I type these words.

The game started off fairly well. The Sox loaded the bases with no one out in the first and things were looking up. Unfortunately, they only managed to score two runs. Still things were sailing along smoothly with rookie Carlos Rodon looking solid on the mound, spotting his fastball and doing enough to keep the A's hitters off balance. Unfortunately in the 4th inning he gave up a lead off homer to former Sox catcher Josh Phegley and after that things fell apart. Suddenly Carlos couldn't find the plate. He walked the bases loaded then gave up a 2-out triple to Josh Reddick. Though no more runs scored that inning Rodon was pretty much toast and after walking the two lead-off hitters in the 5th he was pulled for Scott Carroll. Carroll got out of the inning only allowing one run to score but gave up another in the 6th and suddenly it was 6-2 and things looked bleak. I admit, I was thinking about packing it in early, but swore I would soldier on and make it through at least the 7th inning. What a good decision that turned out to be.

In the 5 innings between the 1st and 7th The Sox had managed one base runner - a perfect bunt single by Ramirez in the 4th that actually bounced off the 3rd-base bag. Needless to say it had been hard work staying positive during this stretch of uninspiring baseball and the 7th started off much like the others with a routine fly-out to center by that same Ramirez. Soto was the next batter up and he bounced one to third, but Lawrie muffed it and then Semien semi-muffed it again and suddenly Soto was safe at first. I leaned over and commented to Ingrid, "A small crack has been opened." We laughed and laughed knowing nothing would come of it but Carlos Sanchez managed to bloop one into left and suddenly the Sox had men on first and second with only one out. Alas Eaton bounced one right to the shortstop who flipped the ball to second. Our hopes were dashed and fell to the floor as a perfect turn and relay throw seemed destined to end the inning, but Eaton flying down the line somehow managed to beat it, his foot landing perfectly on the front of the bag just before the ball found the first-baseman's mitt. "Not dead yet" was the consensus all around, but the key word seemed to be "yet". Melky Cabrera decided to keep our hope alive and singled to left. The Sox were back on the board and a glimmer of hope remained as Jose Abreu strode to the plate. The usher in charge of the section leaned in to a couple of A's fans sitting in front of us and said, "why don't they just give up?" I replied, "That wouldn't be very Chicago of us." Abreu followed that up by looking bad on a couple of pitches but managing to work the count full before getting drilled to load the bases and up to the plate came Adam Laroche. The A's countered by bringing in a Loogy to face our fearsome DH. That turned out to be Abad decision. Laroche promptly doubled to deep right field scoring two and bringing up Avisail Garcia. The A's countered again by bringing in a pitcher named Scrubner or something. Scrubner threw a 72-MPH change-up over the plate and Garcia watched it for strike one. "Throw it again, I dare you." I said. He did and sure enough Garcia crushed it to the wall in left center. Suddenly the Sox were winning 7-6 on 5 unearned runs. Man it's nice when the other team gives us extra outs isn't it? Even though Gillaspie went down on strikes to end the inning the damage had been done and now the game was handed to the Sox more than capable bullpen.

The 7th inning saw some hard hit baseballs by the A's find Sox mitts and Dan Jennings got out of the inning with no major problems. In the 8th Jennings came back out and got two quick routine outs and was relieved by Petricka who unfortunately gave up a single to Butler. The Sox then sent pitching coach Don Cooper to the mound for one of the longest mound visits I've ever seen. The whole infield was there chatting it up for a long time and even when the umpire came out to break things up the conference continued for another 30-seconds. With slugger Stephen Vogt in the on deck circle the Sox appeared to just be giving Zach Duke a few more throws in the bullpen to get fully loose. Cooper checked the bullpen then nodded to Ventura and then signaled for Duke. Duke came in but Vogt then went back to the dugout and up to the plate strode the starting shortstop Lawrie. Robin wasn't pleased and asked for a conference with the crew chief and home plate umpire but was overruled. Lawrie was allowed to hit and hit he did, drilling a pitch into center to put men on 1st and 2nd. Fortunately that was where the inning ended as Duke managed to induce a standard grounder to short to end the inning. There were smiles all around for us Sox fans knowing our all-world closer David Robertson was waiting in the wings, but when the 9th inning started, Duke was back on the mound and Robertson wasn't even warming up (cue ominous music). Fortunately Duke appeared to be up to the task coming back from 3-0 to strike out lead-off hitter Canha and induce a weak grounder to first for an unassisted putout by Abreu. The A's then played the Vogt card for real. "No worries," we thought. This is what Duke was originally brought in to do. So he promptly walked Vogt. "No worries," we thought, "It's just Coco Crisp who has one hit so far this year and is hitting .031." So Crisp promptly drilled a pitch off the left-centerfield wall and that's where the fun started.

Adam Eaton grabbed the baseball and fired a strike to Ramirez at short. The third base coach had been waving Vogt around but tried to stop him when the relay throw was perfect. Might as well have been trying to stop a locomotive with a paper ribbon. Ramirez fired the ball toward home as Vogt tried vainly to get back to third. Abreu, properly playing in the middle of the infield deftly snagged the relay throw and in one motion fired to third. Vogt was caught in no-man's land. Beckham chased Vogt down the line toward home and once there was no turning back flipped the ball to Soto who applied the tag to end the game on a routine 8-6-3-5-2 putout and at last the rejoicing could begin.

There were high fives and fist bumps and hugs and oh the smiles. Miles and miles of smiles. In fact as I mentioned above, I'm still smiling now. A WIN! A WIN! A WIN IN OAKLAND! Shout it from the rooftops the Sox have won in Oakland! And on a Friday to boot... whew, I'm not going to go winless in recaps this year and I know you readers are happy to see a less depressing effort on my part. I hope you enjoyed the ride. I know that I sure did. Sox are back at it tonight against the same A's. Game time is 8:05 in Chicago. Hopefully last night was not a fluke and the Sox can build off this momentous win. This time maybe with less drama and weird plays, but however they get a win so long as they win it's all good...

WSI's
Rebuilding Recap:
†The Sox now have some basic building blocks in place. Might be time to invest in this project.


submitted by voodoochile.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Adam LaRoche

Crucial bases loaded double, 3 RBI and scored the winning run.

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Totally Biased Game Recaps

July 14... Duffy's Too Toughie

July 7... It's Logical: Shields Pitches, Sox Lose

July 5...Sour Ending For Soria

July 3...Yoan and the Long Ballers Save Lucasí Tuches

July 2... Sad in Cincy

June 30... Tanking in Texas

June 28...Walking Away With a Loss

June 26...Yolmer, Sox In It To (T)Win It

June 24... BLOWOUT!

June 23... Defeat Snatched From The Jaws Of Victory

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