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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Sox Scrape Up Enough O to Get Rodon a W

June 9 vs Houston Astros

Sox Project Update:
OT required?
This project might require some serious overtime if they have even a prayer of catching up.

Short Take:  Rookie Carlos Rodon battles his way through 6 innings, baffling Astros hitters, and Sox plate just enough to beat Astros 4-2

Against today's Houston Astros starter Dallas Keuchel and his fearless beard, I didn't have much hope for a Sox winner today. Keuchel came into this game with a 7-1 record, and a 1.85 ERA. I could only hope that our Sox would not look completely overmatched against such a strong starter.

But our intrepid rookie starter Carlos Rodon kept the Astros at bay, enough to allow just a little Sox O to get the job done and give him the win. Rodon pitched 6 innings, scuffling and bluffing his way through the Astros lineup on this muggy Chicago evening, and the Sox beat the Astros 4-2.

After Rodon finished pitching the 6th, he had thrown 115 pitches - but the game remained scoreless. I'm sure Rodon figured to grab some bench and pray for a shot at the win, although up to then the Sox lineup hadn't had much luck getting to Keuchel.

Perhaps Rodon planned to use his bench time to think about the first draft of his new book, "Why Being a Winning Pitcher on the 2015 Chicago White Sox Is Hard" (forward by Chris Sale and Jose Quintana). But he didn't need to think long about that, thanks to Jose Abreu. Abreu's 2-run homer that just cleared the center field fence in the bottom of the inning gave Rodon his chance to win the game.

Honestly, the bottom of the 2nd was a blueprint for this season's White Sox offensive problems. Three straight singles by Avisail Garcia, Geovany Soto, and Melky Cabrera loaded up the bases with nobody out. But can our Sox score? Join me, Sox fans, in a rousing cry of "HELL, NO!" Gordon Beckham popped up to shallow center; Tyler Flowers struck out on a ball in the dirt, and Emilio Bonifacio grounded out to 3rd. As the Astros trotted gleefully off the field, the boos from Sox fans in the Cell were audible and well-deserved.

By the 4th inning, Rodon had already thrown twice as many pitches as Keuchel, and a Sox bullpen game was looming large. The Astros started off the 4th inning with a Preston Tucker single. Rodon then plunked Chris Carter, but Beckham made a nice catch on a Carlos Correa liner. Rodon then walked Hank Conger to load the bases. But he hunkered down and struck out Luis Valbuena and got Jake Marisnick to ground out, leaving the game scoreless.

At this point, Rodon had thrown 88 pitches. On the other hand, Keuchel had thrown 49 pitches and seemed to be just finding his nasty slider/sinkerball. But Rodon battled through the 5th and the 6th, setting down the top of the Astros order pretty much in order.

After Abreu finally gave the Sox the lead in the 6th, Robin Ventura turned to the bullpen. Zach Putnam pitched a perfect 7th, and Jake Petricka and Zach Duke combined for a scoreless 8th.

The Astros manager replaced Keuchel in the bottom of the 8th with righty Chad Qualls. Yes, THAT Chad Qualls - we know him and love him as the guy who gave up a grand slam to Paul Konerko in game 2 of the 2005 World Series. (Here's a CSN article that I enjoyed today about Qualls' visit to the blue seat in left field: Ten years after: Qualls revisits site of Konerko's grand slam). Qualls didn't have it tonight either, and pretty soon the Sox had loaded the bases with no outs. Déjà vu…but which déjà vu? The one from today's 2nd inning, where the Sox blow it and don't score any runs? Or the one from 2005?

It turned out to be something in between the two: Melky Cabrera connected on a pitch, and for an instant I thought it might go out of the park into the left field seats. But instead, it went over the shallow-playing left fielder's head. Two runs scored on Cabrera's double, and the Sox extended their lead to 4-0. That chased Qualls from the game.

Josh Fields (no, not THAT Josh Fields) replaced Qualls. Lest you believe the Sox resolved their offensive issues in this game, think again. A walk to Beckham loaded the bases with no outs. Yes, again. And Fields proceeded to strike out Flowers, Bonifacio, and Eaton, leaving the bases loaded. Yes, again.

In case that wasn't enough ulcer-inducing fun, in the top of the 9th, Carter hit a popup to short right field that our Sox defense played like a bunch of Little Leaguers, and the ball dropped between Eaton, Garcia and Bonifacio. Carter earned a double for that weak hit. Then Duke served up a meatball to rookie Correa, for his first major league home run and suddenly, it was 4-2 Sox with nobody out.

Ventura called for closer Dave Robertson. Robertson gave up a single to Conger, and then a deep fly ball to Valbuena that made my stomach lurch when I heard it off the bat - but Garcia caught it. Robertson struck out Colby Rasmus on 3 curve balls and then nearly walked George Springer, but then got him to fly out to right.

Despite the stomach churning, a win is a win. And this win guarantees that the Sox will win the series. The Sox look to sweep the Astros tomorrow at 7:10 pm. Jose Quintana is scheduled to face Vincent Velasquez.

Rebuilding Recap:
 That foundation made of Carlos Rodon seems to be setting up very nicely.

submitted by ChiSoxGal85

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Jose Abreu

Home run, 2 RBIs, 1 run scored
That'll do, amigo.

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