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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Avi Sails Over The Fence To Win It

July 4 vs. the Baltimore Orioles

Sox Project Update:
Flying Buttresses
Avi Garcia showed how to buttress against a wall.

Short Take:Jeff Samardzija pitched a great game, Zach Putnam let it get away, and Avi Garcia kept the win in the ballpark as the Sox beat the Orioles 3-2.

I had hoped to write a feel-good (or at least a feel-better) story about Jeff Samardzija today. Instead I'm writing a feel-good story about J.B. Shuck's pinch-hitting success and Avi Garcia's heart-stopping, game-saving, over-the-fence catch in the ninth inning. The Sox beat the Orioles 3-2 on a simply perfect baseball day on the Fourth of July.

The Sox were up 3-2 in the ninth with David Robertson on the mound, typically a good setup for the Sox. With one out, Chris Davis hit a climbing rocket to right field that looked to be a game-tying homer. Avi Garcia backed up to the fence, watched the ball, then jumped with his glove extended over and behind the fence. Falling back to earth, he checked his glove -- seeing the ball resting comfortably, he jumped with fists extended like Rocky Balboa. The place exploded in cheers with the intensity of a July 4th fireworks finale.

Robertson definitely owes Garcia a steak dinner.

But I can't continue without talking about Samardzija's performance. He pitched 7-2/3 innings of 1-run ball, giving up three hits along with nine strikeouts. He had it working today. But he got no decision because his teammates only could score two runs in a 10-hit stretch. Jose Quintana is the tough-luck poster child, with a zillion no-decisions and/or losses because of the team's inability to score or field. Today it was Samardzija's turn to be left empty-handed.

Jeff Samardzija has had a thorny year. Signed with great hype in the offseason, the expectation was that he would fold in behind Chris Sale and Jose Quintana to round out a dominant 1-3 rotation, with post-surgery John Danks serving as number four. But the first three months of the season have been at best spotty for the Shark. A 5-4 record with an ERA over four sounds like the description of a journeyman long reliever, not an elite starter. Though he didn't get a decision today, his strong outing deserves a tip of the cap.

The reason Samardzija didn't get a decision was because Zach Putnam was brought in the eighth with two outs and one on base. His second pitch to Manny Machado traveled about 400 feet to left field to tie the game. Putnam ended the inning under a chorus of boos.

But in the bottom of the eighth, defensive sub Gordon Beckham walked. J.B. Shuck pinch-hit for Gio Soto and shot a double down the first-base line to score Beckham and give the Sox the lead. Pinch-hitting is a little-appreciated skill, but a skill nonetheless, and Shuck has become one of the best.

Then that ninth inning happened. Avi Garcia will long be remembered for that catch. I'd like to think that a dramatic win like this will give the White Sox that shot of mojo fireworks that they've seemed to need, and if that happens we'll be raising our beer bottles to Garcia for lighting that fuse.

Rebuilding Recap:
A lot of progress on a project that's been heavy with setbacks, even while working on a holiday.

submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Avi Garcia

Maybe the Sox will paint a sign on that part of the fence. How about The Catch II?

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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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