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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Butler Haunts Sox Again

September 17, 2015 vs Oakland Athletics

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Short Take:  Old nemesis Billy Butler cripples Sox closer in the 9th with a 3 run HR as A's earn split and beat the Sox 4-2.

There has been no harder luck pitcher in baseball than Jose Quintana. This is not opinion, but fact. Jose continues to turn in quality outings only to have either his bullpen or his offense hang him out to dry. Thursday afternoon's tilt against the Oakland A's would follow a familiar Jose Quintana script leaving him with yet another no decision on his resume. On a "getaway day" early start at U.S. Cellular Field, Jose would end up watching both his offense and his bullpen let him down to spoil his quality outing. The Sox would end up falling 4-2 today in a 9th inning heartbreaker.

The A's would strike first in the top of the 3rd inning to take a 1-0 advantage and it was some familiar faces that did the damage for Oakland. Former Sox catcher Josh Phegley would get on base with a double followed by an RBI single from former Sox utility man, Marcus Semien. 

The Sox would answer back in the bottom of the 4th against A's lefty Sean Nolin. Mike Olt absolutely crushed a solo HR to the far reaches of the LF seats that almost landed on the concourse. Olt's mammoth blast would tie the game up at 1-1.

In the bottom of the 5th, Sean Nolin's control would start to leave him with back to back walks to Micah Johnson and Alexei Ramirez. Melky Cabrera would make him pay for one of those walks with a single to CF scoring Micah Johnson from 2B which gave the Sox a 2-1 lead. Continuation hitting would once again fail the Sox which has become an all too frequent deficiency in the 2015 squad. The knockout blow has been very elusive for the South Siders and the bottom of the 5th had this problem on full display. After the RBI single from Melky, Avi Garcia struck out followed by a Geovany Soto pop up to CF which stranded two runners putting a quick end to the Sox threat in the 5th. This missed opportunity proved costly as the Sox could muster very little on offense for the rest of the game.

As usual, Jose Quintana was up to the task of holding down a slim lead. He turned in 7 innings of quality work giving up 1 ER, 4 hits, and 6Ks on the day. With the Sox still in front, Jose would turn the ball over to Matt Albers in the 8th. Albers would pitch a clean inning in the 8th to bridge the game to closer David Robertson which at the time seemed like a good thing.

In the 9th inning, disaster struck as closer David Robertson would not be able to hold the slim 2-1 lead for Quintana. A's 3B Brett Lawrie would get things going with a double on a line drive to Melky Cabrera in LF. Denny Valencia would follow that with a frozen rope single to LF. Robertson was suddenly in a big one out jam which set the stage for Sox nemesis Billy Butler. Anyone who has followed the Sox over the last 5 years or so knows that Billy Butler has always hurt the Sox in big situations and today he added on to his Sox killing resume. On an 0-1 pitch, Butler lofted a high deep flyball which carried well on a warm day at U.S. Cellular Field just out of the reach of the jumping Avisail Garcia. It was almost a spectacular catch but just squirted off the end of Garcia's mitt and over the fence into the A's bullpen giving the A's a 4-2 lead they would not surrender.

A's closer Sean Doolittle notched a quiet save in the bottom of the 9th inning earning them the series split against the White Sox. Essentially, this was just another tough loss in a season that has been filled with them. The Sox will head to Cleveland tomorrow with ace Chris Sale on the mound looking to keep his Cy Young hopes alive with a good outing against the Tribe.

Game Notes:

-Mike Olt played 1B today as Jose Abreu received a rare day off.

-Jose Quintana is now 2nd in the AL in quality starts behind only Cy Young candidate Dallas Keuchel

-Jose Quintana notched his 50th no decision today since 2012. No other pitcher comes close in this department.

-Billy Butler now has 21 career HRs against the Sox. The most versus any opponent.

-A's CF Tyler Ladendorf is a local product from Des Plaines, IL and went to Maine West High School.

Rebuilding Recap:
 Offense and Bullpen Failures on display

submitted by Foulke You

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