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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

One-For-Six Was All He Needed

April 23rd vs. the Texas Rangers

Toon Squad Update:
Cecil Turtle
It was Cecil Turtle who bested Bugs Bunny in the tortoise-hare race, and after 11 innings, the Sox did the same to Texas.

Short Take:After going 0-for-5, Jose Abreu's walkoff RBI hit brought the Sox back to beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 in 11 innings.

I don't put much stock in charms, voodoo dolls, or other mystic tools. Events are going to happen by design or coincidence, whether we use amulets or spend hours in preparation. But today's game made me wonder whether metaphysics has something to it. At U.S.Cellular Field today, giveaway stuffed Abreu Bleacher Creature toys were hoisted aloft by fans during the firstbaseman's at-bats. The slugger is in a severe slump, but he came through with a walkoff RBI single in the 11th that beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 while surrounded by thousands of cheering fans holding 6-inch stuffed images of himself.

Spirits or science? You make the call.

Either way it was a great day for baseball, with blue skies and moderate temperatures. Your humble TBGR correspondent was there, enjoying the noble company of friends and the pure pleasure of a day at the ballpark.

The day also carried the promise of Carlos Rodon on the mound. Now, the Rangers are tough outs, but Rodon can be a tough pitcher, despite his first-inning contretemps in his last start. He started strong by notching two strikeouts in the first inning. He appeared to be in command of his pitches and of his game, but in the second inning he allowed a solo homer by Ian Desmond that put the Texans in front 1-0.

Melky Cabrera launched his own solo shot to right in the second to tie it up 1-1. We all enjoyed watching the new scoreboard do its high-resolution video dance and home-run replay as Cabrera rounded the bases.

As is his wont, Rodon threw more pitches than necessary and found himself behind in the count with many of the Rangers hitters as the game progressed. Fortunately for him (and for us who fretted about it) the Rangers didn't take advantage of the generous pitch count until the seventh, when Rodon walked Desmond, who then scored on an Elvis Andrus triple given up by reliever Jake Petricka.

That gave Texas a brief 2-1 lead. Now 2-1 doesn't sound like much, but today it loomed large as the Sox bats fell into a one of their nerve-racking slumbers with runners on base. Twice the Sox loaded the bases without scoring, and had 21 left on base by the game's end.

But in the eighth the Sox came back with two runs to take a 3-2 lead. Todd Frazier led off with his own solo homer, and a walk to Cabrera led to him crossing the plate on Dioner Navarro's RBI single. They should've scored more, but both Avi Garcia and Navarro were out at home when they advanced on ground balls by Austin Jackson and Adam Eaton.

David Robertson came in the ninth, blowing his first save of the year when he gave up the tying run. Robertson walked the leadoff hitter (the ubiquitous Ian Desmond), who then stole second and took third on a throwing error. Desmond scored on Andrus's sacrifice fly.

On to extra innings we trudged, watching Cabrera, Brett Lawrie, and Avi Garcia stike out meekly in the 10th. Fortunately the Texans were fairly quiet in the 10th and 11th, no thanks to the myopic plate umpire Chris Guccione, whose Lilliputian strike zone caused Nate Jones's and Matt Albers's pitch counts to go much higher than usual. I saw that LensCrafters is currently running a sale on new lenses; clearly the imperious Guccione should take advantage of the offer.

But it was the bottom of the 11th that saw the power of our little upholstered charms. With the bases loaded and one out, the Rangers had five infielders playing in, the crowd cheering lustily while brandishing their stuffed Abreus, and Jose himself at the plate. After going 0-for-5 until that point, he cracked a sharp single just out of reach of Adrian Beltre that scored Austin Jackson and won the game.

It took too long, there were too many left on base, and there were too many bad calls by the plate umpire, but as that old Sox fan Bill Shakespeare once said, all's well that ends well.

That's all folks:
This was a case where Cecil Turtle beat Bugs Bunny. Wait long enough and it just might happen.

submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Jose Abreu

Honored with his likeness stiched into a stuffed toy, he responded with the walkoff. Now keep it going, Amigo!

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!


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