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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Sox Fall in Extras

May 17th, 2016 vs Houston Astros

Toon Squad Update:
Fat Albert
There's an Albers Joke in Here Somewhere...

Short Take:   Sox Rally Falls Short in the 11th, Lose to Astros 6-5.

The Sox opened an important 10 game homestand against the Houston Astros on Tuesday at chilly US Cellular Field. Carlos Rodon would turn in a quality start but the Sox would ultimately fall in extras. This is yet another frustrating close game that went in the loss column for the suddenly struggling White Sox.

The Astros opened scoring in the Top of the 2nd on an RBI single from Jason Castro. The inning was extended on a rare error from Tyler Saladino that should have been an inning ending double play. Saladino was filling in at 3B for Todd Frazier who was out with the flu. Rodon would pitch out of the jam limiting the damage to 1 run. The Astros would extend that lead in the top of the 4th with a solo HR that just barely cleared the LF fence making it 2-0 Astros.

The first time through the order, Astros ace Dallas Keuchel looked very much like the Cy Young winner from last season. The second time through the order was kinder to the Sox as Jose Abreu broke the ice and blasted a very long HR to straight away CF that bounced off the green backdrop. The Sox would add 2 more runs in the bottom of the 5th with four straight 2 out hits from Navarro, Saladino, Eaton, and Rollins making it 3-2. Carlos Rodon however, would not be able to shut the door the following inning giving up another solo HR to Tyler White which was almost a blue print of the one he hit earlier in the game.

The frustrating bottom of the 7th was the pivotal inning in this game. The inning opened with Keuchel not being able to find home plate with a road map. He walked Austin Jackson and then Dioner Navarro on 8 straight pitches well out of the zone. These pitches weren't even close. Robin inexplicably elected to have Tyler Saladino (who has been swinging the bat well in RBI situations) lay down a sac bunt. I'm not a fan of the sac bunt to begin with, but to have a guy lay one down on a pitcher who has clearly lost command was asking for trouble. I also don't like playing for 1 run against a quick strike HR offense like the Houston Astros have. You can pretty much guess how this one turned out. Saladino bunted it poorly and the Astros got the lead runner at 3B. This was taking an out and throwing it in the garbage while breathing oxygen into the Astros. Keuchel would end up walking Eaton on 4 more pitches well out of the zone which just infuriated me more somehow. Ken Giles came on in relief and struck out Rollins and Abreu to end the threat. The inning was over and boy did it ever feel like the game turned on that inning.

Naturally, the Astros would take the lead immediately in the next inning on an RBI sac fly from Jose Altuve. The Sox would eventually tie things up in the bottom of the 9th. A sac fly from Tyler Saladino scored Jackson who had lead the inning off with a double.

Extra innings would provide more heartbreak as the recently activated Evan Gattis hit a 2 run HR in the top of the 11th giving the Astros the lead once again. After a dominant run in April, Matt Albers has really struggled lately to keep the ball down in May and he has been getting burned. To the Sox credit, they always keep fighting. They mounted another rally in the bottom of the 11th that plated one run on an RBI double from Eaton cutting the lead to 1 run but that would be as close as they would get.

A tough extra inning loss isn't how the Sox envisioned starting this important homestand. If there is a positive to this game, it's that Carlos Rodon pitched much better overall. They will need him to hold off the Indians and Royals. In total, there was a lot to dislike about this game. Ill advised bunts, porous defense, more bullpen struggles, and Todd Frazier in bed with the flu. To make matters worse, the Indians are using the awful Reds as a punching bag this week so the Sox are losing some ground. It's been a rough stretch at 35th and Shields but I still believe this team will get the ship righted. Keep the faith. Mat Latos takes the mound for Game 2 and will face off against Doug Fister.

Game Notes-

-Adam Eaton went 2 for 5 with 2RBI and 1 BB.

-Carlos Rodon pitched 6 innings, 7Ks, 1BB, 2ER

-Nate Jones left the game after a line drive hit is foot. X-rays negative and he is listed as day to day with a bruise.

That's all folks:
 Just win tomorrow.

submitted by Foulke You

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Adam Eaton

2 hits, 2 RBI, 1BB

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