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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

What a Relief!

June 1 at N.Y. Mets

Toon Squad Update:
Fat Albert
Hey hey hey! They won because of Maaaaaaaaaatt Albers!

Short Take:   A marathon with the Mets is uneventful until Matt Albers steals the show and wins it in the 13th inning.

In 2009, my dad and I went up to Miller Park to see Mark Buehrle pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers. When Buehrle walked up to the plate for the first time, my dad jokingly threw out the notion that Buehrle might hit a home run. Sure enough, the popular southpaw did just that, much to the shock and delight of every White Sox fan in attendance. What Matt Albers did in the 13th inning of Wednesday's 2-1 win against the New York Mets ranks right up there in terms of absurdity and previous unlikelihood.

First things first, Miguel Gonzalez was tasked with outdueling Jacob deGrom, a tall order for a fifth starter going up against a very reliable arm in one of the top rotations in the game. He didn't exactly make it easy, giving up leadoff walks in four of his five innings. Surprisingly, only one of them, the one in which he walked James Loney in the second, came around to score, which was on a Rene Rivera single. It helped that the other three were retired as the front half of double plays.

deGrom struck out 10 over seven, but it was in that last inning when he lost his chance at the win. Todd Frazier led off by homering for the second straight game to tie the score at 1. That was where it would stay for quite some time. The Mets should have scored on at least one more of the 13 walks Sox pitching issued today, but every reliever kept them frustrated: Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam, Zach Duke, Nate Jones, David Robertson and yes, Albers.

Before we get to the moment everyone's talking about, let's do a little background on the 33-year-old, 6-foot-1, 225-pound Albers' hitting history. Entering Wednesday, he was 2 for 34 lifetime. Both of those hits were singles as a starter with the 2007 Houston Astros. His last at-bat resulted in a strikeout on May 22, 2009 when his Baltimore Orioles were visiting the Washington Nationals. Given all this information, the game continuing and the Sox burning through their bench in a National League park was the only reason to have Albers lead off the 13th inning.

Logan Verrett became the answer to a trivia question when he a threw a 2-2 pitch that Albers CRUSHED to the gap in left-center. In an event surely more unlikely than the Sox bullpen collapsing in three straight games in Kansas City, Albers somehow chugged into second with a leadoff double. With Jose Abreu up, Verrett immediately threw a wild pitch that advanced Albers to third. Abreu helped complete this unlikely turn of events by hitting a sacrifice fly to bring Albers home. After Albers did that running, they should have had an oxygen tank handy because he really could have used it.

With the bullpen stretched as much as the bench, Albers would have to finish off his own win. After retiring the first two hitters in the bottom half, he made things interesting by walking Rivera on a full count. Following an infield meeting, Albers induced a Kevin Plawecki groundout to third, giving this fairy tale its proper ending. All that was missing was for him to win the princess' heart at the end, but he's married with a kid, so he's probably doing well as it is.

Perhaps the most recent baseball movie quote to leave an impact on the public came at the end of "Moneyball" when Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, asks "How can you not be romantic about baseball?" Days like today are exactly what makes the sport so exciting to watch: anything can happen at anytime and it can involve anyone. Albers and all of Sox fandom will remember this game for a long time because the unexpected took place and it caught everyone's attention. The only question that remains is will this kick off a month that brings the Sox back, or at least close to what they were during the first five weeks of the season?

The Sox can enjoy this series win, and Albers' heroics, during Thursday's off day. After that, they open another road series, this one with the Detroit Tigers, Friday. Starting at 6:10, Carlos Rodon will have a tough task in facing Jordan Zimmermann. Albers might not hit in that game, but he'll always have that one day he can look back on and say he was a hero beyond just the mound.

That's all folks:
 What Albers lacks in speed, he makes up for with everything else.

submitted by thomas35forever.

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