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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

“Big Game” Might Be Back, but Bullpen and Bats Can't Close It Out

June 23 at Boston Red Sox

Toon Squad Update:
Snidely Whiplash
"Curses, foiled again!"

Short Take:  James Shields finally pitches more like Big Game and less like Danks 2.0, but White Sox bullpen, defense, and lack of clutch offense give this one to the Red Sox in 8-7 extra-inning loss.

After a dismal road trip which most recently resulted in our White Sox getting their butts swept straight outta Cleveland, things were looking up after the Sox won the first 3 games of this 4-game series against the Red Sox.

Today our Sox looked to sweep the Other Sox at Fenway (which would have been the first time since 1927). But that hope may have been tempered by today's White Sox starter: James Shields. No longer "Big Game" James, his abysmal (albeit short) career with the White Sox up until today had consisted of:

  • A 2-inning start in which he gave up 7 earned runs and earned the 11-4 loss against the Nats.
  • A 5-inning start that resulted a win, but no thanks to Shields. He gave up 6 earned runs. However, the Sox managed to beat the Tigers anyway.
  • The most recent 1.2-inning start, in which Shields gave up 8 earned runs and walked 3 before he was lifted and the Sox were blown out by Cleveland 13-2.
Can you blame us for being pessimistic about a sweep? And there was indeed no sweep today, after losing to the Red Sox 8-7 in 10 innings - but it wasn’t James Shields’ fault. The Sox bullpen and defense gave this game away, as well as the fact that twice in 3 innings - TWICE! - the Sox had bases loaded and 0 outs and could not score.

White Sox started off with immediate run support for Shields, scoring 2 in the 1st inning with RBIs by Melky Cabrera and Rick Porcello (haha, thanks wild pitch offense for that run). They added another in the 4th with a JB Shuck single that scored Brett Lawrie for a 3-1 lead.

Shields grunted his way through the Boston lineup, not with ease, but effectively. He threw more first pitch strikes and kept the Red Sox scoreless until the 4th, when Dustin Pedroia doubled down the 3b line, scoring Mookie Betts.

In the top of the 6th, Melky hit a leadoff triple and scored on Frazier’s sac fly, giving the Sox a 4-1 lead. Shields departed in the 6th inning after walking the first two hitters. He threw 99 pitches, with a line of 1 run, 5 hits, 4 walks, and 3 Ks - by far the best and longest outing in a White Sox uniform. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a win for his troubles.

Matt Albers took over, but hit Jackie Bradley Jr. with a pitch after an 0-2 count. With bases loaded and no outs, Brett Lawrie threw it away on a softly hit single, allowing 2 runs to score. This was followed by a pinch-hit single up the middle, tying the game. Albers got the hook for Dan Jennings, with still nobody out. Another soft infield grounder allowed the Red Sox to take the lead, 5-4.

However, our White Sox didn’t quit. In the 7th, a Tim Anderson single, followed by an Adam Eaton bunt single, set the stage for Jose Abreu. The Red Sox brought in reliever Junichi Tazawa. Jose welcomed him by sending it over the Green Monster, scoring 3, and the Sox re-took the lead 7-5.

But our bullpen…

In the bottom of the 7th, Chris Beck’s season debut started with a 4-pitch walk to Dustin Pedroia. Then Todd Frazier nicely picked a grounder, but threw it away, allowing both runners to advance. Beck intentionally walked David Ortiz for a bases-loaded 0 outs situation. A deep sac fly by pinch-hitter Travis Shaw made it 7-6 White Sox. Fortunately, a soft bunt popout followed by a strikeout ended the Red Sox threat.

Not to be outdone, the White Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the 8th, but couldn’t score.

Robin Ventura called on Nate Jones for the bottom of the 8th. Marco Hernandez doubled off the Green Monster and then pesky Pedroia singled in Hernandez. And just like that…Poof, the magical disappearing White Sox lead.

Brought into the tie game in the bottom of the 9th, David Robertson gave up a leadoff double to Ortiz and walked Shaw on 4 pitches. Hawk sounded like he’d given up. But Robertson got the next 3 outs to take the game to extras.

In the 10th, the Sox AGAIN loaded the bases with no outs and couldn’t score. It looked like a photocopy of the 8th inning – the same cast of characters, and the same big fat zero on the board. And after giving up a hit and a walk in the bottom of the 10th, David Purke gave up the game-winning hit to Xander Bogaerts.

Not that we Sox fans don’t welcome a series win, the way things have been going recently….but a sweep was so close, we could smell it!

The Sox come home to face the Toronto Blue Jays tomorrow night at 7:10; Carlos Rodon faces Aaron Sanchez.

WSI's That's All, Folks:  Drat, drat and double drat!

submitted by ChiSoxGal85

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