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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Firing Blanks at Fenway

August 5th, 2017 at Boston Red Sox

Sox Office Smash Hit:
The Departed
Someone in the starting rotation is getting whacked soon.

Short Take:  Shields gives up 2 run bombs to Benintendi and Bradley Jr, Sox offense flounders after 1st inning.

One of my favorite White Sox road trip destinations is Fenway Park in Boston. The ballpark is usually a "love it or hate it" proposition for a lot of fans. I have always been firmly in the "love it" camp. I took in tonight's game from my favorite section at Fenway Park to sit which is the RF Upper Box seats which offer an unobstructed panaramic view of the ballpark. The sightlines here are fantastic and you are a bit isolated from the hustle and bustle of the lower concourse. I think Fenway sometimes gets unfairly lumped in with Wrigley Field as a touristy park with too many bad seats and casual fans. I've seen probably over 18 games here and while the ballpark does attract its share of tourists, the vibe there is not the Mardi Gras style party atmosphere that populates night games at Wrigley Field. There are a lot of families there much like our own ballpark. I also feel that the Red Sox have done a much better job on the ballpark upkeep than Wrigley. The concourses are wider, the ballpark is cleaner, and the fans are more knowledgable about the game, although you'll find them to be VERY east coast centric. The one area this ballpark lacks in is quality food options. Although, they get points from me for serving Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee. As someone who is hopelessly addicted to coffee, it's a welcome addition to any ballpark. Unfortunately, a trade and injury depleted lineup backed by the HR prone James Shields is not a good recipe for a successful road trip game for me. At least I didn't have to witness a blowout!  

This ballgame actually got off to a great start in the Top of the 1st. Tim Anderson turned and burned on a Drew Pomeranz fastball that was blasted high above the green monster giving the Sox a quick 1-0 lead. The ball violently clanged off the bottom of the light standard back on to the field and this fooled a lot of the fans in attendance into thinking it might still be in play. Alas, it was indeed a HR. It was very nice to see the struggling Timmy deliver some instant offense. Unfortunately, James Shields gave the lead up promptly in the bottom of the 1st. Brock Holt hit a reasonably hard smash that was hit right at Saladino but unfortunately, it went right throught the wickets for an E5. Andrew Benintendi wasted absolutely no time capitalizing on this mistake as he popped a high 2 run HR that sailed into the bleachers in RF giving the Red Sox a 2-1 lead. At this stage of the career of James Shields, he needs his defense to make every out behind him and when it doesn't occur, bad things usually happen. The Red Sox struck Shields again in the bottom of the 2nd. Mitch Moreland clubbed one off the green monster for a double followed by Jackie Bradley Jr. picking on a James Shields hanging curveball. This blast was a no doubter that landed in almost the same location as the Benintendi 2 run shot expanding the Boston lead to 4-1. This was a lead they would unfortunately not relinquish.  

The White Sox lineup had some chances in this ballgame to climb back. Pomeranz didn't exactly dominate but got out of the jams he needed to. The Sox had 8 hits tonight and stranded 12 runners. They just couldn't find the big hits with RISP. Some terrible baserunning by Alen Hanson and Leury Garcia also took the team out of some promising scoring chances. To be fair, the lineup they trotted out tonight was worthy of a Cactus League split squad game. Kevan Smith batted cleanup and Alen Hanson was the DH and batted ninth. Let me repeat, our DH batted NINTH. Matt Davidson and Avisail Garcia are still out of the lineup with nagging injuries and that really hinders the team's chances of scoring runs since they represent two of the biggest sources of run production left on the club.

The Red Sox bullpen would shut the door on the Sox in relief of Pomeranz and the good guys would fall 4-1 at Fenway. The only other noteworthy thing that happened in this game was Derek Holland working 0.1 IP in relief. Earlier in the day at a Boston SABR seminar, Hahn broke the news that Lopez might be getting called up soon. Holland pitching in relief would indicate changes to the rotation are coming soon. Despite the outcome tonight, I had a good time at Fenway Park on a gorgeous evening in Boston. It was also heartening to see so many White Sox fans out at Fenway as well. Let's face it, this is a very bad team this year (by design of course) but here were all the South Siders repping the silver in black all the way in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Keep the faith Sox fans. We have hit rock bottom this year and can only go up from here.

Game Notes-

-James Shields went 6.0 IP, 5H, 4R, 3ER, 1BB, 6Ks, and 2HRs allowed. For Shields, this is decent.

-Nicky Delmonico went 1 for 3, with 1BB, and 1H, 1BB.

-Yoan Moncada went 1 for 4 with an infield hit and 3Ks.

-Derek Holland pitched in a relief role during this game which suggests starting rotation changes could be forthcoming.

-Alan Hanson was the DH tonight and batted 9th. According to @SoxNerd on Twitter, this was only the 21st time in franchise history that the DH batted 9th for the Sox

 Reynaldo Lopez, it's time to book your travel plans.

submitted by Foulke You.

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