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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Within Walking Distance

August 17th vs. the Texas Rangers

Sox Office Smash Hit:
The Long, Hot Summer
It's always hot in Texas. So were the Sox bats, but the pitching was stone cold.

Short Take:The Sox hit big in Texas, but the Rangers walked nine big times to beat the South Siders 9-8.

J. D. Power is a consumer-research outfit that got its start surveying automobile buyers. They're all over car commercials. And recently they turned their nosy clipboards toward sports customers to collect opinions on the "fan experience" among various teams. And hey, Cinderella lives! The White Sox rated highest in "overall fan experience" in Chicago, despite trudging through a rebuild year that's likely to end with a record number of losses.

Good food, good seats, good night. It's all there in the numbers. If you like your Southside Mini Donuts as a chaser to your Triple Play BBQ Sandwich that was washed down with a craft beer, a Sox game is where you need to be. The survey even said the ushers were good.

However, if you like your baseball to be played crisply and with evidence of tactical planning, the White Sox are not where you need to be this year. The Sox were in Texas tonight and got beat 9-8. I was hoping for more from Reynaldo Lopez, who started tonight and looked like he needed a map to find the strike zone. He came out of the game in the fourth with an apparent injury, which might explain his disappointing performance. In those 4-1/3 innings he gave up six runs, five of them earned, on five hits and four walks. He also struck out six, but maybe that's because those hitters were surprised to see a pitch over the plate.

Lopez is part of the future, so be of stout heart. He's got until 2019 to locate the strike zone.

He was followed by a parade of guys who are fortunate to be working at the major-league level. Chris Beck gave up two runs without notching an out; Mike Pelfrey, hanging on to his career from the bullpen, walked one and struck out two in 1-2/3 innngs; Brad Goldberg raised his head for only 2/3 of an inning and in that time gave up a hit, four walks, and one run that scored on one of his walks; Dylan Covey brought his mop and swabbed the deck. Nine walks in all -- reminds me of my time watching Pony League games.

The Sox did score eight runs, which would be plenty for a team with reliable pitching, but that's not who these guys are. Yoan Moncada hit a homer to the right-field corner in his first at-bat. Three more scored in the third on timely singles by Jose Abreu and Yolmer Sanchez. RBI doubles by Leury Garcia and Omar Narvaez, and a triple by Tim Anderson accounted for three additional runs that brought the tally to seven. And Jose Abreu, of course, hit a homer in the eighth to take it up to eight runs. They can hit, but they can't pitch.

I'll fall back on my contruction-site analogy. Any architect's rendering promises a gleaming, breath-catching structure at the project's completion, but at the moment all we see is a hole in the ground and piles of scattered bricks next to stagnant pools of water.

We've all seen Rick Hahn's renderings: a hard-hitting, high-average lineup backed by an unhittable pitching staff, all of it built to last, and we should expect occupancy by late 2019. But at this moment what we see is James Shields and Brad Goldberg as our own stagnant pools.

In both cases, though, in the end there will be a finished structure that we'll all want to visit and admire. When that time comes, let's call J.D. Power back and ask them to add another question to their survey: "How did you like your World Series tickets?"

All those walks gave me plenty of time to go out for more popcorn.

submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Jose Abreu

He's the tent pole that keeps this team up. Spotted Lopez's injury, while going 2-for-5 with a homer and 3 RBIs. We're glad you're here, mi amigo.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!


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Totally Biased Game Recaps

September 29... The Last (And Lost) Weekend

September 24... Covey Captivates, but Kluber Cruises

September 22... At Least They Won't Clinch Here

September 18...Klubered, but Not Clobbered

September 16... Baltimore Blanked

September 10... Thrown Away

September 8... Anaheim Annihilation

September 3... Power Special

September 1... 18 Strikeouts Later, the White Sox Lose

August 30...Leaky Bullpen Bombed by Boston

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