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Collapse in 8th

(April 17)

Short Take:  Fine effort wasted   

Rocky Biddle deserved a better fate.  So too, did Sox Fans.  The Chicago White Sox let three unearned runs score, spoiled a fine effort by a rookie pitcher, caught a break to get the lead back, and then collapsed like punks in the eighth and ninth to blow this game.  It was 7-4, and a big, fat "L".

Biddle is in the rotation strictly because Cal Eldred is on the DL.  Biddle would have been in the minors right now if not for Mark Buerhle's outstanding spring.  Buerhle was promoted to the rotation leaving Tucscon, opening a spot in the bullpen that Jerry Manuel gave to Biddle.  

So it's especially aggravating that such a fine performance by an improbable pitcher should be wasted like this.  Rocky Biddle pitched six innings and didn't give up a single earned run.  He made one mistake, a Rob Fick double in the fourth inning, after what should have been the third out.  Next he served a gopher ball.  All three runs were unearned.

Herbert Perry was the goat for the fourth inning error, but he had given the Sox the lead with a solo homer in the second inning.  Jose Valentin doubled home Ray Durham in the fifth, narrowing the score to 3-2.  It stayed that way till the eighth when Magglio Ordonez and Paul Konerko hit back-to-back doubles to tie the game.

Next came the break Sox Fans have been searching for.  Carlos Lee singled to right and "slow-boat" Konerko was waved home from second.  A good throw nails him, but mental midget Robert Fick inexplicably cut-off the throw in the infield, allowing the go-ahead run to score unchallenged.  Sox Fans haven't whooped it up this much at Fick's expense since last April's fight.

Kelly Wunsch gave up a two-run dinger in the ninth.  Bob Howry gave up a triple to bring home two more Detroit runs.  This brain-dead outfit never had a chance.

More culprits?  How about leadoff man Ray Durham reaching base once in five at-bats.  Frank Thomas was 1 for 4 with a strikeout.  Sandy Alomar and Royce Clayton were a combined 0 for 8 in the #8 and #9 hole.

Hole is the word for it.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Rocky Biddle

Six innings with eight hits and no earned runs, four strikeouts and no walks.  All he could have been was the loser in this game.  He was thankfully spared that fate. 

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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