Do or Die Winner!
Short Take: In Yo' Face!
The parallels are delicious to consider, tonight's White Sox victory and
the one from May last year when Jeff Abbott launched a walk-off
game-winning dinger to beat the Minnesota Twins. It's a hell of a
feeling, especially for Sox Fans starving for anything to cheer about over
these guys. Two ninth inning runs make the Sox winners, 4-3 over the
Is this the game to launch the Sox into contention? Sox Fans can
dream, can't they? We'll settle for some top spin in the clubhouse and a
winning streak into the all-star break.
For 8.5 innings this was just another depressing exercise leading
inevitably to another Sox loss to the Twins. Mark Buehrle
deserved a better fate than what he appeared heading for when Jerry Manuel
pulled him with two out in the seventh, trailing 2-1. A solo
homerun by Jose Canseco was the only offense mustered on his
behalf. Gary Glover threw more dirt on Buehrle's grave allowing
three hits and another Twinkie run in the eighth. It could have been
worse: Carlos Lee, Royce Clayton, and Sandy Alomar
combined on an outfield relay to nail a Twinkie run at homeplate.
Then came the comeback. It started with a solo shot dinger by Carlos
Lee in the eighth inning, getting back the run Glover gave up in the top
of the inning, 3-2 Twins. Keith Foulke faced four batters in an
inconsequential ninth for the Twins, setting up a do or die ninth inning for
the bottom-half of Jerry Manuel's line up.
This is where the Sox have died all season. The 2001 team has
suffocated from lack of offensive punch and the bottom of the order has been
nothing but death valley for any feeble rallies the Frank Thomas-less
top of the order cobbles together. Facing Twinkie closer LaTroy Hawkins,
another Sox defeat was easy to imagine.
So it was with great hope Sox Fans watched Paul Konerko lead off the
inning dropping a single in front of Torii Hunter. Pinch runner Chris
Singleton teamed with the next batter Herbert Perry to play a bit
of a head game with the Twinkie catcher, faking a bunt and stealing second
base on the very first pitch.
Perry took the next pitch then bounced one between first and second base,
sending Singleton home with the tying run. Hawkins had thrown four
pitches and was hit for two singles, a stolen base, and run scored.
Sandy Alomar failed twice to get down a bunt and was left to swing
after two strikes. The rattled Hawkins hung one and Alomar made him pay
the price--a rocket into the gap that left Chad Allen and Torii Hunter
scampering like little leaguers to retrieve.
Meanwhile Herbert Perry was building a head of steam, rounding
second ("I think I can"), turning third ("I think I can, I
think I can") watching some lame toss to the plate go up the third base
line ("I know I can, I KNOW I can"), safe at homeplate with a 4-3
White Sox winner!!!
It's a deep hole the Sox have dug themselves. For one half-inning,
the magic of 2000 was back. Let's hope it sticks around a while.
Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner
4, including the game-winning rbi double scoring slow-footed Herbert
Perry all the way from first base.
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