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Do or Die Winner!

(July 3)

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 Twinkies.

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.

Rattled!

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.  Perfect!

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. 

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Sandy Alomar

2 for 4, including the game-winning rbi double scoring slow-footed Herbert Perry all the way from first base.  

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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