13 WINS IN A ROW FOR BALLGAME & SOX

Cub fans had pretty much wiped their feet on the Sox after sweeping them at Wrigley the previous weekend, now it was time for the Sox to return the favor. Like I said before, I missed seeing the middle game of this Crosstown Classic at the Cell, Lindskoog Family Reunion. But was able to watch the game on TIVO Saturday night. And was able to watch Carlos Quinten take Carlos Marmol yard with what turned out to be the game winner. Just before the homer, FOX showed a closeup of Kerry Wood in the bullpen double flipping the bird to White Sox fans, no one said a word.

Mark Buehrle was on fire as he entered the finale of this three game set, matched up against a soft throwing lefty Sean Marshall. I was a bit concerned, as sometimes Sox hitters have troubles against this type of pitcher. But not Sunday night, Quinten hit a solo shot in the 4th to left, Brian Anderson hit one out with one on in the 5th, and Jim Thome blasted a two run bomb off a reliever in the 8th. The final score 5-1 Sox.

Even though the Sox won by four, there was plenty of drama & excitement. Cubs manager Lou Piniella was ejected early on for disagreeing with the firstbase umpire on whether Joe Crede checked his swing with runners on 2nd & 3rd and nobody out in the third. Nick Swisher made three great fielding plays at firstbase in this game. First he caught a throw from Buehrle that was ticketed from the rightfield line, then he grabbed a hurried off the mark throw from Alexei Ramirez (Ramirez tried to double the runner off 1st, Swisher from the seat of his pants threw to 2nd to double up the runner there), and then Nick put out a threat by snaring a 9th inning nobody out liner & doubling up a wayward Mark DeRosa off 2nd base. After going 5 for 5 on Saturday Derrek Lee struckout three different times on Sunday on high heat.

Monday night was halfpriced night at the Cell, only $8.50, to see the White Sox play the Indians, a fullhouse, with 8,000 walkup. A.J. Pierzynski was not in the lineup for Polish/American Night, go figure. Among those in the house were NickyV & Kathy, Al & Anthony, Tade, Big Bob, KevinS & his friends, Phil, Caramel-Corn Mike, and Jackie stopped by to visit.

It was a beautiful night for baseball on the Southside of Chicago as Gavin Floyd would be facing Jeremy Sowers, another softthrowing lefty. Jim Thome took a heater(?) on a line drive ride to left that cleared the fence with two aboard & two out in the 1st to turn a 1-0 deficit to a 3-1 lead. With two out and Orlando Cabrera on 2nd after a leadoff third inning double, Jermaine Dye ripped a single off the thirdbaseman for an RBI sinle. Later in the 3rd Nick Swisher stepped to the dish with the sacks drunk and unloaded for a grand slam to put the Sox up 8-1. The lead looked out of sight.

The lead was still a comfortable 8-4 one when Floyd left after six innings of work. Octavio Dotel pitched one inning of scoreless ball before giving way to Nick Masset. The Tribe relievers only allowed one run over the last five innings, another Swisher homer, this time from the left side. Things got a little tight as Masset, who hadn’t worked in a while allowed five hits & three runs (two unearned) in 1 2/3 innings, before Matt Thornton was called to save the day. The lefty Choo got an RBI single off the southpaw Thornton, which brought the tying run to the plate in the person of Casey Blake. Matt got Blake to fly to right to end the game and preserve a 9-7 win. Jhonny Peralta had a career night, going 5 for 5, with three doubles, a homer, three RBI’s and three runs scored, but it wasn’t enough.

Going back to the Cell Tuesday & Wednesday nights with Cliff Lee & C.C. Sabathia toeing the rubber for the Tribe, before I head out to Waupaca for the weekend of the 4th.

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