Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pods and Beck bring it home

Scott Podsednik had maybe his best overall day offensively for the White Sox, even going back to his stint as chief fire-starter in 2005. He was 4-5 with a homerun--as we all know, he rarely goes deep, so when he does, it's worth a big celebration--and had 3 RBIs. But, the biggest blow of the 8-7 Sox victory over the Cubs in the second game of the Crosstown Classic South series was delivered by rookie Gordon Beckham, who came up with the walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th.

Beckham has had his share of struggles while learning how to be a pro ballplayer on the fly, and until late in this one it seemed like a typical tough day has he had an error at 3rd base and was 0-3 heading into the 8th inning. But, he had 2 hits in the lat 2 innings, scoring the tying run before bring home the winning run in the 9th and getting mobbed by his mates (He also got the ritual shaving cream pie treatment later during a post-game interview).

This was probably the most exciting game so far this year between the Cubs and Sox, and that includes the Cubs comeback at Wrigley and their very close 5-4 win Friday. The lead changed hands several times, with both teams scoring in all different ways. For fans who were bored by Friday's close, but somewhat lifeless (except for the Milton Bradley flare-up) game, this contest had a bit of everything, even suspenseful pitcher-batter face-offs, like the 9-pitch 8th inning at-bat between Podsednik and the shaky-as-usual Carlos Marmol.

The Cubs also had some nice defensive plays, though the Sox were again particularly weak on the left side of the infield. In addition to Beck's bobble, Alexei Ramirez cam up with 2 more errors, and failed to look Ryan Freel back to 3rd base on a routine grounder with the infield drawn in. Freel scored-he's fast, but not that fast, and you have to wonder if The Missile's throw to 1st base was a bit soft, too. That makes 8 errors for the Sox in the last four games. Ugh.

Meanwhile, Pods' success continues to amaze. I would have thought he'd cool off by now, but maybe there is something to his new funky-motion in the batter's box. Or, maybe it's just his comfort in playing alongside fellow champs like Paulie, A.J., JeDye, Burls and Jenks

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