White Sox/Rays -- Game Four -- ALDS

4:01 p.m. central -- You are reading LIVE from Hyde Park here in Chicago! We figure since we aren't going to the game we'll live blog this sucker. Sure it didn't work out in Game One, but we weren't wearing black! Today, we're in full black out gear and the Cubs hadn't finished off one of the biggest flops in playoff history. Plus our soul attention was on the game, today? We've got a paper from Nobel Prize Economic James Heckman and a few articles to read, we've got work stuff to do, some laundry to fold, and we're going to try and make beef stew! What could possibly go wrong?

4:07 -- I'm fairly confident about the Sox bringing home a victory today. Why? Gaven Floyd. Everyone from Philly is laughing at that name, but he's a new man in Chicago. It's rare that a pitcher could suck so much in one place and the pitch so well in another. He's a completely different pitching on the South Side, i.e. he doesn't suck any more.

4:09 -- B.J. Upton homers to left, to make it 1-0. Harold Reynolds informs us that B.J. Upton is the only Ray ever to face Floyd... in high school.

4:13 -- I'm sort of hoping this is the first ever live blog of a sporting event that links to James Heckman. I'm also sort of hoping that Floyd doesn't think he's in Philly right now... Evan Longoria may be the most confident rookie ever. I say that because after a called strike he shakes his head in "I could see that being a strike, only I'm not going to swing at that and ground out" kind of way. This pissed off the baseball gods and he struck out on the next pitch.

4:16 -- Things that are more difficult that stealing a base on the White Sox this season: driving a car on a Sunday morning, making frozen pizza, Paris Hilton... Crawford grounds out and the first inning is over, 1-0 Rays and you know what that means!!! Our first Frank TV commercial! He's Donald Trump in this one!

4:21 -- The nation doesn't fully understand what the Cubs choke/collapse/flop/'word that hasn't been coined yet' means to Chicago. Cub fans were positive they were going to win, there wasn't any doubt in their mind. And they sang "Go Cubs Go" every other minute of the day from July on. And then they went out there and played like the Pirates. And Cub fans no are opening hating on the Cubs. It's amazing. I've never seen anything like it. If a member of the Cubs is murdered in the next month I won't be surprised at all—just sad.

4:32 -- Gabe Gross made a nice catch to maybe rob A.J. of a home run. And not much else... on to the bottom of the second, 1-0 Rays.

4:38 -- The reader is always right here at LOAB! So here is the annoying effing song that I thought was dead and gone forever in 2002. And then after the 2005 season the Cub fans, feeling left out brought this song back. In the '80s as a kid, I sort of liked it. Now? Watching drunk white entitled frat boys sing this song on the street is takes an redeeming quality away the song.

4:44 --I should mention that the Rays starting pitcher is Andy Sonnanstine who reminds me of Andy Samberg for some reason. South Side Sox might have put it best: Sonnanstine -- (SAHN-un-styne)
1. to shut down an opponent through use of the following method; throw strikes, change speeds and arm angles, all while possessing less than spectacular "stuff"
2. see Marcum or Mussina

4:52 -- B.J. Upton just hit his second home run of the game. 2-0 Rays. He tried to bunt earlier in the at bat.

5:02 -- Sox go down 1, 2, 3 in the bottom of the 3rd. And the bats look bad thus far. 2-0 Rays after three.

5:10 -- Something needs to happen in this game, and B.J. Upton home runs is not something. The crowd isn't really into the game, the Sox bats look bad, and Floyd hasn't been bad, but he hasn't been good (save when he faces Upton).

5:12 -- Comedy of Errors. With Floyd up and a full count, Crawford takes off, Floyd lines one to the left field corner, Crawford scores and on the throw home, it gets away from A.J. and Floyd ends up at third. 3-0... and then Navarro singles 4-0 Rays.

5:14 -- Floyd's day is done. This game has been a disaster thus far. This must be what it felt like to root for the Cubs last week. Richard comes on for Floyd.

5:25 -- The Sox have life... Konerko with a solo shot to make it 4-1.

5:28 -- Sorry we were making our stew. It is now in the oven. We're very excited about this. Anyway, Griffey is up. I keep waiting for him to say, "I want to make it to the ALCS and hopefully the World Series, I will lead by example." Thus far, while Griffey has hit pretty well in the ALDS, he hasn't hit for power. And he just struck out on a bad pitch. Ugh.

5:32 -- I would like to note that the Chicago White Sox season is now in the hands of Clayton Richard.

5:35 -- The White Sox have gotten B.J. Upton out! The White Sox have gotten B.J. Upton out!

5:37 -- Only to give up a single to Pena. Iwamura scores to make it 5-1. I am dejected.

5:39 -- Richard picks off Pena to end the inning. It is 5-1 Rays half way though the game. Are the Sox out of it? No. But other than Konerko, they've looked bad at the plate. The pitching hasn't held. And the defense has been bellow average. The Sox need to get up, work the count, and wait for Sonnanstine to make a mistake. If they get a few runs here, they can put the pressure back on the Rays. But the Sox need to have a good fifth or sixth inning.

5:44 -- So what do the Sox do? They maybe see ten pitches, or was it seven?, going down in order. Juan Uribe sucks again. Just thought I should add that.

5:55 -- Crawford leads off with a walk, but it doesn't hurt the Sox even though he steals second and third. 5-1 Rays, on to the bottom of the 6th. This is the key inning for the Sox.

6:00 -- Dye goes yard! But it's a solo shot and it's 5-2 Rays. This was after two fly outs and me thinking, "if I was at the game I would consider leaving." And now Maddon makes a weird decision... he's pulling Sonnanstine who has been awesome so far. I can understand wanting to bring a lefty in to face Thome... but I don't. The Sox haven't touched Sonnanstine save Konerko and Dye right there. Maddon giving the Sox hope.

6:03 -- Mint Oreo's are really, really, really good. Howell on for the Rays. Crowd back in the game. Why did Maddon take out Sonnastine? If Thome gets on, this move will be questioned for years to come in Tampa Bay...

6:05 -- Oh wait, we're talking about Tampa Bay! No one will ever talk about Maddon pulling Sonnastine in Tampa! Thome grounds out to short (playing second with the shift on) and Maddon may have made the right move. I'm still not sold—I like the Sox chances against the Rays bullpen over the next three innings.

6:17 -- Dotel gave up a double, now Thornton is on and gets Iwamura to strike out. Again, weird decision by Maddon and Harold agrees with me. Iwamura didn't even try to move Bartlett over to third. And now the Sox are walking Upton. Situation: First and second, one out, lefty (Thornton) vs. lefty (Pena).

6:21 -- To say the strike zone today has been consistent would be inconsistent. The crowd is fired up.

6:24 -- And that folks, is probably the season. Pena singles to right, Barlett comes home to score as Dye's throw is up the line. The Cell is silent. And Ozzie is going to have words with the home plate umpire... he thought Pena struck out, but the Sox didn't get the call. It was a borderline pitch... tough call either way.

6:28 -- With Upton looking like he might steal home, Crawford hits one to second. Alexei Ramirez makes a nice play to get the third out of the inning. 6-2 Rays and the Sox only have nine outs to work with... the good news is that the Rays pen is the weakest link to their team. Crossing my fingers...

6:34 -- Beef stew update: we're putting the potatoes in for the last hour in the oven. Risky I know, but I figure it's at worst, a better decision that Maddon pulling Sonnanstine. Konerko leads the inning off with a broken bat fly out to short left center.

6:43 -- Griffey strikes out. Alexei Ramirez singles. Swisher comes on to hit for Wise and, as the fans attempt to will the Sox to a come back, Swisher looks at strike two, only it was ball three... he then pops out to second to end the inning. You can blame the ump, but let's face it, the Sox bats have sucked.

6:59 -- I was talking fantasy trades... sorry about that. Nothing is happening, which is bad news for the White Sox. A.J. on first with two outs in the bottom of the 8th.

7:03 -- Dye strikes out and the 8th is over. Sox are all but done... sigh. And the ad with the cover of "Space Oddity" may be one of the worst covers ever.

7:12 -- Rays continue to be pesky, but don't score in the top of the 9th. Sox have three outs to get four runs... if they don't the season is over.

7:20 -- Griffey steps in with two outs, and he strikes out to end the game... and the season for the Chicago White Sox. The Rays win the ALDS in four games.

Were they the better team? That's fairly apparent. The Sox had their chances in Game Two, and were unable to get it done. While they showed life in Game Three, they looked bad in Game Four today falling three games to one.

Fans cheer the Sox as the Rays celebrate a bit on the field. A fun year for the Sox, St. Carlos Quentin's injury really did the Sox in. A healthy Quentin and I think the Sox take the Rays out in the ALDS.


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