From the Cubicle

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Sox fans it looks like you won't have Brian Anderson to kick around much longer. Well, at least today. He sits for the second straight day in favor of Rob Mackowiak.

It would be hard to believe Anderson is long for the team, you know, hitting .141 and all, but I'm not sure the Sox have any options internally outside of what you'll see today with Mackowiak in center and Ross Gload in right for the injured Jermaine Dye.

Of course that hasn't stopped my friend from voting for Anderson 25 times for the All-Star team. He's sticking with his guy and he may be the only one left in this town who is.

But that's just one topic for you to discuss on the message board on the right-hand side of the page.

The Sox go for a mini-sweep of the Mariners in another of Bud Selig's asinine two-game series before AL Central whipping boys, the Kansas City Royals, come to town, presumably by Greyhound.

Red-hot ageless Cuban, Jose Contreras, one of the finest pitchers in all the land and the AL pitcher of the month of May, goes against 1-3 right-hander Felix Hernandez. Here are the rest of the lineups. Baseball soon.

First inning

Lunch is en route as Ichiro digs in on Dollar Dog day. Ichiro bounces to fellow countryman Tadahito Iguchi at second for the first out of the game. Contreras strikes out Jose Lopez and kind of makes him look a bit silly in the process. Raul Ibanez dumps a single into left just out of the reach of Juan Uribe. Well, so much for the no-hitter. The always-surly former White Sox DH Carl Everett has a bat in his hand. A Contreras forkball bounces a bit early, gets by AJ Pierzynski and Ibanez takes second. No biggie. Everett strikes out to end the top half.

Podsednik, who sure looks better as of late, draws a leadoff walk. Iguchi singles to right and Podsednik takes third. That's a text book example of how this lineup is supposed to work. Now let's see if Jim Thome can pick them up. Lunch could not get here soon enough. I'm feeling weak. Thome takes a mean cut but misses and the count goes to 2-1 before he just rips one to right that takes about two seconds to get to the Mariners' bullpen. Three-run homer and that was a pea. Paul Konerko lays into one, too, but it's right at former Cub and admitted steroid user Matt Lawton in center. I'm pretty sure my colleague Greg, who so kindly volunteered to run and get lunch, has taken my $20 and just skipped out for the day. I can't blame him. Pierzynski fans. Last-night's hero Joe Crede grounds out but the Sox get three.

White Sox 3, Mariners 0

Second inning

Greg has returned with Jimmy John's. Nice. But he's forgotten the chips! Though, he doesn't seem too concered about it. "I think Rahula's got some Chex Mix on his desk," he says. Considering the state of that desk, I will pass. Roberto Petagine squibs one the other way down the third-base line and it hits the bag for a mildly cheap infield single. Adrian Beltre doubles into the left-field corner. Podsednik fetches it and Petagine has to stop at third. Konerko makes a back-handed stab at Lawton's liner and nearly doubles up Beltre at second. Contreras fans Rene Rivera with his signature sinker. Yuniesky Betancourt chops one to third where Crede, playing in, handles the short-hop nicely. Contreras pitches himself out of that self-made jam.

"Chances of me working are...remote." For some reason that commercial still makes me laugh. Mackowiak skies one to left for the first out. Uribe, not shy about swinging for the fences, swings three times and misses and takes a seat on the bench. The immortal Ross Gload bounces back to the pitcher Hernandez and the Sox go down quietly.

White Sox 3, Mariners 0

Third inning

Ichiro does his little fancy-pants routine with the bat and his shirt sleeve and then grounds out to the Gooch, again. Lopez flies out to Mackowiak and Ibanez does the same to Gload.

Have you ever looked at the ingredients on a bag of Chex Mix? Holy crap. Though, I guess they've got to list the ingredients for the pretzels, the chex things, the melba toast and the other assorted odd-shaped crackers and such. A lot going on in that bag. Podsednik strikes out looking at a pitch he thought was inside. A leaping Beltre robs the Gooch of a hit. Thome caps a lengthy at-bat by slicing a double the other way. Konerko dumps a single that knocks in Thome. Wow, some harsh words for the Red Roof Inn guy on the message board. I hope he brought his blacklight with him on that business trip to check the sheets. Hernandez fans Pierzynski.

White Sox 4, Mariners 0

Fourth inning

Everett chases a sinker in the dirt, adjusts his cup, says something to the ump and slinks back to the dugout. Hawk and DJ are in the midst of a 10-minute conversation on pregame naps. Speaking of which... Contreras gets Petagine and Beltre in order and he's cruising now.

How much do you think Circuit City paid for the Cars' "Just What I Needed"? I'm thinking not much. Though, the same friend whom I talked about earlier, the big Brian Anderson fan, was in a Cars cover band in junior high. Joe Crede pokes a single through the hole on the left side. Mackowiak gives it a ride to deep, deep center, but Lawton catches up to it on the track. And what does Hawk say after every Sox flyball? "He just missed it." And for emphasis, "He. Just. Missed. It." Uribe strikes out. Gload lines a single to center and Crede takes third. Podsednik flies out to Lawton and that inning took entirely too long for so little action.

White Sox 4, Mariners 0

Fifth inning

Lawton flies out and Rivera grounds out. Betancourt grounds sharply to the Gooch. There is not much to report when the Mariners are up to bat. Contreras has sat down 12 of them in a row.

Gooch lays down a swinging bunt and he's safe when Beltre's throw draws Petagine's foot off the bag. Thome draws a walk and you haven't lived until you've listened to Hawk on headphones. Good lord. After a brief confab on the mound Hernadez pitches to Konerko. Konerko strikes out and that wasn't one of his best at-bats. Does every e-mail to Hawk and DJ actually end with "Go Sox!" or do you think Hawk adds that? With the runners moving Pierzynski swings through a pitch for strike three and the Gooch is thrown out at third for the ol' strike 'em out throw 'em out.

White Sox 4, Mariners 0

Sixth inning

Ichiro bounces back to the Bronze Titan or whatever Fidel Castro and you guys on the message board call him. Remind me to never eat Chex Mix again. Blah. And that ends any potential sponsorship tie-in we had with the General Mills people. Lopez grounds back to Contreras, as well, and that, to my count, is 14 straight. And my jinxing ways continue. Contreras walks Ibanez--the Cuban's first walk of the game. Everett singles and Ibanez takes third. Petagine Alfredo takes a big rip and it's no secret what he's trying to do up there: Hurry up and get to the bar at Gibson's already. Contreras goes full to Petagine and misses by not much to load the bases. And Nancy Faust launces into the Bangle's "Walk Like an Egyptian." And I thought I was dated with my Cars references. Contreras barely misses again, this time to Beltre, and you can actually hear fans in the crowd yelling, "Come on, Blue!" Bases loaded and a 3-1 count to Beltre. And the third walk of the inning forces in Seattle's first run. Brandon McCarthy is up and throwing in the pen. After being squeezed a bit, Contreras now has totally lost it. He can't find the plate. The count goes full to Lawton and now Contreras is just rearing back and firing fastballs that Lawton is fouling off. Must be smelt night. Popped it up and Podsednik gloves it.

White Sox 4, Mariners 1

Crede pops out in foul ground and on the headphones I can hear that one vendor with the loudest voice on earth. "HOT DOGS!" It's not fun sitting in his section. Mackowiak takes a pitch off his hand. That has to hurt like a mother. Can I say that? Herm waddles out to check on the hand, sprays some of that magic spray they use in South American soccer and Mackowiak stays in the game. Uribe moved Mackowiak to second some how. I think it was a slow roller. I was looking away. I apologize. Gload grounds out to second and I believe Hawk called that a Bolingbrook Bounce. Huh? Did I hear that right? And here's the Red Roof Inn guy again and I think he's got some penicillin.

White Sox 4, Mariners 1

Seventh inning

Yeah, to the joker on the message board, sorry I'm not up with all of Hawks' inane cornball cliches. Now get back to making the french fries. Contreras looks better now, at least against the back end of the order, as he sits down Rivera and Betancourt in order. Ichiro grounds out to Gooch, again, and he's now 0-for-9 in the series.

Kenji Johjima is the new Mariners' catcher and lefty Bobby Livingston, who pitched the last inning (sorry 'bout that), stays on. Podsednik grounds back to him and just beats the throw. Iguchi lines a single to left. And I'm not sure what Bolingbrook Bounce means. I'm sure it's no disrespect to the southwest suburb. In fact, Hawk should come up with something for every suburb. Palos Hills/Heights/Park popout? OK, lame. Maybe not. Thome strikes out and runs back to the dugout like a kid in the Little League World Series. Maybe like Hawk, he's got a bladder problem. Konerko grounds to Yuniesky, who goes to second to end the seventh.

White Sox 4, Mariners 1

Eighth inning

OK, many explanations of Bolingbrook Bounce on the board. Thank you to all. Lopez grounds out to Uribe on the first pitch. Mackowiak moves from center to right and, hey, here's Brian Anderson again as a late-inning defensive replacement. That's it for Contreras. He exits to a nice hand as Neal Cotts comes on and we got back to commercials even though we were just there 20 seconds ago. Ibanez pops up in foul territory and Crede gives chase. He slides feet first into the tarp, bobbles twice--one off his leg--and makes the grab bare-handed. Ha. Great play. You'll be seeing that for years and years. Everett grounds to third and we need multiple replays of Crede's play.

The replay shows the ball may have hit the DHL logo on the tarp first. I need to see it again. That's the consensus here. Hawk and DJ saw it another way. Still a great play by Crede and still counts as an out for the Sox, who go down quickly in order in the bottom of the eighth. And we go to the ninth with the Sox leading 4-1.

Ninth inning

White Sox 4, Mariners 1

Right-handed hitter Willie Bloomquist hits for Petagine and Ozzie doesn't like that matchup. He yanks Cotts for Big Bobby Jenks. And honestly I would rather watch Jenks warm up than the Coors Light Love Train. Bloomquist lifts one down the right-field line. Mackowiak drifts over and makes a basket catch right at the wall in foul territory. Another nice play. Beltre waves at a few pitches in the dirt and gets rung up. Lawton grounds the first pitch just by a diving Gooch and into right field. Johjima hits. Johjima pops out and this one's over. Fireworks in the daylight.

Final: White Sox 4, Mariners 1

That's it. The White Sox follow a familiar script and take two from the Mariners. A solid performance by Jose Contreras, a big homer by Jim Thome, not to mention some nice defense, and the Sox are 20-8. Thanks for reading, everyone. For those of you in Chicago, enjoy "Jeopardy."

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