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Freeze Frame: Contreras Finds Forkball

WCIU cemented its place as the worst station granted the opportunity to broadcast White Sox games with nine innings of fragmented coverage Wednesday. I missed much of the game, as I decided against waiting through choppy signals and frames frozen for minutes at a time.

What I was able to see was Jose Contreras working through a first inning trying to find his groove. He got hit hard in the inning, but escaped without surrendering a run. But when he returned with a 1-run lead in the second inning, he had found his forkball. He struck out the side, and cruised through the next 5 innings.

He seemed to lose the feel for the forkball in the 7th, as he started to get hit around again, giving up a home run to Jhonny Peralta. Ozzie could see he was losing it, and headed to his newly fortified bullpen rather quickly, which erased the mini-jam in only two pitches.

For me, the 7th inning double play was the highlight of the game. You probably won't see it on SportsCenter -- the ease with which they turned the twin killing will make sure of that -- but it might have been one of the best defensive plays the Sox have made as a team this year. Alexei Ramirez ranged deep to his right to backhand the Jamey Carroll grounder on one knee, fired to second from that same knee, where Jayson Nix easily avoided a takeout slide and had Carroll by a step and half at first.

That explanation doesn't do the play justice. Hawk used some incredulous mutterings into a hot mike as they headed commercial break, but I wasn't able to make heads or tails of it. Let's just say he was just as impressed.

Venture into the gamethread at your own risk. It came to SouthSideSoxers' attention that Steve Stone did a spread in Playgirl (no link. you'll have to search it out yourself). Needless to say, the gamethread is trashed, hirsutely trashed.