White Sox pummel Blue Jays

If you missed last night’s game between the Chicago White Sox (58-64) and the Toronto Blue Jays (63-60), you missed an offensive explosion by the Pale Hose.  The home team exploded for 11 runs on 17 hits with everyone contributing to the effort. Every starter in the lineup had a hit except Tyler Flowers who had a tough night.  But that did not matter as the Sox received contributions from everyone else.

The White Sox were down 1-0 after Toronto scored in the first inning, but came back to score five runs off Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman and knock him out of the game in the 1st inning!  Stroman allowed five runs on five hits, walking none, hit a batter and struck out out one over just 2/3 of an inning.  It was beautiful.  


(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Alejandro De Aza led off the game with a double and then Stroman hit Alexei Ramirez with a pitch right on his hand.  Not surprisingly, Alexei stayed in the game, since he is as tough as nails, but I would not be surprised if he sits today if his hand swells up.  After a balk that moved the runners to 2nd and 3rd, Jose Abreu had a brilliant at-bat as he went right with a slider on the outside of the plate and poked it into right field to tie the game at 1-1.  He is sooo good.  


(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Adam Dunn would then ground out to shortstop Jose Reyes who was in the 2nd base spot as Toronto was playing the shift, which allowed Ramirez to score and give the Sox a 2-1 lead.  Dayan Viciedo would then hit a rocket line drive down the 1st base line that would score Abreu and give the Sox a 3-1 lead.  Conor Gillaspie would then double in the gap in right-center that allowed Viciedo to score all the way from 1st base.  3rd base coach Joe McEwing did a great job sending Viciedo on the play and forcing the action.  The Sox now led 4-1.  After Tyler Flowers was called out on strikes, Jordan Danks singled to left to drive in another run and knock Stoman out of the game.  Chad Jenkins would retire Gordon Beckham on a groundout, yet the Sox had all nine men come to the plate in the first inning and give Hector Noesi a huge lead.  


(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

It was a lead that Noesi and the bullpen needed on this night as the Blue Jays came back to score three runs of their own in the 2nd inning and cut the lead to 5-4.  After that however, Noesi settled down and pitched well.  He allowed five runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out four over five innings for the win.  He has lowered his ERA to 4.84 on the season.  It was at 14.21 when he came to the White Sox on April 26th.  Don Cooper has done a remarkable job with Noesi.  That is why I contend that Cooper is the best pitching coach in baseball today.  

De Aza2

(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

After the White Sox scored another run in the bottom of the 2nd inning on a RBI single by Dayan Viciedo, they had another big inning in the 5th scoring another five runs.  At one point they had six straight hits in the inning, a season high.  Jordan Danks, Gordon Beckham, Alejandro De Aza, Alexei Ramirez, Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn all had singles to begin the 5th inning with De Aza driving in a run, Abreu driving in two and Dunn chipping in a run before yet another run was scored on a wild pitch with Viciedo at the plate.  Viciedo was walked before the Blue Jays recorded their first out of the inning.  They were able to get the final two outs in the frame as well, but the Sox now had a huge 11-4 lead.  

Noesi would load the bases on two singles and a walk before exiting the game for Javy Guerra.  Guerra did a REMARKABLE job getting a ground ball double play on which a run scored and and then struck out a batter to end the inning.  To come in with no outs and the bases loaded and allow just one run is a great thing.  Guerra would remain on the hill for the 7th inning as well and collect one more strikeout.  He allowed no runs, no hits and struck out two batters over his two innings on the mound.  


(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Maikel Cleto and Daniel Webb would each throw a scoreless inning out of the pen as well as the Sox would win 11-5.  In the game there were some down moments.  Along with Ramirez getting hit on the hand, Dayan Viciedo left the game in the 5th inning due to dizziness.  His replacement, Moises Sierra left the game in the 9th inning due to back stiffness.  It remains to be seen if these are serious injuries, yet hopefully Avisail Garcia and Adam Eaton will return to the Sox soon if need be.  


(Scott Boehm/Getty Images-July 22nd, 2009)

Tonight at 7:10pm ET Mark Buehrle (11-8; 3.31 ERA) will make his first start at U.S. Cellular Field as a member of the opposition since being let go after the 2011 season.  For 12 years, Buehrle was the rock of the Sox staff.  His career record at U.S Cellular is 90-54 with a 3.71 ERA.  White Sox fans like myself will never forget Buehrle’s no-hitter against Texas in 2007 and his Perfect game against Tampa Bay in 2009.  Buehrle will face his buddy John Danks (9-8; 4.96 ERA).   

I absolutely expect Buehrle to get a standing ovation in this one tonight as he takes the mound.  I’ll be rooting for him like I always will, yet….


The Buster Posey rule cost Chicago

No game might have made me more upset this season than last Wednesday afternoon’s game between the Chicago White Sox and the San Francisco Giants. It most likely was the same for Robin Ventura too.

With a 1-0 lead in the 7th inning thanks to a solo homer by Adam Dunn in the 4th, the Sox were ahead 1-0 with Jose Quintana on the mound. Jose was pitching great but was in a bit of a jam with runners at the corners and just one out. Then this happened…

(Go to #16 on the playlist if it is not showing directly with the link provided Titled: Ventura ejected after overturned call in 7th)

Robin Ventura ended up throwing a fit on the play and getting tossed. I was pissed too. It was a terrible call. What do they expect Tyler Flowers, or any catcher to do for that matter? In my opinion this rule was put in place to protect catchers from being barrelled over, ala Pete Rose and Ray Fossee.

It was put in place after MVP candidate Buster Posey was lost for the year on this collision below.

As you can see in the clip with Flowers and Blanco, there was no collision. The runner had time to slide. Flowers had the ball a full step before the slide which by the rule, allows him to block the plate having possession of the ball. The runner was clearly tagged out. Yet because of a rule that is open to interpretation by umpires in New York who are not even at the game the runner was called safe and the Giants went on to have a big inning and win 7-1.

(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

It disrupted what was a great game by Jose Quintana who pitched six scoreless innings before the debacle. It also ruined the return of Matt Lindstrom who pitched his first inning since May 19th striking out two batters.

(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

What a shame that a game of baseball came down to such a bad rule. Let them play. Police the outrageous collisions. Protect the catchers from the guys who clearly have no intent to get to the plate but look to go out of the baseline to harm the catcher. But don’t punish a good play because of a over protective and bad rule.

All clips in this blog post come courtesy of the MLB.com youtube channel.

Beckam’s defense and offense lead Sox to late win

Last night, Chris Sale pitched fantastic and deserved a much better fate than what he received. After pitching eight scoreless innings, he would end up getting a no-decision as Jake Petricka would blow his third save of the season.


(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Sale allowed just four hits over his eight scoreless innings, walking two and striking out 12 batters in the game. He lowered his ERA to 2.01 on the season.

Jake Petricka, instead of the just returned from the DL, Matt Lindstrom entered the game. After three singles to load the bases, the White Sox were given a game saving play from Gordon Beckham. With a 2-0 lead, Beckham made an amazing diving stop, flipped the ball with his glove to Alexei Ramirez who turned a double play! It was awesome. He also had made another defensive gem in the 5th as well. On this play, a run did score to make it 2-1, but the White Sox now had two outs and a chance to win the game for Sale. Yet the next batter, Brandon Crawford singled to right to tie the game at 2-2.


(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Zach Putnam would enter the game and strike out Gregor Blanco to end the 9th but the damage was done. Sale would not get a win on this day despite being given a 2-0 lead in the 1st inning on a two-run blast from Adam Dunn and pitching so well.

Danks out at home

In the 10th however, the White Sox would rally to take back the lead. With one out Jordan Danks would draw a walk and then move to third on a single by Moises Sierra. With Alejandro De Aza batting, Sierra would steal second. Then a controversial call at home plate would occur. The play is ironically involving Buster Posey whom new rules were put in place to protect catchers from being injured on home plate collisions.

On the play Alejandro De Aza would hit a grounder to second base, Matt Duffy would throw home and Danks was tagged out. Robin Ventura would challenge the play that Posey was blocking the plate and the call would be upheld. The right call was made, although Robin had nothing to lose by challenging the play at that point.


(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

One batter later, Gordon Beckham would single to left to score Sierra and the Sox would take a 3-2 lead.


(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Putnam would remain in the game and retire the Giants in the 10th to get the win by a final of 3-2. This afternoon the White Sox face former teammate Jake Peavy as the Sox close out inter-league play for the season.

Sox unable to string together winning streak

The Chicago White Sox (56-63) had a former AL Central Division foe come back to haunt them on Sunday afternoon as former Detroit Tigers center-fielder Austin Jackson, now playing for the Seattle Mariners had a huge game for his new team going 3-for-4 with all four of his team’s RBI’s in the 4-2 win for Seattle.


(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

John Danks pitched ok, but still suffered the loss for Chicago as he allowed four runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out one over 6 1/3 innings.


(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The White Sox offense was shut out until the 8th inning when Tyler Flowers hit a solo homer. They collected a 2-out RBI single from Conor Gillaspie in the 9th and actually loaded the bases before Jordan Danks struck out swinging to end the game.

The White Sox have a day off today before resuming a two game set on Tuesday night in San Francisco against the Giants. The game begins at 10:15pm ET. Chris Sale (10-2; 2.14 ERA) will face off against Ryan Vogelsong (7-8; 3.77 ERA). Wednesday afternoon’s matchup will at 3:45pm ET will feature Jose Quintana (6-8; 3.04 ERA) against former White Sox Jake Peavy (0-3; 4.82 ERA).

Today also the White Sox optioned Eric Surkamp to AAA Charlotte and are expected to get Matt Lindstrom back from the DL for tomorrow’s game. That will be huge.


Gillaspie delivers in 10th for White Sox win

The losing streak is…OVAH!!!

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Last night in a 10 inning affair, the Chicago White Sox (56-62) snapped a 4-game losing skid with a 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners (61-55). After an error by Seattle shortstop Chris Taylor extended the top of the 10th, Conor Gillaspie delivered home the eventual winning run with an RBI single to right field off All-Star closer Fernando Rodney. Jordan Danks also deserves some big credit in stealing 2nd base and getting into scoring position to score the winning run before the error.

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Hector Noesi pitched fantastic as he did not all a hit till Kendrys Morales singled with two outs in the 4th moving Robinson Cano, who reached on a throwing error by Gordon Beckham, to third base. Cano would come around to score on an RBI double by Kyle Seager to put the Mariners ahead 1-0. Noesi would walk the next batter but get Logan Morrison to ground out to first base to end the inning.

Noesi would allow just three other singles in the game as he dominated his former team allowing just one run (unearned) on five hits, walking one and striking out four through 7 1/3 innings.

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The bullpen did well last night too a Javy Guerra, Eric Surkamp, and Jake Petrika combined to throw 2 2/3 innings of shutout baseball with Petricka earning his 8th save as Surkamp got the win.

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The White Sox tied the game at 1-1 off big James Paxton in the 7th inning. Jose Abreu doubled to left to lead off the inning and then scored one batter later on a RBI double by Alexei Ramirez down the left field line. In the game the White Sox collected hit after hit, but were unable to drive many runs home until Gillaspie delivered in the 10th.

The White Sox with the win today will salvage a split with the Mariners and have their first back-to-back win streak since winning on July 31st and August 1st. John Danks (9-7; 4.93 ERA) takes the hill against Erasmo Ramirez (1-5; 4.35 ERA) at 4:10pm ET. Danks has really struggled as of late. Over his last 4 starts (21 innings) he has gone 1-1 with a 10.29 ERA. Allowing 24 runs on 33 hits with 9 homers allowed. Opponents are hitting .371 over that span against Danks. Hopefully he turns that around today.


Error and lack of hitting leads to loss

Sometimes you just know your team well. I told my roommate before the game began: “Don’t be surprised if the White Sox lose tonight. They have been playing really bad lately.” He’s not much of a baseball fan and didn’t last past the 2nd inning in watching it. I decided to torture myself however and watched most of the game till I was just too tired and the outcome had been decided. Since the game did not begin till 10:10pm here on the east coast I knew it would be a late one. Three beers in and a 4-1 deficit going into the 7th inning I knew it was over so I went to bed. I am a bit surprised that it was the same score when I awoke this morning because our bullpen has been so terrible, yet I am not surprised that the White Sox lost because the offense has been non-existent as well.

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Jose Quintana had one bad inning, giving up four runs (two earned) in the 5th and that was enough because he once again had little to no run support. He pitched just 5 2/3 innings allowing the four runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out four while throwing 93 pitches.

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The White Sox did have a 1-0 lead thanks to a solo homerun by Dayan Viciedo in the top of the 4th, but that was all the runs they would score as they collected just six hits on the night and leaving four runners on base. It did not help that Adam Eaton left the game after his first at-bat as he was clearly not 100% and still hurting from crashing into the wall at U.S. Cellular field over the weekend.

The bullpen did surprisingly well as Ronald Bellisario pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 innings allowing just two hits and striking out two. They also received a much needed boost from Zach Putnam who returned from the DL and threw a scoreless 8th inning.

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Yet once again the lack of offense and a costly error cost the Sox. This one was by Conor Gillaspie that led to the Mariners big inning. A leadoff walk and then a missed pop-up by Gillaspie put runners on 1st and 2nd with no one out. Gillaspie, who has been hitting well, has a team-high 11 errors on the season. Mike Zunino followed the error with a 3-run homer. It clearly rattled Quintana who allowed two more singles before retiring the first out of the inning on a sacrifice-bunt. After an intentional walk to Robinson Cano, Kendrys Morales hit a sac-fly to right to score another run before the last out of the frame was recorded.

Outside of Viciedo’s homer, all the White Sox other hits were singles and they never got a runner to 2nd base on the night. Tonight at 9:10pm ET Hector Noesi (6-7; 4.43 ERA) will go up against one of his former teams. Noesi did get a win against the Mariners back on July 6th. He will face off against James Paxton (2-0; 2.76 ERA) who has recently returned from a 3 1/2 month stint on the DL.

The White Sox will be trying to snap a skid where they have lost six of their last seven games and have become losers in four straight contests.


Pitching struggles again in blowout loss

Another game. Another bad loss. The Chicago White Sox (55-61) are in a downward spiral. They have now lost 5 out of their last 6 games. Trying to get back to .500 has been a very difficult task as of late. In the losses they have suffered lately they have allowed the opponent to score in double digits 3 times while being outscored by a total of 59-18.

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Last night the Seattle Mariners (60-54) beat down the White Sox 13-3. Scott Carroll allowed seven runs on seven hits, walking three and striking out three over five innings while allowing three home runs. He allowed a solo homer to Dustin Ackley in the 1st that put the Mariners up 1-0 early. He then allowed a 2 out 2-run homer to Endy Chavez in the 4th. Robinson Cano then got to Carroll on a 2-run blast in the 5th. Carroll would exit the game in the 6th after walking and hitting the first two batters respectively. Both of those runners would come around to score on a 2-out single, the runs being charged to Carroll.

Then came the bullpen. After a run was charged also to Daniel Webb in the 6th, Andre Rienzo would allow three more runs in the 7th inning in just a 1/3 of an inning pitched. He would allow the three runs (two earned) on three hits and a walk. He would leave with the bases loaded before another run would score that was charged to him.

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Maikel Cleto would pitch the final 1 2/3 of the game for the Sox and allow a two-run homer to Kyle Seager before hitting Kendrys Morales with a pitch that led to an ejection of Mariners skipper Lloyd McClendon. McClendon was understandably upset since earlier Mike Zinino was hit by a pitch in the 6th by Scott Carroll, a possible retaliation for the Mariners hitting Jose Abreu in the top of the frame. I don’t know if Tyler Flowers who had just went out to the mound had instructed Carroll to hit Zinino, but it is possible. Abreu was then hit again in the 8th by Danny Farquhar and Maikel Cleto clearly retaliated with the first pitch to Kendrys Morales. McClendon felt that this was over the line. Yes it was retaliation, but that is baseball. Our guy gets hit twice, be ready to be hit back.

Overall, the Sox bullpen has been so bad as of late. Over the last six games they have allowed 35 runs on 46 hits and issued 11 walks using a total of 20 pitchers over 16 1/3 innings. The only game they did not use the bullpen over the last six games was there lone win that only lasted seven innings due to rain. That’s how bad it has been.

Dayan Viciedo hit a 2-run homer in the 6th and Alexei Ramirez had an RBI double in the 8th for the White Sox only runs as the Sox had just five hits on the day.

Tonight the Chicago again plays Seattle at 10:10pm ET as Jose Quintana (6-7; 3.04 ERA) takes on Hisashi Iwakuma (9-6; 2.94 ERA). This game and the remainder of the series could get interesting if someone else is hit by a pitch. Keep an eye on that.


Sale fans nine in loss

Yesterday afternoon I was hoping to watch a Chicago White Sox victory with Chris Sale on the mound. Sale has been dominant this season thus far and yesterday I expected no different.

Hawk and Stone
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone were even broadcasting the game from the “K Zone” the area of the ballpark where the Chris Sale fans sit with red “K Zone” t-shirts and signs to hold each time Sale gets a strikeout.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Sale was dominant. He struck out nine batters over six innings and only allowed three hits while walking two. Unfortunately one of those hits was a two run homer by Adam Rosales that led to a 3-1 White Sox defeat.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

In the 2nd inning Sale left a fastball up in the zone which Rosales did not miss and he crushed it over the right-center field wall. On the play, Adam Eaton was sprinting full speed for the ball and misjudged the distance between him and the wall and crashed face first right into it at full speed. He would have to leave the game due to a bruised lower back. The x-rays taken after the game were negative.

Rosales homered again to lead off the 7th off reliever Daniel Webb.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

And although Dayan Viciedo got the run right back in the bottom half of the frame, the Sox were unable to get any closer. they did have chances yet Alexei Ramirez being picked off in the 1st inning, Alejandro De Aza being doubled off in the 3rd, and the Sox grounding into two double plays did not help. Jose Abreu had chances as well as he had a runner in 2nd in the 6th and 8th innings but was unable to come through in either chance as he went 0-for-4 on the day.

The loss drops the Sox to 55-60 on the season. They will begin a 4-game series with the Seattle Mariners (59-54) tonight in Seattle at 10:10pm ET as Scott Carroll (4-6; 4.36 ERA) faces off against Roenis Elias (8-9; 4.19 ERA). Adam Eaton is listed as day-to-day and probably will not play tonight.


Adam Dunn makes pitching appearance in blowout loss

Sometimes I wonder why the Chicago White Sox (55-59) are unable to get back to the .500 mark.  Then I watch their bullpen.  

Yesterday it wasn’t all the bullpen’s fault though.  John Danks had another terrible outing on the mound.  He allowed three runs on the first seven pitches of the ballgame as Shin-Soo Choo doubled to lead off the game, was moved over to third on a sacrifice-bunt then scored on a RBI single by Alex Rios.  Rios then scored on a 2-run homer by Adrian Beltre.  



(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The problems continued for Danks in the 2nd as Robinson Chirinos led off the inning with a solo shot.  Danks then proceeded to walk 3 out of the next 5 batters before J.P. Arencibia cleared the bases with a 3-run double.  Danks would walk one more batter in the inning before finally getting a ground out to end the inning with his team down 7-0.  

Danks would allow two solo homers in the 5th before finally being pulled from the game.  His final line would be nine runs allowed on eight hits, walking five and striking out five over 4 2/3 innings.  He allowed four homers in the game giving him a team high 23 on the season.  



(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

I wasn’t one that was pushing for Danks to be traded but after reading the stat that Daniel Kramer wrote about on MLB.com, I am ready to get rid of him.  Over his career he is 33-42 at home and according to STATS Danks’ ERA of 4.38 is the highest since 1914 among pitchers with a minimum of 100 starts at home.  Yikes.  



(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Then there is the bullpen.  The Sox awful pen allowed seven runs on 10 hits over the next 4 innings to lose 16-0, by far the teams’ worst loss of the season.  It was so bad even Adam Dunn came in to pitch the 9th inning for the White Sox.  Yes, that Adam Dunn.  


(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Dunn allowed one run on two hits and walked a batter, which actually is not bad considering that he is a 1B/DH full time and not a pitcher.  Meanwhile the Sox offense only collected six hits off Colby Lewis who threw a complete game.

Today has to be better as Chris Sale (10-1; 2.09 ERA) takes the mound against Nick Tepesch (3-7; 4.84 ERA) at 2:10pm ET.  I’ll be watching as it is my last vacation day before heading back to work tomorrow.    



“Magic glasses” comes through in rain shortened game

Tyler Flowers needs to keep wearing his “magic glasses.” Superstitions are all over baseball. From eating the same meal before a game, wearing the same clothes (including underwear) during a winning streak, to batting routines and stances.

The stats bear out an amazing trend since Flowers began wearing glasses on July 9th, 2014. He has become a much better hitter. I will be the first to admit that at the beginning of the season I was confused and angry that the White Sox resigned Flowers to his new deal. The guy was a carrer .200 hitter from 2009-2013. In 2014 he began the season much the same batting .219 on the season through July 8th.

(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

His career stats to that point were 267 games played batting 159-for-771 (.206) with 27 homers and 79 RBI and a .278 OBP. In his last 18 games played since July 9th when he began wearing the glasses instead of contacts, he has went 23-for-59 (.390 average) with 3 homers and 13 RBI and a .438 OBP. That averages out to hitting over .300 with 27 homers and 117 RBI over a 162 game season. The “magic glasses” are working! Keep wearing them Tyler!

Last night, in a rain shortened game, Flowers was 3-for-3 with a triple in the 3rd inning with a run scored, a solo homer in the 5th, and a 2-run single in the 6th that put the White Sox ahead. He was a double short of the cycle, but never got his chance after the game was called in the 7th due to rain.

(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

That’s ok though because the White Sox won 5-3 and they did not have to use any of their terrible bullpen. Hector Noesi threw all seven innings allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits, walking three and striking out six while throwing 104 pitches.

(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

The White Sox were down 3-0 early, but rallied behind Flowers and Company. After Flowers triple, which initially looked like a home run but was upheld on replay, Adam Eaton would walk, he would then steal 2nd base and after a walk to Alexei Ramirez, both Eaton and Flowers would score on a single by Jose Abreu to cut the lead to 3-2. That gives Abreu, who was named Rookie and Player of the month for July 86 RBI’s on the season which leads all of baseball. He is also hitting .307 on the season.

Flowers and his “magic glasses” would tie the game at 3-3 leading off the bottom of the 5th with a line drive rocket into the seats in left for his 8th homer on the season.

(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

In the 6th with runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs the Sox had a huge chance to take the lead. After some terrible swings by Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza the Sox now needed another clutch hit from Flowers. He delivered with a single to center to score a pair of runs and give Chicago the lead for good as the downpour came.

In the game the White Sox collected 10 hits, one of those being a single by Adam Eaton in the 1st inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games and has reached base safely in 21 straight. The Sox caught a huge break not having to use their bullpen tonight. Let’s hope they can get it together soon.

Tonight at 8:10pm John Danks (9-6; 4.50 ERA) is scheduled to pitch against Colby Lewis (7-8; 5.98 ERA). Danks, who was not traded at the deadline, still may be claimed off waivers at some point this month. So he will be pitching with an uncertain future for awhile.



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