Friday, October 07, 2005

White Sox - 3 down, 8 to go…

El Duque for President !! What an incredible pitching performance by Orlando Hernandez. It was another outstanding move by Ozzie Guillen, putting him on the playoff roster so that he could bring him in, in just such a spot.

The sixth inning of this game was one that real baseball fans are going to remember for a long time. In the top of the inning, Paul Konerko hit a two run homer to give the White Sox the lead, 4-2. They threatened to score more, having two men on with only one out, but Crede fouled out to Trot Nixon in right field (a fine play by Nixon, reaching into the stands and snagging the ball) and Uribe struck out. In the bottom of the inning, Manny Ramirez led off by hitting his second home run of the game. Now the Red Sox were only down by one run. Ozzie brought in Damaso Marte who promptly loaded the bases, giving up a hit and two walks. It looked like it might be beginning to unravel for the White Sox. After all, this is the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park with the bases loaded and nobody out. Their backs were to the wall and you just knew they were going to score. All you could hope to do was to keep it to a run or maybe two at the most. Ozzie brought in El Duque who got out of the jam without allowing another run to score. He got Varitek and Graffinino to pop out and struck-out Johnny Damon to end the inning. Unbelievable!! This inning, which took 58 minutes to play, saw five pitching changes, three by Boston and two by Chicago. Both teams had big scoring opportunities, stopped by outstanding pitching and fine defense. This was playoff baseball at its finest.

Pierzynski opened up the ninth inning with a double. Two successive bunts plated him, the first getting him to third inning and the second squeezing him home for an insurance run. When he scored that run, especially with HOW he scored that run, that’s when I began to feel that the White Sox would win the game. And once again, Bobby Jenks came in to close the door. Three up, three down, and because of that, he didn’t have to face David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez again.

I picked the White Sox to win this series, but I thought it would go five games. Never in my most optimistic moments did I think that the White Sox would sweep – the Red Sox are just too good a team. How happy I am to be wrong.

So, now it’s time to wait for the winner of the Yankee – Angel series. I’m picking the Angels in five, but I hope the Yankees win it. This is for two reasons. First, I think the White Sox match up better against the Yankees than they do the Angels. Yes, the Yankees have an extremely dangerous lineup, but so did Boston. And second, it would be so sweet to get to the World Series by knocking off both the Red Sox AND the Yankees along the way. THAT would be a statement…

Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen – what hath you wrought, a team that can win it all?

Go Sox!

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