Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Ten Down, One to Go

I have to make this quick, I was up so late last night, I want to try to get a quick nap before game time.

Roy Oswalt doesn't seem so tough to me, the Sox were able to send 11 men to the plate in the fifth, scoring five runs to take the lead. Here's how it happened:

# Joe Crede: Home run to right; 4-1.
# Juan Uribe: Single to left.
# Jon Garland: Strike out swinging.
# Scott Podsednik: Single to right, first and second.
# Tadahito Iguchi: RBI single to center, scores Uribe, first and second; 4-2.
# Jermaine Dye: RBI single to center, scores Podsednik, first and second; 4-3.
# Paul Konerko: Fly out to center.
# A.J. Pierzynski: Two-run double to center, scores Iguchi and Dye; 5-4.
# Aaron Rowand: Walk.
# Crede: Hit by pitch, bases loaded.
# Uribe: Fly out to center.

For our part, I thought Jon Garland was struggling. So much so, that I was hollering for Ozzie to bring in El Duque in the 4th. After he got the lead he settled in and was effective.

Outstanding performance by the buulpen. The Astros got no hits after the eighth inning. I figured the game was lost twice, once whe Luis Vizcaino came in and again when Damaso Marte came in. I have give them both props for keeping the Astros from crossing the plate.

When Geoff Blum hit the homer that gave the Sox the lead, I was so shocked I forgot to react. It deserved the same kind of reaction I had for Konerko's and Podsednik's homers in Game 2, but I was either too surprised or too tired to give it the respect it desrved.

Heads up managing by Ozzie to have Mark Buehrle ready to go in case Marte got in trouble, which he did. Sure, he's supposed to start Game 6, but Ozzie knew that if we won last night, there likely wouldn't be a Game 6. Good move.

The game would have been over in 9 if the umpires didn't give the Astros a free homer in the fourth when Jason Lane hit a ball that should have remained in play according to the crazy ground rules at the Astros' park. Fox TV has delighted in rehashing over and over every little break the Sox have received in the playoffs, yet when this glaring error occurred, they barely mention it.

The Astros have been complaining aout MLB's ruling that they have to keep their roof open. The Astros want to close it so they can increase the crowd noise. From what I heard last night, I doubt it would have made much difference. In many critical game situations, Astros fans were virtually silent. There were also a number of times I was able to clearly hear chants of "Let's go White Sox". That's fine for a midseason midweek game, but to be able to hear cheering for the visiting team during a World Series game is unheard of. Astros fans should be ashamed.

Up next,
Freddy Garcia vs Brandon Backe
I like our chances to close it out tonight.

Go Sox!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Nine Down, Two to Go

Paul Konerko Scott Podsednik pulled the Sox' fat out of the fire tonight with a dramatic home run.

The Sox were scratching for runs after failing to capitalize on scoring opportunities all night. The Sox were trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh when the Sox managed to load the bases against Astros reliever Dan Wheeler on a controversial hit by pitch to Jermaine Dye. Paul Konerko managed to crush the first pitch from Chad Qualls into the left field stands for just the 18th Grand Slam in World Series history. I thought that was my greatest moment as a Sox fan until the Astros scored two off closer Bobby Jenks to tie the game at six. My greatest moment as a Sox fan came in the bottom of the ninth when, with one out, Scott Podsednik, who hit zero home runs during the season, hit his second of the postseason to win the game 7-6.

Some other stuff happened before that but none of it matters now.

I will say I think Astros closer Brad Lidge is done. In his last two appearances he has given up a game losing homer to Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols in the NLCS and tonight a walk off homer to Podsednik. If he gets another chance to close a game, I like our chances.

The Chicago f'ing White Sox are up two games to none in the World f'ing Series. I can't f'ing believe it.

Next up, John Garland vs Roy Oswalt on Turesday.

Go Sox!

Eight Down, Three to Go

A World Series recap post. Wow.

Joe Crede was the star of the game. Not only for his hitting, though his fourth inning homer gave the Sox the lead, but also for his defense, he made three outstanding plays at third that helped keep the Astros in check.

José Contreras wasn't at his best, he hit three batters to tie a World Series record, but he pitched well enough to win. I don't know why Ozzie brought him out to start the eighth, but he wisely pulled him after he gave up a leadoff double. Fox TV cameras made it seem as if Ozzie was still hesitant to make the change.

What bullpen rust? After giving up a single, Neil Cotts and Bobby Jenks were outstanding, recording 5 of 6 outs on strikeouts. Most memorable being Jeff Bagwell's to end the eighth. Jenks was firing 100 mph fastballs and it was obvious that Bagwell didn't have a chance.

I think we've seen the last of Roger Clemens in a Major League uniform. He left after the second inning with a hamstring injury. I can't help but think that Scott Podsednik's 13-14 pitch at bat had something to do with it. Scott fouled off pitch after pitch and was visibly upset with himself after striking out on a 3-2 pitch that was out of the zone. He made up for it with his RBI triple in the eighth that gave the Sox a needed insurance run.

I was disappointed that the Sox weren't able to break through against Wandy Rodriguez, the Astros' long reliever. It turned out not to matter.

I also want to note Carl Everett's heads up baserunning. In the second inning with Everett on third, AJ Pierzynski hit a grounder to Astros first baseman Mike Lamb. Lamb thought he had frozen Everett and tried to start a double play. Everett took off for home when Lamb released the ball and scored without a throw, while the Astros only recorded one out on the play.

I wish Fox had shown Luis Aparicio's ceremonial first pitch to Ozzie, that would have been nice to see. I also see that Frank Thomas was in uniform for the game, nice for him. No one on the Sox roster deserves this more than Frank.

Next up, Andy Pettite vs Mark Buehrle. The weather report doesn't look encouraging, I hope they can get the game in.

Go Sox!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It's the Astros

After their epic collapse on Monday, I figured the Astros were done, but they managed to pull themselves together and eliminate the Cardinals last night. I had a slight preference for the Cardinals because it would have driven Cub fans crazy and because the ex-Cub factor was in our favor. It doesn't matter because the White Sox are in the World Series! I just saw an ad for the broadcast that featured the Sox and I couldn't help chuckling to myself.

It's going to be great!

Tom DeLay's Mugshot

From his booking today in Houston. Odd that he's smiling. I hope that Ronnie Earle will correct that soon.

This Washington Post article theorizes that he's smiling so that Democrats can't use it against him. Fair enough. We'll just have to use the footage of him being hauled away to prison instead.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Seven Down Four to Go

Now that I've calmed down and sobered up a bit, here's my thoughts on last night's game.

Joe Crede was the star of the game. His homer off Kelvim Escobar in th 7th tied the game at 3 and his 8th inning single put us ahead 4-3.

At the time I thought José Contreras was losing it,and I was screaming for Ozzie to bring in Jenks starting in the 8th. Thankfully, Francisco Rodriguez melted down and we scored two more in the top of the 9th. Contreras was able set down the Angels in order in the bottom of the 9th to clinch (I still can't believe I'm writing this) the White Sox' first trip to the World Series in 46 years.

The bottom of the 9th was an incredible experience for me. I stood up and put my hands on top of my head, shouting for each strike jumping up and down for the first two outs. Hyperventilating the whole time. When Konerko tagged first for the fianl out I started screaming and shouting for all I was worth bouncing around the room, knocking down anything in my path. I then proceeded to drink three beers in a row while watching the celebrations and interviews on TV and got very drunk (for me). I also found myself dancing involuntarily, smething I continued to do well into this afternoon. I find myself smiling and giggling a lot.

I was thinking to myself today that I was fully prepared to go the rest of my life without seeing this happen. Maybe they'd tease me every now and then with a playoff appearance, but I never thought they could actually do what they've done, advance to the World Series. If these guys can seal the deal and win it all I don't know what I'm going to do. I hope to find out.

Go Sox!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Six Down, Five to Go

This game started out as a carbon copy of last night's game and ended with the White Sox a mere 27 outs away from the World Series.

Again tonight the Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead, this time on a three run homer by Paul Konerko, instead of last night's two run jack. The homer absolutely took the crowd out of the game, it was like a tomb out there.

It looks like Scott Podsednik may have regained his baserunning momentum, he reached base four times, stole two bases and scored two runs. Good to see that.

Freddy Garcia joined the complete game club, holding the Angels to 2 runs on 6 hits and one walk. I thought Ozzie would pull him after the score went to 8-2, but Freddy was able to close it out without much difficulty.

The Fox announcers tried to make a big deal about a missed catchers interference call and a missed call on a pickoff, but they failed to realize that something like that might make a difference in a one run game, but in a six run game it's of no consequence.

Next up, a rematch of Game 1, José Contreras vs. Paul Byrd. I look for Ozzie and the Sox to go for the jugular and (I can't believe I'm writing this) the American League pennant tomorrow night. I don't think there's any way Paul Byrd can beat us twice in a row.

Five Down, Six to Go

Tonight's game featured two things Sox fans haven't seen in a while: the White Sox offense and pitcher Jon Garland. Both were excellent.

The Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Scott Podsednik scored on a Jermaine Dye double after Tadahito Iguchi sacrifced him to second. Paul Konerko followed up with a homer he crushed on a hanging breaking pitch by Angels starter John Lackey. Konerko drove in Iguchi in the fifth after he doubled with one out.

Garland showed no ill effects of a 13 day layoff. He allowed only 4 hits and one walk while striking out 7 in a complete game effort. The only blemish being a two run homer he allowed to Orlando Cabrera. They interviewed Garland's girlfriend during the game. Some guys have all the luck. Have fun tonight buddy.

My only concern is with the back to back complete games, the bullpen isn't getting enough work. Dustin Hermanson and Luis Vizcaino haven't even appeared in a postseason game yet. Though that may not be a bad thing in Vizcaino's case. Only Cotts has appeared in an LCS game. I don't think you want a reliever's first appearance to be in a game-critical situation.

I've said this before, but this postseason has just been unbelievable. It's all I can do to not think ahead. It's a good problem to have.

Next up, Freddy Garcia vs Ervin Santana. Before the LDS Garcia intimated that he would rather face the Angels because of the success he's had against them in the past. Now's your chance, Freddy.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Two of My Favorite Things

President Senator Barack Obama throws out the first pitch at last night's Game 2 of the ALCS.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Four Down, Seven to Go

I thought this was going to be a replay of Game1, with the addition of an outstanding pitching performance by Mark Buehrle. Exemplified by Aaron Rowand getting thrown out at home leading off the second on a double and an error by Vlad Guerrero.

On to what everyone will be talking about tomorrow. Bottom of the 9th, two outs, nobody on. AJ Pierzynski appeared to swing and miss at strike 3, AJ thought that the ball hit the dirt so he ran to first while the Angels were running off the field and was called safe. Pablo Ozuna ran for AJ and stole second. Joe Crede followed with a clutch double to score the winning run.

To my eye, the replay showed that Angels catcher Josh Paul, caught the ball. If there was any question, Paul should have tagged AJ or thrown to first. He did neither, so IMO the Angels have nothing to complain about.

The White Sox aren't supposed to get these kind of calls, we've been screwed by the umpires more times than I can count. Which leads me to believe we just might have something special going on here.

Is there an ex-White Sox factor? Ex-Sox Tony Graffanino cost Boston Game 2 of the LDS with an error. Tonight, ex-Sox Josh Paul costs the Angels Game 2 of the LCS with an error. Things that make you go hmmm.

Missouri to Track Cell Phone Users

The Missouri Department of Transportation is negotiating with private contractors to track cell phone users on all Missouri roads. The stated goal is to relay real time traffic information to motorists, by tracking the movement of cell phones on the roads. They claim the data will be anonymous, but I have serious doubts.

Citing "safety" concerns how long will it be before law enforcement agencies start using this information to issue traffic citations, or track the movements of political dissidents, or find out what their exes are up to, or watch where YOU go every day.

Check the calendar, it isn't 2005, it's 1984.

Still Eight to Go

An hour before game time, it's too late to do a recap of last night's game, so I'll just say I was disappointed. The game was there for the taking, but the Sox failed to execute. I didn't think they'd go undefeated, but we should've had this one. Let's forget about this one and get them tonight.

Go Sox!

Monday, October 10, 2005

It's the Angels

Despite losing Bartolo Colon to injury in the 2nd inning the Angels defeated the Yankees 5-3. The Yankees tried to make a comeback with three hits in the top of the 9th, but they fell short.

With Colon's injury and Washburn's illness, the Angels' pitching looks like it's in bad shape, but I still can't help but worry with the record we have against West Coast teams in recent years.

Jose Contreras vs Johnny Undecided tomorrow.

Go Sox!

Marte Makes LCS Roster

Despite his poor performance on Friday, Ozzie has decided to keep Damaso Marte on the roster for the LCS.

''I had a meeting with Marte before I made that decision,'' Guillen said. ''We need this kid. I talked to him, and he says he's fine. The thing is, that's the only player on my roster that I worry about.

I can see why Ozzie would want to have him on the roster, but what's the point, if he can't actually use him. Ozzie has said previously that he can't use Marte at home becuase of the reaction from the fans. After Friday's performance he should be afraid to use him at all, because he can't get anyone out. So what good is he? Better to keep Brandon McCarthy, who has had success, even out of the bullpen.

I can't claim to understand all of Ozzie's moves, but I guess I have to give him the benefit of the doubt until one of them backfires. I just hope that should it happen, it won't be too costly. One can't hope for miracles in every game.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Poll: Bush Bigger Problem than Terrorism

via Think Progress:

A new CBS poll shows that more people think that Bush is the US' most important problem, than think that terrorism is. It's only a 5% to 4% margin, but it's good to see.

Three Down, Eight to Go

I'm finding this postseason more and more difficult to believe. These things aren't supposed to happen to the White Sox. I figured that after Damaso Marte wlaked the bases loaded with nobody out in the bottom of the 6th, we were doomed. This would be the collapse, the Red Sox would take the lead, win the game, and take the next two to send us home for the winter.

El Duque had other plans, thankfully.

In an epic confrontation, Duque got Jason Varitek and Tony Graffanino to pop up, and then struck out Johnny Damon on a 3-2 checked swing. He then set down Boston's big guns 1-2-3 in the 7th. He allowed a harmless single to John Olerud in the 8th before handing the ball over to Bobby Jenks in the 9th. Jenks retired the side in order for his second save of the series. Duque earned a hold, which seeems wholly inadequate for what he did.

I've been watching baseball a long time, 23 of my 38 years. What Duque did was without a doubt the ballsiest pitching performance I've ever seen. Just one week ago, he was thisclose to being left off the roster in favor of rookie Brandon McCarthy. Now, he's earned himself a LCS start, IMO. I read somewhere yesterday that Ozzie had to fight hard to get Duque on the roster. I'm glad Ozzie won.

On to the LCS. I'd rather face the Yankees, because I think we could take them and because beating them would earn the respect the White Sox richly deserve. After this series, I'm beginning to think we could take anybody. I'll try to keep myself on an even keel, though.

Duque, if ever I meet you in a bar, the first one's on me, amigo

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Two Down, Nine to Go

This one didn't look good early, the Sox fell behind 4-0 early and it looked like the series might be tied 1-1. That all changed thanks to Tony Graffanino's error and Iguchi's 3 run blast in the 5th. Buehrle and Jenks were able to shut Boston down the rest of the way and the Sox pulled out a 5-4 victory.

Up next is Garcia vs Wakefield in Boston on Friday afternoon. The Sox have a good record vs Wakefield and Garcia likes to pitch in big games. This is certainly Garcia's biggest game in a Sox uniform so far. The experts keep pointing out how Boston has been able to come back when their backs are aagainst the wall, but this is a different team. I am cautiously optimistic.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

One Down, Ten to Go

The White Sox pounded Boston today 14-2. It was the first home playoff victory sicne 1959, the first victory since 1993, and the first one I'd seen since 1983. They also set an ALDS record with 5 home runs. I'm feeling pretty good about this team right now, but I hope Ozzie can keep them from getting overconfident. David Wells is no Matt Clement, but I wouldn't mind handing him a similar beating tomorrow. I'll take any kind of win, though.

Monday, October 03, 2005

A Prayer for White Sox Fans

O, (Deity or Deities) on the eve of the playoffs, a rare and most wondrous occurrence for us, I, a humble White Sox fan doth humbly pray for the following:

Heal our players' ailments, and protect them from injury.

Let our pitchers' fastballs move and let their breaking balls break.

Let our batters see the ball and let their bats be quick.

May our fielders' hands be soft and let their throws be true.

May our baserunners get good jumps and let their feet be swift.

May our manager's gut not lead him astray, and let his coaches' counsel be wise.

Let the umpires' vision be clear and let their hearts be unbiased.

If You in Your inifinite wisdom should see fit to grant my humble request, I will promise to sing thy praises at every 7th inning stretch.

In Joe Jackson's name I pray,

DeLay Indicted Again!

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was indicted again today on charges of money laundering.

The hits just keep on coming!

This Weekend's Movies

Went to the movies for the first time in a long time this weekend. I saw Serenity and A History of Violence.

I enjoyed Firefly when it was on Fox and I've fallen in love with it ever since I got the series on DVD, So I've been very excited to see the new movie. I was not disappointed. Joss Whedon was able to continue the story, while still leaving room for a sequel. I won't give away any of the big plot points, but there were a couple of small things that I didn't realize that added to my appreciation of the story. I didn't realize that the Firefly 'verse consisted of only a single solar system. While I later learned it was mentioned in one of the episodes I didn't realize that River was psychic. A lot of the episodes will make much more sense now. My rating (9/10)

I'd been interested in seeing A History of Violence since I first heard about it this spring. I liked it generally, with the excpetion of the ending. I didn't need a happy ending, but I did want a clearer resolution. It's still a provocative exploration on the origins of violence with some terriffic performances by its stars. My rating (8/10)

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