Sunday, October 09, 2005

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


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