A look at two decisions each by Ozzie Guillen and Dusty Baker and how they affected the first game of the 2005 Sox-Cubs series.
Situation: What to do with DH Carl Everett, who can play the outfield, but not very well.
Ozzie Guillen's decision: Keep Everett on the bench as a pinch-hitter and keep the regular outfield of Scott Podsednik, Aaron Rowand and Jermaine Dye.
Result: Podsednik was 2-for-4 with a stolen base and run scored. Dye, who seems to be coming out of his season-long slump, was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.
Bottom of first
Situation: Two outs, no one on base, Derrek Lee at bat and Tadahito Iguchi hit by a Greg Maddux pitch in the top of the inning.
Guillen's decision: Have Freddy Garcia drill Lee, with umpires issuing a warning to both sides afterward.
Result: Bingo. The plunking of Lee accomplished several objectives. First, it kept Maddux from throwing too far inside the rest of the day for fear of ejection, and that always has been an integral part of his plan. Secondly, it might have cooled down Lee, one of baseball's hottest players. He flied out to center his remaining three at-bats. Third, it set the tone that Guillen's Sox don't back down.
Bottom of fifth
Situation: Greg Maddux had just yielded three runs in the top of the inning and was trailing 4-0 but was due to bat with one out.
Dusty Baker's decision: Let Maddux bat instead of a pinch-hitter.
Result: Two outs. Maddux bounced out, and though he did pitch two more scoreless innings, the Cubs needed runs in the fifth inning more than in the seventh, when Ben Grieve finally pinch-hit. OK, Baker's bench isn't particularly deep because he is carrying 12 pitchers and maybe he didn't want to "waste" a hitter too early, but this could have been a game-type situation.
Bottom of ninth
Situation: Cubs behind 5-1, no one out, runner on first base and catcher Henry Blanco due up. Blanco came into the game with a .143 batting average and one RBI.
Baker's decision: Let Blanco bat instead of using a pinch-hitter.
Result: Blanco flied out and the Cubs didn't score. Was Michael Barrett unavailable because of his ailing shoulder? If Barrett was MIA, then the Cubs should have called up an extra catcher instead of going with 12 pitchers. It's dangerous to play without a second catcher or one who would be at a huge disadvantage defending against a small-ball team in late or extra innings.