Welcome to this once-in-a-lifetime World Series version of From the Cubicle. I've got to say, I'm a little nervous.
Game 1 last night was quite the doozy. Joe Crede did his best Brooks Robinson. And Bobby Jenks ... well, what can you say? Jeff Bagwell had no chance.
Tonight should be just as good, too, with the battle of lefties between Mark Buehrle and Andy Pettitte.
Despite finishing with the best record in the superior American League, the Sox have been searching for respect all season. If the job they did on Boston and Anaheim in the first two rounds didn't do the trick, you think last night's 5-3 victory over the Astros and Roger Clemens, albeit a gimpy Rocket, sealed it? The rest of the country and the national media now know the Sox are damn good.
It's rainy and cold in Chicago but they're going to play this one. Sit tight.
The tarp is on. The tarp is off. The pitchers have stopped warming up. I'm not sure what's going on and neither do Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. After those two just told us the pitchers aren't throwing in the bullpen, they show Pettitte throwing. Buck and McCarver now are killing time. Lord help us.
OK, it's now 7:20 local time. Buehrle is on the mound and he starts Craig Biggio with a strike. Biggio then pops out to Aaron Rowand in center. Willy Taveras tries to bunt for a hit but it's too hard and Tadahito Iguchi gobbles it up for out No. 2. Lance Berkman takes a fastball on the outside corner for the third out. Typical first for Buehrle. Took, oh, about 30 seconds.
Scott Podsednik works the count full and Pettitte has been out there three times as long as Buehrle was already. Podsednik rips one to right but Jason Lane makes a running catch. Iguchi strikes out swinging. Jermaine Dye lines a two-out single to left. Konerko works a lengthy at-bat but takes a called third to end it.
Morgan Ensberg hits Buehrle's first pitch of the second inning into the left-field bleachers. Fox was barely back from commercial. Bagwell grounds out to Crede. Lane singles. Chris Burke flies out to a running Dye. With Brad Ausmus up Lane swipes second. Ausmus reaches on a swinging bunt that Crede can only look at. Lane takes third. Buehrle works himself out of a jam by striking out Adam Everett. But the 'Stros takes a 1-0 lead on Ensberg's homer.
Astros 1, White Sox 0
When's the last time Carl Everett got an extra base hit? Well, he strikes out swinging. Rowand pulls a single by Ensberg. A.J. Pierzynski hits it deep to left, it hits off the middle of the fence and bounces back into left field. Burke has to chase it. And Rowand is standing on first. He could've scored on that. Instead he takes second. Brutal base running. Well, it doesn't matter. Crede dumps a single to right, scoring Rowand. A.J. takes third. Juan Uribe pops up to shallow right and the ball pops right out of the glove of future Hall of Famer Craig Biggio. Biggio waited 18 years to do that? Pierzynski scores. Crede was forced out at second on the play. Podsednik digs in and Uribe steals second. Podsednik then grounds out and the Sox get two back.
White Sox 2, Astros 1
Biggio grounds out to Crede. Taveras pokes one to right and that guy can fly. He ends up on third with a triple, just beating the relay from Uribe. Berkman flies one to Rowand in center, scoring Taveras to tie the game. Ensberg strikes out to end the inning.
White Sox 2, Astros 2
Iguchi leads off the bottom of the third with a single to left. Dye grounds out to first and the Gooch takes second on the play. Fox's "Fox tracker" thing has nothing on ESPN's K-Zone when it comes to showing pitch location. In fact, Fox has nothing on ESPN in any area. Konerko grounds out to Biggio and the Gooch moves up one more base. Everett hits with two-outs and a guy on third. Ensberg robs Everett of an RBI single with a diving stop at third. Inning over. The Gooch stranded.
Still tied 2-2
Bagwell hits it hard but Iguchi makes a nice pick on a short-hop and throws out the aged slugger. Lane hits it hard and this time Konerko handles it. Two outs. Burke grounds out to Konerko as well. Fox missed it because Chris Myers was blabbering about his phone coversation with Bill Murray. At any rate, 1-2-3 inning for Buehrle.
Rowand flies out as Fox goes to its meaningless conversation with Astros pitching coach Jim Hickey. Pettitte fans Pierzynski on a big curve. Crede hits it far...and foul. The Sox have had a number of those in two games. Face painting should be a crime punishable by jail time. Gotta support the team, I guess. Crede then grounds out to short.
Tied up, 2-2
Someone finally gets one by Crede. Ausmus hits a double off his glove. Everett tries to bunt, it hits him in the box. There's some confusion as to whether he touched the ball in fair territory. Ozzie comes out briefly but that's that. Foul ball. Everett swings away with one strike and fouls it off. He then strikes out and takes a seat on the bench, failing to get Ausmus over to third. Biggio fists one in the air, Iguchi lets it drop and then just gets Biggio at first. Ausmus had to hold because he thought Iguchi was going to catch that. Taveras hits it to the left side. Crede lets it go and Uribe has no chance getting Taveras. First and third for "Fat Elvis" Berkman. Berkman lines a two-out double down the left-field line, scoring both runners. Ensberg lines out to Uribe.
Astros 4, White Sox 2
Uribe bounces a double down the third base line to start things. Podsednik flies to center and Uribe bluffs a tag but stays put. Iguchi hits it right back at Pettitte and Pettitte gets Uribe caught in a rundown and tags him out. Pettitte then picks off Iguchi. Two assists for the pitcher. Not good base running by the Sox.
Astros 4, White Sox 2
Bagwell lines out to Crede. Buehrle fans Lane. Burke flies out to shallow left. We move on.
Dye hits it hard but right at Lane. Konerko sends it deep and Lane makes a running basket catch on the warning track. Everett hits a two-out single to center. Rowand rips a double to the corner in left just fair. Chalk nearly flew up. Everett, who's not very fast, trots into third. Pierzynski pops up the first pitch and Pettitte pitches out of it.
Astros 4, White Sox 2
Buehrle remains in the game as a steady rain continues to fall. Ausmus flies out to Rowand. Everett rips towards third but Crede makes a diving catch. Another great play. Buehrle fans Biggio and some guy wearing a scarf and velvet sports coat comes out to play "America the Beautiful" on the trumpet.
Righty Dan Wheeler is the Astros' new pitcher and he'll face Crede. Crede pops out to Ensberg in foul ground. Uribe ropes a double off the wall in left-center. Podsednik strikes out, failing to get Uribe home. Iguchi works a walk, the Sox's first of the night. Full count to Dye. The runners go and Dye fouls it off. Wheeler's inside pitch gets either a piece of Dye or the bat. The ump says Dye. Phil Garner says the bat and Ol' Scrap Iron comes out to agrue to no avail. While he's out there Garner lifts Wheeler for Chad Qualls, who'll pitch to Konerko with the bases loaded. Quall delivers and Konerko tags him for a first-pitch grand slam. Unreal. Welcome to the World Series, Chad. Much hi-fiving and hugging on the Sox's dugout. Comiskey is going nuts. Meanwhile, Everett singles. Konerko takes a curtain call and Joe Buck is harping on the umpire's call on Dye's at-bat. For some reason Everett is thrown out trying to steal. No one is really paying attention to what is happening on the field at this point. The Sox take the lead on a dramatic grand slam by Paul Konerko.
White Sox 6, Astros 4
Taveras lines out to Dye in right and, like he did with the Pierzynski play against Anaheim, Buck will not stop with the Dye at-bat. Initially Ausmus didn't argue. I will say Dye turned around as if to ask whether it was a foul ball or not. It's moot at this point. By the way, Cliff Politte is the Sox's new pitcher. Berkman fans and Fox is now showing a replay of the Pierzynski play back to back with Dye's. All we need now is Randy Moss to moon someone and then Buck may really lose it. Ensberg grounds out to end the top half of the eighth.
Rowand grounds out to Ensberg and that's it for Qualls. Lefty Mike Gallo trots out of the pen and Fox goes to commercial. Joe Buck needs to be held. Maybe McCarver will handle that. And is there anything more worthless than these WebMD things that point out where, for example, the shoulder is on the human body? Pierzynski grounds out to second. Crede grounds out to Ensberg and here come Jenks--to face Bagwell again.
White Sox 6, Astros 4
Jenks throws two fastballs to Bagwell and gets ahead 0-2. The count goes even. Does Dustin Hermanson pitch anymore or does he just get loose in the pen? Bagwell dumps a single to center in front of Rowand. Jenks blows away Lane on three serious fastballs. Burke walks and Don Cooper comes out to talk to the pitcher. Ausmus hits with one out and two on. Ausmus chops a slow roller to Konerko who takes care of it himself. The runners move up. Jose Vizcaino will hit. Jose Vizcaino? Vizcaino lines a single to left. Bagwell scores and Burke just beats the tag by Pierzynski to tie the game. Vizcaino takes second and that's it for Jenks. Neal Cotts comes on. Great slide by Burke and a very close play. I didn't think they were going to send him. Mike Lamb flies out to end the top half of the ninth.
White Sox 6, Astros 6
Closer Brad Lidge takes the mound. Uribe flies out to center. Of all things that can happen, of all people, Podsednik hits a game-winning homer off Lidge. Podsednik and Albert Pujols. Podsednik didn't hit a homer all season but now has two in the playoffs. Unbelievable.
Final: White Sox 7, Astros 6
The Sox head to Houston with a two-game lead in the World Series. Great game. An instant classic. Thanks for reading everyone. Enjoy.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times