In 1959 Mayor Richard J. Daley switched on the city's civil defense air-raid sirens when the White Sox clinched the pennant, sending Russian-fearing non-baseball fans into a frenzy.
The Sox, up three games to one over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the American League Championship Series, are a game away from their first pennant in 46 years and the city of Chicago is possibly hours from learning if son Richard M. Daley has a similar celebration in mind.
Welcome to yet another playoff edition of From the Cubicle. The only guys working tonight are me and my colleague Greg Gugger. But, wherever you are, get the kids and gather around the computer for all the action.
Game 1 starters Jose Contreras and Paul Byrd go back out to the mound. Tonight's lineups.
The forecast for Anaheim calls for some rare rain. We'll have baseball whenever Fox feels fit to start the game.
I'm pretty sure we're going to have a game here. But that's not a definite. Fox's pregame show is hideous. Exactly what purpose does the inane blabber of Jeanne Zelasko, Kevin Kennedy and Kenny Lofton serve?
Scott Podsednik, coming off a great Game 4, strikes out looking to start this one. Tadahito Iguchi is hit by a pitch. He always gets hit. But the Gooch is tough and he takes his base. As Joe Buck, Tim McCarver and Lou Piniella discuss deep-dish pizza, Jermaine Dye drops a flare into left for a single that probably should've been caught. Speaking of which, I've got a Lou Malnati's pie en route. Paul Konerko lines out to Vladimir Guerrero in right and Iguchi tags and takes third, sliding in just before the tag. Carl Everett pops out to end the inning.
Bullpen? What's that? Contreras is the only Sox pitcher in the series not to have gone the distance. I'm pretty sure he's quite aware of it and would like to change that tonight. He'll face Chone Figgins when we're back from commercial. "Bud Light, Bud Light...oooh, a hot dog!" Figgins flies out to Aaron Rowand in center. Orlando Cabrera pops out to Contreras. To answer a question on the message board, Don Drysdale gave Greg some pitching tips on a "Brady Bunch" episode and then Greg got all cocky about it. However the best athlete cameo on "The Bunch"? Deacon Jones, who tells Peter glee club is cool. Garrett Anderson dumps a single to left. Guerrero goes to 1-for-17 in the series with a fly out to end the inning.
You've got to like Paul Byrd's old-school, arm-swinging lineup. But that's about all there is to like. Rowand doubles down the right field line as the ball bounces just inside the line into the crowd. A.J. Pierzynski bunts the first pitch and gets the job done. Rowand goes to third on the sacrifice. Joe Crede flies out to center and Rowand comes home. It's now raining. Juan Uribe grounds out to end the inning but the Sox get on the board.
White Sox 1, Angels 0
Darin Erstad misses a forkball in the dirt and he goes and takes a seat on the bench. Bengie Molina grounds out to Uribe. Contreras makes Casey Kotchman look silly while striking him out. A quick inning.
Podsednik grounds out to second. Chris Myers said the last rain out in Anaheim was in 1995. He also said the rain is supposed to pass. Iguchi flies out. Byrd gets two strikes on Dye before missing on a couple close ones that gets Mike Scioscia and Joe Buck riled up. The count goes full and Dye grounds out to third.
Sox fan in the OC, I've noticed that, too, about Contreras very obviously going to his forkball grip for all to see. It looks like might start with that grip and then adjusts to other grips with the ball in his glove. Juan Rivera doubles to start the Angels' half of the third. Isn't this the guy who ripped off Derek Jeter's glove and sold it? Contreras tries to get Rivera at second and the ball goes into center. Rivera takes third. Adam Kennedy lines a single to center, scoring Rivera to tie the game at 1-1. Figgins bunts Kennedy to second. Cabrera grounds out to Uribe and Kennedy has to stay put. The lineup I provided earlier is wrong. Scioscia flip-flopped Anderson and Guerrero just before the game. A pitch gets away from Pierzynski and Kennedy goes to third. Anderson walks. With runners on the corners and Guerrero with a bat in his hand, Ozzie Guillen goes out to talk to Contreras. Vlad grounds out. Guy's brutal in this series.
White Sox 1, Angels 1
Konerko flies out to left. Everett singles to center on an 0-2 pitch. Rowand is robbed of a hit by a nice play by Kennedy, who leaped high in the air to spear the line drive. Pierzynski flies out to end it.
Erstad rips one and Konerko makes a nice play on it for the first out. The pizza has arrived! Molina grounds out to Uribe. The message board is very impressive and global tonight. There are Sox fans from Hawaii, Denmark, Greece, Holland and Australia. Did I miss anyone? Oh, yes, and Kalamazoo, Mich. Contreras walks Kotchman. Rivera lines out to third.
White Sox 1, Angels 1
Crede grounds out to his counterpart at third, Figgins. Uribe rips a changeup down the third-base line and dives into second with a great slide to avoid Kennedy's tag. Podsednik draws a walk in a 10-pitch at-bat. Iguchi pops up the first pitch after pitching coach Bud Black went out to talk to Byrd. Dye doubles to left-center, scoring Uribe. And that's it for Byrd. OK, we've got a guy, yahoo, in the U.P. with nothing but a 26K Internet connection. And a fan in Seoul. Scott Shields, who pitches every day, is the Angels' new pitcher. Konerko hits it deep but Rivera catches it on the track for the third out.
White Sox 2, Angels 1
Kennedy hits it to Crede's right for an infield single. Figgins doubles to right and a SoCal Bartman reaches out and grabs the ball. Kennedy would've scored. The umps huddle and give it to him. Tie game. "The Angels get a call. Mark it down here in the fifth inning of Game 5," Joe Buck whines. The previously glum Buck has perked up. Cabrera chops one and Iguchi makes a great play and throw. Figgins takes third. The Sox pull the infield in with a runner on third, one out and Anderson up. Pierzynski saves a run with a great stop of a ball in the dirt. Anderson hits one deep to right. Dye catches it but Figgins scores to give the Angels their first lead since Game 1. Vald grounds out to end it.
Angels 3, White Sox 2
Shields remains in the game for the Angels and he'll face Everett to start the sixth. Everett grounds out. Rowand grounds out to Kennedy. Pierzynski digs in and a few Angels fans try and get a Redsox fans on Darryl Strawberry-like chant going. "Aaaayyyyyy-Jaaayyyyy." But that peters out quickly. Shields freezes Pierzynski with a breaking ball and that does it for the top of the sixth.
Erstad flies out to Dye as the guys in the booth chat up Don Cooper from the dugout. Molina hits it hard but it's right at Podsednik. Kotchman lines out to the Gooch.
Angels 3, White Sox 2
Kelvim Escobar comes on to pitch and Crede hits the first pitch he throws into the bullpen in left to tie the game. Uribe, swinging for the fences, goes down swinging at a fastball. Podsednik draws a walk. Black's out there on the mound again, chatting up Escobar. That guy gets a lot of face time for a pitching coach. Iguchi is the batter. Podsednik takes off for second, the Angels pitch out but Molina throws it into the dirt and Podsednik is safe. The count goes full and Iguchi waves at a splitter in the dirt. Dye strikes out on a pitch in the dirt to end the top half.
White Sox 3, Angels 3
Rivera grounds out to short. Kennedy slaps one into left field but Podsednik charges and makes the catch. Figgins squibs one back to Contreras and the Angels go down in order.
White Sox 3, Angels 3
Konerko, whose 0-for-3, leads off the eighth. He fans. Everett fans. Rowand works the count full and draws a two-out walk. Joe Buck and Angel fan favorite Pierzynski digs in. Francisco Rodriguez is up in the Angels' pen. Pierzynski hits it off Escobar, the pitcher scrambles and tries to tag Pierzynski with his glove while holding the ball in his bare hand. He then throws to first late. Pierzynski is called out. Ozzie comes out and the umps huddle and change the call to the correct call. Pierzynski is safe and Mike Scioscia is going nuts now. Pierzynski again is in the middle of it. Regardless of what happened in Game 2, the umps made the correct call here. It's just crazy that the play involves Pierzynski. Rodriguez is going to come on to pitch. With two outs and runners on first and second, Joe Crede bats against K-Rod. He's down 1-2. The count goes full. Crede hits a dribbler up the middle where Kennedy makes the play on the grass but can't get anything on the throw home. Rowand, running on the pitch, scores from second. That entire play appeared in slow motion. Strange but effective. First and second for Uribe, who walks to load the bases. Podsednik is patient up there and the count goes full. Podsednik looks at a 3-2 curve for strike three. After missing all over the joint, Rodriguez threw a great pitch there.
White Sox 4, Angels 3
OK, six outs away. Contreras remains and Cabrera grounds out to short. Anderson flies out to Rowand in center. Guerrero swings at the first pitch and fists one to Iguchi. Thanks for showing up for the series, Vlad. Next. Contreras cruises through a 1-2-3 inning. Three outs away. And we move to the ninth.
The Gooch draws a leadoff walk. Contreras will try and finish this one in the bottom of the inning. No one is up in the Sox's pen. With Dye up, Iguchi steals second. Dye walks. Rodriquez can't find the plate. Black trots out to talk to him after falling behind 2-0 to Konerko. Konerko rips one the other way that hits off the top of the wall. Iguchi scores. Dye stops at third on the double. Now Bobby Jenks and Neal Cotts get up in the pen. Everett strikes out and that's just the first out. Rowands hits a deep fly ball to right that drives in Dye. But Konerko is thrown out at third to end the inning.
White Sox 6, Angels 3
Contreras remains and starts Erstad with a strike. Erstad chops one to short and Uribe makes a nice play and strong throw to get the first out. Two outs away. Molina hits it hard but it's right at Rowand. One out away. Kotchman grounds it right at Konerko and the White Sox win the pennant!
Final: White Sox 6, Angels 3
The following sentence will feel strange to write: The White Sox are going to the World Series. Like Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland and Freddy Garcia before him, Jose Contreras goes the distance.
Thanks everyone for reading, posting, fretting. Go celebrate. Be safe.