Game One, The Sox Just Didn't Get the Job Done

Overture - Back by popular demand is the Guardian inspired minute-by-minute report of Game One of the American League Divisional Series! And the Chicago White Sox, that’s right the South Side Nine, are playing in the ALDS for the first time since 1993. Last time Game One was one of the worst days of my sport life where BlackJack got rocked and the reports of Jordan retiring the next day were released. But enough of that… happy thoughts from here on out. Tonight’s match up features the Sox and Angels, with Jose Contreras going up against Paul Byrd on three days rest, the Angels are playing their third game in three days flying from New York, to Orange County, to Chicago in that time span. Things look good for the White Sox before the first pitch.

Anyway, just finished off some home made orange chicken with celery and pasta, and have Original Coors with me and in the fridge. Original Coors is always a good buy thanks to it’s extra .5% alcohol. Clearly, I can’t wait for this game to start.

7:44pm EST – Kids on Jeopardy? with some guy name Madison racking up right now. Why hasn’t 60 Minutes looked more into “Really Dumb Names that White Kids are Receiving?” And the girl has about -593,000 points right now. I won’t read into that. I’m not kidding, she keeps giving the wrong answers. I’m starting to enjoy this.

7:58 – To be honest, I don’t know who loves who more, John Madden’s love for Brett Favre or Norm Chad’s love for Doyle Brunson. Seeing that Michaels was showing more love for Favre last week, I’ll go with the Chad/Brunson love.

8:01 – First reference of the White Sox curse! A Curse that doesn’t even exist. I love it how the media just makes things up on the spot. This also may drive me insane by next week.

8:03 – First Ozzie interview… he says things that are mind boggling, this one’s “More talent last year team, but more team players this year.” And that’s why this year’s team had 15 more wins, Ozzie? You sure about that?

8:04 – It’s 8:04, you know what that means, Universal Drinking Time!

8:06 – You know you’re in the South when… you see a political commercial that says, “Tim Kane wants to end the death penalty… I find that offensive… We can’t trust Tim Kane…” These things write themselves people.

8:09 – Disco Demolition highlights along with a bunch of weird Veeck promotions, and Kevin Kennedy just took the Angels to win the ALCS. Not sure how I’m feeling about this.

8:14 – Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are at the Cell… Wow….. And Lou Piniella! What the Hell could Piniella add? That he should have started his bullpen for the first three innings and then brought in his starter like he wanted to a few months ago? And why couldn’t that have actually happened? I was bummed when I showed up at the game, and the scheduled starter started for the Rays.

8:19 – Contreras’ first pitch to Chone Figgins is a strike. Yay. I like saying Chone.

8:21 – After Scooter informs us what a forkball is and that he’s hungry, Piniella just told us that you don’t want Contreras to get two strikes on you. You don’t fucking say Lou. And remember, Sweet Lou’s Reds swept the A’s led by Tony La Russa in 1990. I feel for Cardinal fans.

8:24 – Uribe just made a play on Vlad that should be outlawed, he went deep into the hole and threw the ball doing one of those jump throws on a rope to Konerko to get Vlad by 20 feet. That’s a play that should be close but wasn’t, it was sick.

8:28 – They keep talking about how the Angels and White Sox play NL type baseball… but here’s a question, does any one in the NL play like this any more? Three of the top four base stealing teams were in the AL (LAAofAinOC, Mets, D-Rays, Sox) and the only reason why NL teams dominate sac buts is because the pitcher bats. Maybe back in the 70s and 80s did we see a lot of small ball when parks were huge and they played on AstroTurf, but the NL doesn’t really play small ball any more besides when the pitcher is at the plate.

8:34 – Anderson just hit one about 430 feet. And it sounds like some moron pulled a Wrigley and threw the ball back. I hate Cub fans. 1-0 God’s Soldiers.

8:40 – McCarver and Piniella couldn’t be any worse, I’m sick of them 10 outs into this game.

8:43 – Oh the King… and all the animals in the yard coming towards him like St. Francis of Assisi. The King is the greatest.

8:47 – Oh shit, Finley and Kennedy with back-to-back singles and no one is out. The Cell is silent. And considering that the Sox hitters are swinging at the first pitch from Byrd, this isn’t good.

8:49 – Another bad play from Crede, he fields a slow roller thinks about going home and instead throws to first… and everyone is safe. Not only does the run score, but also he doesn’t even get the out.

8:51 – Disaster, instead of going home to get Kennedy, Contreras goes to second, he gets Cabrera who forces Iguchi to throw the ball away. So they can’t get the double play and the run scores, 3-0 Angels and I feel sick. Joe Crede sucks.

8:59 – You can cancel the post game show and YOU CAN PUT IT ON THE BOARD…. YESSSS! Crede just launches one to make it 3-1 and make up for the run he allowed. Thank you very much. By the way, I wonder if Crede is a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan? And we just learned that he was watching Missouri football this weekend… come on Joe, Missouri football?

9:03 – Iguchi hits the ball hard for a base hit, Pods had singled before him, and Uribe killed one but right at Anderson before that. The Sox are starting to hit the ball hard. And enter the crowd.

9:05 – Piniella just decided to start giving some interesting tid-bits this weekend from info on Jerry Crawford (home plate ump) to Ozzie to how it’s easier to steal third than second. Welcome to the game Lou!

9:10 - Strokes News!

9:14 – And the Seal has been Broken! (Angels went 1, 2, 3 in the 4th).

9:21 – Paul Byrd looks like a homeless guy out there. Even hockey players would be disgraced in his appearance.

9:24 – With a full count to AJ, he fouls off a pitch, and then singles to right to make it 3-2. Good good good, chip away fellas. Chip away.

9:28 – Just hung up with the sister, she was wondering what the score was. In her defense, she did just come out of a test, so we’ll give her a pass. But a real fan would have asked the professor if they could take the test at another time.

9:33 – Contreras was warming up with a softball before the game, and being from Chicago I figured it was a 16” ball, but it was only a 12” ball. That was disappointing. McCarver also just informed us that Yaz had a good year in 1967. In other news NASCAR fans vote Republican. Angels done in the 5th.

9:39 – No one flirts better with other males than Joe Buck. I think he asked Bud Black on a date during that interview. And then without missing a beat, Piniella then calls Bud Black “Joe Buck”. One more thing, McCarver has said, “I’ve never hear of… before/in my life” about seven times already tonight. Can you imagine Pat Summerall and Tim McCarver in the booth together?

9:40 – I’m convinced that the Angels steal signs; Pods just got caught stealing on a pitch out. And in watching the ALDS the Angels also had an uncanny ability to call pitchouts when the Yankees were running.

9:45 – You’ve got to be kidding me.

9:46 – Contreras has retired 10 straight and this feels like a break out inning for the White Sox who have hit Byrd hard, but sometimes at right at other guys, other times not hard enough.

9:50 – The Sox have been hitting Byrd hard, you’re down one, you’re the number three hitter, so naturally you bunt right? What the hell was Dye thinking there? Seriously? Does he have money on the game or something?

9:52 – The Sox have hit more warning track shots tonight… Sox done in the 6th.

9:57 – Contreras retired 11 in a row before Erstad singles, and Rowand almost caught that ball in center, just missed it. Good effort nonetheless.

10:02 – After Erstad stole second, Contreras shuts down Rivera and Finley to end the 7th. When are the Sox going to do something for him? The Angels are begging them to win this game.

10:06 – And we have a good sign! Rowand was nailed in the back on the first pitch and the lead off man is on. Byrd’s time in this game is very short.

10:09 – Well Paul Byrd did his job some how giving the Angels a great six innings. Shields comes in to replace Byrd, something to watch for… Shields has pitched 5 innings already in the playoffs, Escobar threw over seven innings in the ALDS. Might not matter tonight, but something to watch throughout this series.

10:11 – Rowand’s hard slide into second breaks up a double play and keeps this inning alive… and Oh no. That must have been a missed hit and run because AJ was just thrown out trying to steal second. Either that or AJ is a complete moron. This can’t be happening. The Sox are playing horribly.

10:16 – At this point the White Sox position players should just tie a bow on this game, put a few thousand bucks in their clubhouse, and get this over with. They’re playing like crap, yet still have a chance in this one because Contreras is pitching fantastic.

10:22 – On a pitchout AJ almost throws the ball into centerfield. The Sox position players outside of Uribe look brutal tonight. But Contreras comes back and gets Cabrera to ground out to short so Figgins doesn’t move to third. Vlad up…

10:25 – Vlad just misses one… I thought the game was over right there, he killed it… my blood pressure is 220/108 right now. Phew.

10:30 – Uribe reaches first on an infield single… My Lord I can’t handle this. And the Roomie isn’t here to call 911.

10:31 – Shileds just flinched on the rubber, but nothing is called… and Pods can’t bunt.

10:32 – Pods looks at strike three, looked a bit outside, but you’ve got to protect the plate.

10:36 – After Iguchi pops out to second, Dye goes up 2-0 when Bud Black comes out to talk to Shields. Come on Jermaine....

10:38 – Dye singles and Uribe almost tested Rivera’s arm, held up, and barely got back to second to give the entire South Side and various people in North America a heart attack. Konerko coming up…

10:41 – This feels like an overtime NHL Playoff game… I’m dying here. Dying.

10:42 – Konerko pops up to end the inning. I really don’t know what to say right now…

10:45 – Contreras starts the 9th and he’s under 100 pitches still… I have to agree with Ozzie here. Anderson flies out for one out.

10:47 - Ozzie goes out there and pulls Contreras after Molina singles… wow what a performance. Crede’s inability to get an out cost this team a run. Should be 2-2, actually if Pods could get a fucking bunt down, it might be 3-3. I don’t know if I’m more angry or frustrated right now.

10:53 – Third out, and on to the bottom of the 9th. I feel ill.

10:56 – Figgins just missed the ball, E-5, and Everett reaches. The Sox have the lead off man on again. Ozuna on to run for Everett and Rowand up… come on guys.

10:59 – Rowand bunts and gets it down, but Figgins is on it right away because Rowand squared around too soon. He throws to second to get Ozuna. One away.

11:01 – AJ hits it hard, but right at Rivera in right. Two away and it’s up to Crede.

11:04 – K-Rod keeps stepping off for some reason, there’s two outs and two strikes, why he’s stepping off I have no clue. But I’ll take it because he’s not focusing on the batter.

11:06 – Crede strikes out to end the game… Sox lose. I’m going to go jam a Phillips screwdriver in my calf.

11:28 – Well I’m going to sign off, I can’t even really look towards tomorrow after this one. The Sox were just brutal out there, they didn’t make the plays and they were just brutal against Byrd the first time around the order. The Sox played like a team that was pressing, as if they had too much time to think about the game.

I’ve got to hand it to the Angels for making plays when they had to. They did not play great, but they did what they had to do.

The Sox did not get the job done from the first to the ninth inning. I'm not going over everyone but from the top of my head... Crede not getting an out in the third, Dye's bunt, Pods not getting the bunt down, Contreras going to second instead of going home, not getting Uribe over to second in the 8th so he could score on Dye's single, not working Byrd, trying to hit home runs...

Is there a silver lining? Sure. The Sox still have better starters 1-4. The Sox pen is much more rested unlike the Angels who have already used Escobar and Shields seven innings in the post season. The Angels aren't good against lefties and who knows if Washburn will have anything in Game Two. Colon's injury takes away a huge arm in their pen...

That said, the Sox let this one get away. This was a game they should have won... losing it was sort of like giving a team four outs in an inning. The Sox gave the Angels this game.

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