I’m not sure how to set up this game… The White Sox are one game away from going to the World Series. The team I’ve rooted for my entire life, is only 27 outs away from going to the World Series. I don’t think this has fully hit me yet.
Since the series has shifted out to SoCal, the Sox have dominated. The Sox are up three games to one is because their starting pitching has been brilliant. Today’s starter Jose Contreras is the only Sox starter not to pitch a complete game thus far in this series, and he went 8 2/3 in Game One. That’s right, the White Sox bullpen has thrown 2/3 of an inning and seven total pitches in the first four games. That’s pretty good.
Paul Byrd goes for the Angels, who has the Angels only win in this series. The Angels need to score some runs, in fact getting guys on base would be a huge help for God’s Soldiers. The top eight hitters have been less than impressive:
Vlad - .083
Anderson - .091
Molina - .100
Figgins - .100
Finley - .167
Rivera - .000
Finley isn’t getting the start tonight, but the rest of the guys listed there are. If the Angels don’t start getting some guys on base, they’ll be playing golf on Tuesday.
8:24pm EST – In the booth tonight? Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, and Lou Piniella. Let’s see here... Buck doesn’t want to be doing the ALCS, has been bitching about the umpires since Game Two, has been totally unprepared, aloof, and glib the entire series. McCarver’s best days are way behind him and he’s still best known for getting punked by Deion Sanders. And Piniella… let’s just say it’s a lot more interesting when current players are doing the games instead of current/former managers.
8:29 – Pods leads off taking a strike. I’ll take it as a good sign.
8:32 – Iguchi gets hit in the ribs and takes first. The close up of Byrd follows, and the good news is he that doesn’t look homeless tonight.
8:34 – Piniella just informed us that Mike Scioscia likes deep-dish pizza, as if that’s one of the major reasons why the Angels want to win tonight. But not to be outdone, McCarver responds with, ”Chicago is the best place to get deep dish pizza.”
8:39 – After Everett pops out to end the inning, I flip to ESPN and the Seahawks and Texans game to hear… “Now, here is the situation…” It’s Joe Theisman! Suddenly I feel a lot better about the booth in the ALCS.
8:42 – Piniella just called Contreras’ forkball “Señor Tombolina” apparently the Cuban name for a forkball and Piniella’s best comment of the series. But not be outdone, McCarver comments, “That sounds like something you’d order at a Cuban restaurant.” You know between this game and the Sunday night NFL game, I may never watch a sporting event with the sound up ever again.
8:48 – Vlad pops up to end the inning and is now 1 for 17 in the series. Right now, somewhere, A-Rod is jealous.
8:52 – AJ bunts Rowand over to third after he doubled, so now a man is on third with one out. Smart baseball, Ozzieball.
8:54 – Crede flies out to deep center, and it’s 1-0 White Sox. “That’s good baseball,” says the roomie. And it’s hard to disagree.
8:59 – It’s raining in Southern California… I would say it’s surreal, but I feel that surreal is over used, so we’ll call the rain, dreamy… even Hollywoodish.
9:02 – As Sean Alexander mussels his way into the end zone for a touchdown, Paul McGuire praises the run by saying that Alexandria displayed his “strength and his power”.
9:05 – A Lee Elia reference from Piniella! “I’ll tell you one fuckin’ thing…” Oh the Great Lee Elia gets a shout out in the ALCS that just put me in a really good mood.
9:06 – It’s been 10 years since the last rain out in Angels Stadium… that’s pretty funny and amazing. Ten years! I wonder how much the head grounds grew guy makes.
9:13 – After Rivera leads off with a double, Contreras tries to pick him off second by throwing the ball into centerfield… what was Contreras thinking?
9:15 – Kennedy singles to tie the game… I don’t like this. I like winning.
9:21 – Vlad grounds out to end the inning with runners on first and third. Maybe A-Rod isn’t as jealous; maybe he’s just envious.
9:29 – The Sox are done in the 4th, and I’ve got to say I’m not nervous. It’s 1-1, and I feel good, confident, and secure with everything.
9:32 – FOX just showed some fan with a balloon hat, I wish I were making that up. But it was a balloon hat. Seriously what’s wrong with showing cool and/or good-looking people instead of borderline losers in the crowd?
9:39 – Crede robs Rivera of extra bases and maybe prevents the go ahead run from scoring. I like that, I like that Joey!
9:43 – Uribe rips a double down the line and the makes a great slide to reach second. But the close play at second allows Buck to doubt the umpires and make something out of nothing. If Joe Buck isn’t fired after these playoffs there is no justice in this world. I’m not kidding, he’s on the “Really, really, really don’t like list” with George W. Bush, the Bush administration, Terry Bevington, Cub fans, and most Red Sox fans (and yes I know that is most of white America, just deal with it).
9:49 – Iguchi swings at the first pitch and pops it up to left. That might be his worst at bat of the season.
9:50 – Dye hits one hard to left, scoring Uribe to make it 2-1… and then catches the Angels infield napping by taking second when Cabrera has his back to the play. Great hitting and great base running. And Byrd is done.
9:54 – Konerko just misses one to end the inning. If that one had left the building, I probably would have started drinking heavily.
9:56 – You know what I love about Coors Lite commercials? It’s the only time when you see people happy about drinking Coors Lite. And they aren’t happy, they’re “I make ten million a moive and I’m dating Kate Holmes” happy.
9:59 – After Kennedy singles, Scioscia calls a hit and run with Figgins and who closed his eyes and jams one out into the right field corner, but a fan reaches over and grabs the ball! Second and third… that guy just saved the Sox a run! Yes!
10:00 – The umps get together and give Kennedy home, tie game and Joe Buck is the happiest man in SoCal. 2-2 game now. And this is starting to feel like Games One and Two… every pitch is becoming a heart attack.
10:04 – Anderson hits one hard and deep, but it stays in the park with Dye catching it, Figgins scores to make it 3-2, but that looked like a home run when it left his bat so I’ll take it.
10:06 – Vlad grounds out again and the inning is over, but it’s 3-2 Angels. I’m still pretty confident.
10:08 – All right I’ll say it. I’m going to miss the Sunday Night Football booth next year… they’re becoming like “Walker: Texas Ranger” of broadcast booths… they are so bad they are good. And something we’ll miss after the fact. And speaking of Walker… It’s the “Walker Movie” on CBS! Decisions, decisions… okay fine White Sox are back on.
10:12 – Byrd highest mark on the radar gun tonight? 85 mph… and the Sox only got two runs off him. Now I’m starting to feel really nervous. It’s a confident nervousness though.
10:14 – There are villains, there are the bad guys in a bad action flick, and then there are the villains in a Walker show… Not only do they look mean, they act heinously. Just now they kicked some guy in the nuts, and then finished him off with a wheel kick to the face that sent him falling five stories off a parking deck onto concrete. I wonder if that will catch up to them?
10:23 – AND YOU CAN BUT IT ON THE BOARD… YESSSSSS!!!! Joe Crede goes yard to tie the game at three! That feels good, really good.
10:24 – FOX shows a replay of Crede’s home run and then a dugout shot where you can here AJ shout “Fuck Yeah!” If the FCC looks into this, not only will it be about time to just give up on this experiment called America, but also AJ is fast becoming the Polish Janet Jackson.
10:29 – Pods walked to get on base yet again and then steals second even thought the Angels pitched out… stealing bases is fun.
10:35 – The Sox can’t get Pods home, and the game goes to the bottom of the 7th tied 3-3… enter butterflies.
10:46 – Between the Angels going down one, two, three and the Walker movie getting emotional and serious, I’m on pins and needles right now. If this game goes extra, I might not be able to watch.
10:51 – Let me just go on the record saying that I hate the sport glasses that the Angels relievers wear. They’re just so stupid. I also can’t sit still at this point. I should think about doing heavy drugs on my wedding day.
10:57 – Okay I can move again… AJ hits the ball hard and off of the back of Escobar, the ball rolls towards the first base line, and Escobar picks the ball up and tags AJ, but the ball isn’t in Escobar’s glove, it’s in his right hand, so he didn’t tag him out. The umps called AJ out, and Ozzie was out of the dugout in about a half second. The first base ump then decides to talk to the other umps, who correctly rule that AJ should have first. I’m not sure I actually saw that happen, I do remember thinking, he’s SAFE… call him SAFE!, and then they called him out, and the rommie shouting “he didn’t tag him with the ball!” But the umps got the call right and I moved for the first time in two minutes. I’m not kidding, I was frozen, I guess that’s what it’s like to be in a state of shock.
11:01 – Nothing like a little a little Walker to lighten the mood in the room.
11:05 – Crede hits a chopper back up the middle, Kennedy has to dive to knock the ball down in the grass behind second. Since it was a 3-2 count, Rowand was running on the play and scored from second to make it 4-3. I really can’t believe what just happened over the last seven or eight minutes.
11:11 – I’m makin’ a wish… but in the mean time Pods strikes out looking to end the inning after K-Rod loaded the bases. Six outs.
11:14 – Contreras is out there to start the eighth… but you’ve got to figure that he won’t face Anderson. Cabrera grounds out and what is Ozzie going to do?
11:16 – Ozzie leaves Contreras out there to face Anderson and he pops out to Center… and Vlad grounds out to second. The Sox are three outs away from the World Series. That’s two outs closer than the Cubs were in 2003. Damn that feels good to say.
11:19 – To be honest, I could careless what happens in the top of the 9th… really whatever. Go down on three pitches and let’s try to get this over with. That said a huge smile just crossed my face. But it ain’t over, until it’s over.
11:24 – Iguchi just stole second and K-Rod can’t seem to get his curveball over… and he just walked Dye. Konerko is coming to the plate… where is James Brown when you need him?
11:27 – The just showed this stat:
Bullpen Comparison in the ALCS
White Sox – 2/3 of an inning, 7 pitches
Angels – 19 innings, 301 pitches
11:27 – Konerko hits one deep to right and off the wall, Iguchi scores to make it 5-3. Third and second, no outs… lets blow this open Carl! YESSSSS!!!!!
11:29 – I know, I know, they should score more runs, but I just want this game to end. I’m shaking like a heroin junkie going 37 hours between hits.
11:33 – Rowand flies out to right, Vlad’s throw home is up the third base line, Dye is safe, but they get Konerko at third. It’s 6-3 and the CHICAGO WHITE SOX ARE THREE OUTS FROM GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES. I can’t take this. I’m happy, but I won’t let myself get too happy. Thoughts of Bartman, Schiraldi, Stanley, and Buckner, Leo Durham, Aaron Boone… I’m a horrible fan.
11:37 – As my heart pounds wildly, Contreras is out there to start the 9th, this is a big Middle Finger to the rest of baseball from Oswaldo Jose Guillen Barrios. Gosh this is awesome… finish ‘em off Jose! And he gets Erstad to ground out to Uribe who makes his 38,396th nice play of this series.
11:38 – Damn it Joe Buck, stop talking about how long it has been since the Sox won. Let me enjoy this, you bastard. He’s the worst announcer whose father is/was a famous announcer… yes worse than Chip Carey.
11:39 – Molina lines out to center… I’m going to have a heart attack. I’m not going to live to see this. Oh My God, one out… one out…
11:40 – A ground ball to Konerko… and it’s over. The Chicago White Sox are the American League Champions!!!!
11:43 – Just switched over to WGN… this is great. Chicago is going to the World Series for the first time since 1959. Drunk South Siders!!!! YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!
11:51 – The South Side is going nuts… WE’RE GOING TO THE FUCKING WORLD SERIES!!!!
11:57 – I love how WGN doesn’t want to cover this… this one reporter just asked one of the fans at a bar on the South Side “What’s it like having your team win?” That’s right take that and love it Cubbies! 1935! HAHAHAHA!!!
12:02am – Just talked to one of my buddies, he’s from Philly but went to the ND game this weekend. Anyway, right now he’s on State and Ontario after a night on Rush Street and an afternoon on a Lake Michigan Cruise with the Minnesota Vikings (his joke, btw, but it was too good not to use).
12:03 – I love WGN right now… really I do… unfortunately the City isn’t turning on the air raid sirens to celebrate. By the way, I’m drinking champagne by myself.
12:04 – WGN just said that Ozzie could run for President in Venezuela… he’s not that popular guys. My man Hugo Chavez is pretty freaking popular.
12:09 – I love how everyone wants four more wins… this is just fantastic. I’m not kidding; everyone in these crowds is either chanting “Ozzie!” or “Four More Wins!” I can’t agree more. This is so fucking awesome. I wish I was in Chicago.
12:14 - White Sox! White Sox! Go, Go White Sox! We’re going to root, root White Sox! I can’t believe this happened. I really can’t. I mean you read this and that… the history of this team, videos and old reels of this team for years and years… I mean… no one takes you serious, no one knows you exist. Everyone from outside Chicago assumes you’re a Cubs fan. And you take it and learn to accept it… just shrug it off as if it’s just one of those things that people stereotype about. You’re just some team that everyone has forgotten about. And then you do it… I mean you’re team wins. It’s just insane. I love it. I love all of this. Finally someone recognizes that not only do you exist, but also you’re just as die hard as any other media darling, if not more so. After so many years of giving your heart to a much of men who play a game and watching them break it… well it’s just a fantastic feeling knowing that this year they might not. This year they might give you all that you’ve ever wanted.
12:22 – They’re talking to Frank right now… and really there is no one I feel better for. He’s taken more shit from everyone on this city for such a long time… and now he’s going to the Series. I know he won’t play, but he did come up huge for this team in the 34 games he played for the Sox this year. He gave that needed boost in June that this team needed… those win in June came in handy in September and thanks to Frank, we got those wins.
12:24 – The situation right now? WGN, Kiss Him Goodbye/Go, Go White Sox on iTunes, and a bottle of champagne. This is fucking awesome.
12:25 – I’d give my first born for an interview with Hawk right now.
12:30 – The City of Chicago will see it’s first World Series game in 46 years! 46 years!!!!! We have two teams too!!! I wish I was in Hyde Park right now. People are on the street celebrating. This is so awesome. I can’t believe it.
12:40 – It’s been an hour and you know what… it’s so much better. We are going to the World Series… we won… we WON!
12:44 – WGN just signed off… but thank you so much you Trib owning assholes. And with that, I’m going to sign off too. What a great night. One of the best I’ve ever experienced.