H-Town Sports

Houston Sports Blog - Real sports cities have TWO Conference USA teams

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Sox in 6?

Thanks to the brilliance of WhatIfSports, readers of H-Town Sports will know in advance what to expect when the World Series kicks off on Saturday. Here's how it is going to play out:

Game 1: Astros 3, White Sox 1
The Rocket took center stage in the opening game, firing eight spectacular innings to lead the Astros to a win in their inaugural World Series appearance despite Jose Contreras extending the White Sox's incredible postseason streak of complete games pitched to five. Brad Lidge pitched the ninth to record the save.

The Astros got all the runs they needed in the first inning, but initially the inning looked like a major missed opportunity. The bases were loaded in the top of the first inning without a single out, as Biggio and Taveras singled and Berkman walked. Contreras got Ensberg to pop up in the infield and struck out Lamb, but Jason Lane drove in Biggio and Taveras, who finished with three hits and two steals, with a single to left. Contreras retired Burke to escape further damage.

The White Sox cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first inning on a Tad Iguchi solo HR. The Astros added their final run in the fourth inning when Jason Lane tripled and Brad Ausmus drove him in with a two-out single.

Garner gave the Rocket a chance to close out the game in the ninth because he had thrown only 95 pitches, but after Scott Podsednik led off the ninth with a double, Garner brought in "Lights Out" Lidge to close it. After walking Iguchi, Lidge got Jermaine Dye to line into a double play to mute the threat. It will be interesting to see how Contreras bounces back after throwing an incredible 155 pitches in Game 1, thanks in part to five walks.

Game 2: White Sox 1, Astros 0
Jeff Bagwell's return to the starting lineup was not enough to get the Astros a win in Game 2, as Mark Buerhle outdueled Andy Pettitte in a pair of complete games to tie the series at one game apiece. The Sox got the game's only run on three singles by Carl Everett, AJ Pierzynski and Joe Crede in the second inning.

The Astros' only threat came in the third inning when Chris Burke singled and advanced to third on two groundouts, but Craig Biggio popped up to end the inning. Jeff Bagwell mustered one of the Astros' five hits, all singles, as Pettitte's 11 K performance went to waste.

Game 3: White Sox 6, Astros 2
NLCS MVP Roy Oswalt could not continue his masterful pitching, allowing 12 hits and five runs in eight innings to absorb the loss, as the White Sox took a 2-1 lead in the 2005 World Series. Freddy Garcia picked up the win against his former employer and extended the White Sox's streak of complete games pitched to an astounding seven.

Offensively, Scott Podsednik continued to terrorize the Astros with three more hits and a stolen base, and Juan Uribe had a three-hit night and drove in two. Dye, Konerko, Pierzynski and Crede all had two hits apiece for the Sox. The Astros never mounted much of a threat outside their sixth inning, thanks to Craig Biggio, who singled and scored on a Chris Burke triple. Burke then came in on a ground out by Lance Berkman.

Game 4: Astros 3, White Sox 2
The Astros tied the World Series at two games apiece when Lance Berkman scored on a passed ball in the eleventh inning. The White Sox were forced to use their bullpen for the first time in nearly three weeks, as Jon Garland could not answer the bell in the tenth inning. Dan Wheeler picked up the win in relief for Houston.

The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the third when Brandon Backe singled and scored from first on Craig Biggio's double to left. The Sox tied it the next half-inning on a Paul Konerko solo home run. Jermaine Dye and Morgan Ensberg each homered for his team in the sixth inning, leaving the game tied at 2. Neither team mounted much of a threat until the eleventh, when Berkman walked for Houston, stole second base, moved to third on Lamb's grounder to first and scored on a passed ball by Pierzynski.

Brandon Backe gave the Astros a strong seven innings, and Brad Lidge was his usual dominant self, pitching hitless innings in the seventh, eighth and ninth.

Game 5: White Sox 6, Astros 4
The White Sox took a 3-2 lead back to Chicago after roughing up the Rocket in front of his hometown fans. Jose Contreras threw yet another complete game for the Sox, allowing four unearned runs and striking out ten batters. Paul Konerko homered twice, once of Clemens and once off Chad Qualls, and Tad Iguchi homered again off of Clemens to lead the Sox offense.

Aaron Rowand misplayed two fly balls on Tal's Hill to assist the Astros offense. One extended the inning in the fourth, which led to a three-run homer from Adam Everett. Lance Berkman continued his series-long slump with an 0-4 accented by three K's.

Game 6: White Sox 5, Astros 4
A late rally by the Astros was squashed just in time for the White Sox to claim the World Series title four games to two. Andy Pettitte was less sharp this time for Houston and took the loss, allowing twelve hits and five runs in eight innings. Mark Buerhle needed help to obtain the final out, but pitched well enough to get the win.

Series co-MVP Tad Iguchi (shared with Paul Konerko and Jose Contreras) got the scoring started with an RBI double in the third inning. The Astros tied it at one in the fourth when Willy Taveras singled, moved up on a HBP by Berkman and scored on a single by Jason Lane. The Sox took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on an RBI grounder by Joe Crede, scoring Paul Konerko who had singled, and an RBI single by Juan Uribe. The Sox padded their lead to 4-1 in the seventh on an RBI single by Paul Konerko scoring Jermaine Dye, who had doubled.

The Astros cut it to 4-2 in the eighth thanks to Buerhle's wildness. Berkman led off with a single, Ensberg followed with a single and after Jason Lane grounded into a fielder's choice, Bagwell walked to load the bases. Chris Burke was then HBP to score Berkman, but Brad Ausmus grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat. The Sox then took that run back in the eighth on an RBI single by Scott Podsednik scoring AJ Pierzynski from second base.

In the ninth, Adam Everett led off with a hit. Craig Biggio then struck out, and Willy Taveras grounded out to third, moving Everett to second base with two outs. Lance Berkman drove Everett in with a single to center, leading Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen to replace Buerhle with Dustin Hermanson. Ensberg and Lane greeted Hermanson with singles, Lane's scoring Berkman to draw the Astros within 5-4 and move the tying run, Ensberg, to second base. In not-so-storybook fashion, Astros' legend Jeff Bagwell struck out to end the game and the series.


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