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Home » 2005 PostseasonOctober 2005 » Squeaker


ALDS Game 2: October 5, 2005
Red Sox (0-2), 4
White Sox (2-0), 5
L: David Wells (0-1)
W: Mark Buehrle (1-0)
S: Bobby Jenks (1)

White Sox lead the series 2-0

So the Red Sox leave Chicago, the hog butcher, tool maker, and stacker of wheat for the world, trailing in the series. This is not insurmountable. Since the inception of the wild card, four teams have rebounded from an 0-2 deficit in the ALDS: the 1995 Seattle Mariners, the 1999 Boston Red Sox, the 2001 New York Yankees, and the 2003 Boston Red Sox. A comeback, unlikely as it may seem, is not unprecedented. You don’t even need to reach very far back into the shelves of your memories to find the chronicles of improbable revivals.

Close losses sting, particularly before a travel day. Columnists, fans, television commentators, and radio personalities will endlessly cavil over minutiae, assigning blame as if they were the Moirae, weaving and reading the threads of fate that apportion to humanity their lots in life.

In the 1st inning, Johnny Damon singled to begin the inning and Edgar Renteria doubled. The table was set for David Ortiz, who struck out on a 1-2 pitch. Manny Ramirez’s fly ball over Scott Podsednik’s grasp granted the Red Sox an early 2-run lead.

Damon led off with a single to left in the 3rd inning. Down two strikes in the pitch count, Ortiz doubled to the opposite field. With runners on second and third and 1 out, Ozzie Guillen decided to intentionally walk Ramirez to put the pressure on Jason Varitek, who hits .188 with an OBP of .176 and .438 slugging with the bases loaded this season. Batting right, the Red Sox catcher went to the opposite field to notch an RBI single. Paul Konerko fielded Trot Nixon’s ground ball and could have thrown Ortiz out at home plate but opted to erase Varitek at second base.

The 4th inning showcased excellent defense by Boston. John Olerud laid out, snagged Podsednik’s sharp grounder, and relayed it to Wells, who had to engage in a foot race with the speedy left fielder for the first out of the inning. Bill Mueller knocked down Tadahito Iguchi’s ground ball that threatened to creep past him and up the line for extra bases. The stop proved vital as the next two batters, Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko, are power threats who could have brought Chicago back into the game with a single swing.

The Fates intervened in the 5th inning. Chicago leadoff batter Carl Everett reached on a single and scored on a double to left field by Aaron Rowand that just nicked the left field foul line. Mike Piazza solemnly informed us that A.J. Pierzynski’s ground out that advanced Rowand to third base was a “productive at bat.” Joe Crede hit a single up the gut to score Rowand with a grounder that Tony Graffanino could have stifled. With the pitch count 1-2, Juan Uribe, the 9-hole hitter, then poked a room service double play ball to Graffanino. The second baseman lifted his glove too early, too eager to begin the twin killing. The ball slipped through his legs and along with it went the possibility of dampening Chicago’s hot hitting. With runners at the corners and 1 out, the White Sox second baseman Iguchi, whom the Red Sox briefly courted during the offseason, launched a 3-run homer in the exultant fans in left field. The South Siders garnerd a one-run lead they would never relinquish.

The thread allotted to the 2005 Boston Red Sox playoff run dwindles to a few scant strands. This team has beguiled the Fates before, winning them over with their inimitable charm and indomitable will to tease a few more filaments of hope from its stingy holders. By Friday evening, we will see if the club’s skein will diminish to a mere empty bobbin.

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