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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Poised to Make History

World Series Game 3, October 25 at Houston

Sox Magic Number:
"No time to relax. Get the job done tomorrow."

Short Take:Sox outlast Astros in longest game in World Series history to take commanding 3-0 Series lead.

The White Sox sit one game away from a World Series Championship after beating the Astros tonight by the score of 7-5 in 14 innings.

Jon Garland started against Astro ace Roy Oswalt in the game that most pundits didn't give the Sox a chance to win. The Astros got on the board early against Garland, scoring a run in the first on a leadoff double by Craig Biggio followed by an RBI single by Lance Berkman. Houston added two runs in the third inning to take an early 3-0 advantage. In that third inning, Adam Everett led off with an infield broken bat single. With Oswalt at the plate, the Sox called a pitchout and caught Everett trying to steal second. Unfortunately, in the rundown Juan Uribe hit Everett with the throw to first base for an error, and Everett was able to get back safely. Oswalt then sacrificed him to second, and Biggio drove him in with a single to put Houston up 2-0. After Berkman singled Biggio to third, Morgan Ensberg singled to score Biggio and the Astros were up 3-0.

Oswalt was cruising through the first 4 innings against the Sox hitters, inducing two double plays in the first two innings. In the first, Tadahito Iguchi singled but was erased on a Jermaine Dye GIDP. The Sox had the first two men on base in the second inning, thanks to a leadoff double by Paul Konerko and a walk to A.J. Pierzynski. The next batter was Aaron Rowand, and he hit a sharp liner to short which was caught by Everett. On the play, Konerko was doubled off second base and the Sox failed to score in the inning.

The Astros would take a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning courtesy of a leadoff home run by Jason Lane. That would be all Houston would get off Garland the rest of the night, as he would go on to retire 12 of the next 13 batters he faced before leaving the game for a pinch hitter in the 8th. Garland pitched 7 innings and allowed 4 runs, only 2 earned, with 4 K's and 2 BB.

The Sox bats would come to life in the 5th inning off Oswalt. Joe Crede led off the inning with a home run to put the Sox on the board. Uribe followed with a single, and with one out the Sox would get three consecutive singles to cut the lead to 4-3. Scott Podsednik singled Uribe to second, and Iguchi followed with a single to score Uribe. Dye's single drove home Podsednik and the Sox were within one run. But they weren't done. With two outs, Pierzynski doubled to deep right centerfield to score Iguchi and Dye and give the Sox a 5-4 lead. Oswalt would then walk Rowand and hit Crede with a pitch to load the bases before finally getting the third out of the inning.

The score remained 5-4 going into the bottom of the 8th inning. With Cliff Politte pitching in relief of Garland, Ensberg would draw a two-out walk. Neal Cotts, Mr. Reliable this post season, came in and walked Mike Lamb. Cotts was then relieved by Dustin Hermanson, who gave up a double to Lane to allow Ensberg to score the tying run and knot the score at 5. Houston had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the 9th against Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, but Hernandez worked his way out of his own jam this time. With one out, Hernandez walked Chris Burke. He then threw tha ball away on a failed pickoff attempt to allow Burke to take second base. Burke then stole third base, and Hernandez would walk Biggio with one out. After striking out Willy Tavaras for the second out of the 9th, Hernandez intentionally walked Berkman to load the bases. Ensberg was next, and Hernandez struck him out to end the inning. After walking the leadoff batter in the 10th, El Duque would leave the game with apparent neck stiffness, and he is day to day currently. Luis Vizcaino came in and got the Sox out of the inning.

The Sox squandered a scoring opportunity in the 11th. Podsednik led off the inning with a single off reliever Chad Qualls, and stole second with no outs. Iguchi flew out to shallow right field, and Podsednik was unable to advance despite a wild throw to third by Lane. Dye then struck out for the second out of the inning, and with first base open Qualls intentionally walked Konerko to get to the pitcher's spot.

Timo Perez pinch hit for Vizcaino, but he grounded out to first base to end the inning. Bobby Jenks came on to pitch the bottom of the 11th, and with one out he would put two men on base with a HBP and a walk. Jenks would settle down and get the next two hitters to send the game to the 12th. Both teams went down in order in the 12th, and the game continued. In the Sox half of the 13th, Chris Widger led off the inning with a walk. Widger was erased when Podsednik bunted into a double play to Ausmus at home plate. Iguchi then struck out to end the inning. Ozzie then pulled an important double switch, bringing in Damaso Marte to pitch and putting Geoff Blum in the game at second base. Marte walked the first batter he faced, but he then struck out the next two batters and got Berkman to ground into a fielder's choice to end the 13th.

In the 14th, the Sox started things off with a single by Dye off reliever Ezequiel Astacio. Konerko was next up, and he grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. Blum strolled to the plate with two outs in the 14th and etched his name into World Series history with a dramatic home run to right field, breaking the stalemate and giving the Sox a 6-5 lead. The Sox tacked on another run for good measure off Astacio. Rowand and Crede both reached base on infield singles, and Uribe walked to load the bases. Astacio then walked Widger with the bases loaded to force home Rowand with the Sox 7th run of the night. Marte got two outs in the bottom half of the 14th, but with the tying runs on base and no relievers left to call upon, Mark Buehrle got the nod to nail down the win. Buehrle retired Everett to end the game and save the win for the Sox, putting them up 3-0 in the series.

This game set a record for the longest game in World Series history time-wise, taking 5 hours and 41 minutes to complete. It also tied a record for number of innings in a World Series game at 14. With the win, the White Sox are now just one mere win away from a World Series title, which would be the first for the franchise since 1917. Freddy Garcia will take the mound for the Sox against Brandon Backe as the Sox go for the sweep. Gametime is 7:00 pm CDT from Houston. GO SOX!!!

Ozzieball Update:
Bullpen, bench come through in crunch time.

submitted by beckett21.

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Geoff Blum

14th-inning home run proves to be game-winner.

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