10/13/05 12:43 AM ET
White Sox short hops
Game 2 win hinges on unusual ninth inning
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
More missed opportunities for the Sox on the offensive end were erased by a crazy play to end the ninth inning with A.J. Pierzynski getting on first from a disputed dropped third strike.
The only reason that the Sox were able to pull out the victory after the the bizarre play in the ninth was the pitching of Mark Buehrle. Buehrle carried the Sox, allowing just one run on five hits over nine innings.
The series heads to California knotted at one game apiece. While the White Sox played to the best road record in the Majors this season, their hitting must improve if they are to change their record on the West Coast.
A look at key statistics through Game 2 of the ALCS.
|ERA||1.00||Great pitching continuing to be the norm for Sox|
|BA||.215||Struggles continue for the Sox bats|
|BA w/ RISP||.200||Clutch hits still missing|
|Runs||2||Sox still unable to drive in key runs|
|Errors||1||Only error doesn't prove to hurt Sox|
|Mark Buehrle||1-0, 1.00 ERA||Fourth complete game of the year lifts Sox|
|Joe Crede||.375, HR, 2 RBIs||Clutch double with two outs in ninth|
|Paul Konerko||.125, 0 HR, 0 RBIs||Only hit of series came in first inning|
The numbers don't show it, but again there were some critical baserunning errors by the Sox. Aaron Rowand not making it home in the second inning and Crede being doubled up in the seventh could have proved costly.
The strikeout by Pierzynski with two outs in the ninth that turned into a runner on first was the turning point. Missed umpire call or not, the Sox took advantage.
Pierzynski's decision to run on the dropped third strike proved to be a big bonus for the Sox as it extended the inning and gave Chicago a second chance. Not exactly 'earning' it
Both White Sox runs on Wednesday were unearned, but the Sox still picked up the victory. It is only the 15th time in the postseason that a team has lost a game without allowing an earned run. Nothing like the first time
The White Sox won a home game during LCS play for the first time in seven tries. Last word
"It was a weird situation there with A.J. in the ninth. I'm just glad we were able to capitalize and there weren't any mistakes." -- Crede
Kelly Thesier is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.