10/26/05 4:25 AM ET
Bullpen smothers Astros with group hug
Sox roll out eight relievers, who work seven one-run innings
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
That's the way it went as Guillen brilliantly, and somewhat daringly, used his bullpen taxi squad to keep the White Sox in this amazing game. Those used between Garland and Buehrle included: Dustin Hermanson, in his first appearance since the last Friday of the regular season. On 25 days' rest, Hermanson allowed Jason Lane's game-tying single in the eighth before striking out Brad Ausmus to end that inning. Orlando Hernandez, in his first appearance since the third and final game of the American League Division Series, on Oct. 7. El Duque walked his typical high wire in the ninth inning, dodging three walks and his own throwing error on a pickoff attempt to send the game into extra innings by fanning Morgan Ensberg with the bases loaded. But Hernandez paid an immediate price for that labor-intensive 25-pitch inning. Coincidentally or not, he issued a four-pitch leadoff walk to Orlando Palmeiro in the 10th, then left with pain in his neck. That directly led to Guillen's gutsiest move of the game, as he chose to introduce Luis Vizcaino to the postseason crowd. Vizcaino, making his first appearance since the final day of the regular season, put up a 10th-inning zero. And, of course, Marte, who had worked zero innings since the end of the season. The left-hander did make one prior postseason appearance, on Oct. 7 in Boston, but did not register an out while giving up two walks and a hit. That created the bases-loaded mess that Hernandez came in to clean up, providing the pitching centerpiece of Chicago's 5-3 Division Series clincher. The White Sox relievers spent seven innings cleaning up each other's messes Tuesday-Wednesday. They formed a pretty good relay team, for a non-Olympic year. Some of them will probably be needed to work on no days' rest in Wednesday night's Game 4. "I hope I don't have to use Jenks," Guillen said, "but if we need him, we'll use him. Everybody should be ready to go." "It was a whole team effort tonight," Jenks said. "It took the entire 'pen, plus Buehrle. It shows the heart of this team."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.