World Series IGD: White Sox @ Astros, Game 4

first pitch: 5:00 p.m., PT
television: Fox
matchup: Freddy Garcia (14-8, 3.87 ERA) vs Brandon Backe (10-8, 4.76 ERA)

We said Game 3 would be close, and it was. But in the end, it came down to the Astros’ inability to cash in on 11 12 walks and former Padre Geoff Blum homering in the 14th inning in his first World Series at-bat.

The Astros now find themselves on the brink of elimination, to regurgitate an overused phrase, and they’ll need the performance of a lifetime from Brandon Backe to keep the series and their championship hopes alive. The pitching matchup in Wednesday night’s game looks like a mismatch, but Houston fans can take some comfort in knowing that Backe has done his best work this year at home. The flip side, unfortunately, is that Freddy Garcia has pitched very well on the road in 2005.

I hope the Astros are able to extend the White Sox a little bit. This has been a fun series and I’m not quite ready for the season to end. If Blum and Scott Podsednik can be heroes for the Pale Hose, then why not someone unexpected from the other side? I’ll go with Orlando Palmeiro. Yep, he’s going to win it for the home club in Game 4. I don’t know how, but he’ll find a way.

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27 Responses »

  1. Here on the east coast, I missed another late and exciting finish. It hasn’t exactly been the pitching series that a lot of people expected. It’s hard to have pitcher’s duels in these two parks.

  2. No, it really hasn’t lived up to its billing as such. But the games have been very exciting.

    Also, a correction: The Astros drew 12 walks in Tuesday night’s game; ESPN and Yahoo both had it listed as 11 when I posted.

  3. Somehow, the Astros’ hitters turned into the Padres last night. Scored early in the game to lead and then, couldn’t muster but one hit to tie the game with lots of LOB.

    Was Oswalt getting pinched in that awful inning or what? And how come, Phil forgot to warm up his pen when Roy was just getting hit and hit and hit.

    I do want a longer series…and at the moment a long nap.

  4. Going by my past hobby of determining the winner of the WS by how many ex-Padres were on the team, I should have known that Blum would play a big part in the White Sox win.
    But a HR, wow.
    BTW, I don’t remember any ex-Padres on the Astros.
    Does anyone?

  5. Ausmus used to be a Padre. The White Sox also have Ozzie Guillen and Joey Cora on the coaching staff. Speaking of Guillen, here’s a LaMarr Hoyt sighting:

  6. Congrats to Geoff Blum.

  7. Thanks, Geoff.
    Guess by that, the Sox is definitely will get the WS title. Of course, now, it’s pretty certain.
    I still want a longer series, though.


  8. GY-

    Did you happen to notice who got an honorable mention at 1B in the Hardball Times’ Gold Gloves article? None other than Robert Fick!

  9. BG, I’d missed Fick in the article. Thanks for pointing that out. He definitely looked the most comfortable of anyone we had there this year.

  10. Freddy Guzman sighting!

    According to Kevin Goldstein’s Baseball America Prospect Report, he went 3-for-4 yesterday in the Dominican Winter League, with a 2B and a CS …

    Also, check out what Michael Johnson did … … eh, I still don’t think this guy’s a “prospect” …

  11. I think one major thing to come out of this World Series will be the utter cluelessness of Phil Garner. I commented after Game 2 on his misuse of Brad Lidge and it appears that he didn’t learn his lesson for Game 3. Obviously, Oswalt had nothing last night and to leave him in the fifth to throw 46 pitches was inexcusable. It appears that he has no idea to run a pitching staff — bringing in Astacio in a tie game? What the hell was that? The guy proved during the season that he couldn’t be trusted but there was Garner throwing him out there in a tie game in the WS in the 14th inning. The man is clueless. Keep that in mind while you bash Bochy.

  12. What’s been most puzzling to me about Garner is his insistence on letting Mike Lamb hit against good left-handed relievers. I don’t get that at all.

    As for Astacio, what other options were there at that point? I think Rodriguez was the only other guy available and he didn’t do much better during the regular season.

  13. So now, with Garcia facing Backe, we finally get the pitchers duel. Baseball is a funny game.

  14. Backup infielder Pablo Ozuna was going to pitch the 15th inning of last night’s game for the ChiSox if it had continued? Wow, that would’ve been interesting.

  15. Jermaine Dye singles up the middle off Brad Lidge in the eighth to score Willie Harris and break the scoreless tie.

  16. Garner finally bats for Lamb against a lefty. Vizcaino up against Cotts.

  17. Wow, does this look like a Padres’ game to anyone else? Having to send up Vizcaino to PH with the season on the line … whew … ugly.

  18. … why not send up Burke instead of Viz?

  19. This has looked a lot like a Padres *series*. The Astros have been right there but just not able to get the key hit when they needed it.

  20. ChiSox bring out “the big guy” … Jenks to face the bottom of the order …

  21. Lane singled to center … wow, I wish the roof were closed … it’d be ROCKIN’ in there if it were!!!

    Send up Burke for Ausums? I’d get Burke’s stick in the game ASAP! (note: I’m NOT watching on TV …)

  22. Hey GY, if Burke don’t do it, I s’pose Orlando’s in the on-deck circle? :-)

  23. That’s a ridiculous catch by Uribe.

  24. Palmeiro is going yard. You heard it here.

  25. .772 OPS this season ain’t too shabby … but the pressure on him is *HUGE* …

  26. Well, so much for Palmeiro. Congrats to the White Sox. The curse is lifted!

  27. Why do GIDP’s hurt? Everett’s GIDP meant that Biggio didn’t get a 5th AB …