Posted: Sunday October 23, 2005 1:09AM; Updated: Sunday October 23, 2005 1:09AM
Game 1: White Sox 5, Astros 3
Craig Biggio, 2B
1-4, 1 R
He singled and scored in the middle of the Astros' two-run rally in the third inning, but was quiet otherwise.
Willy Taveras, CF
The Astros lost because they failed to bring home their fastest player not once, but twice after he hit leadoff doubles.
Taveras also set up Berkman's two-run double in the third with a perfect sac bunt.
Lance Berkman, LF
2-4, 2B, 2 RBI
If anything, Berkman was guilty of hitting the ball too hard. His scorching single to left in the eighth didn't give Taveras enough
time to score from second. Berkman's two-run double tied the game in the third, and in the sixth his groundball to first base moved the potential tying run to third with
less than two outs.
Morgan Ensberg, 3B
He led the Astros with four runners left on base, including a strikeout with first and third and nobody out in the
Mike Lamb, 1B
1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, HR
Lamb opened the scoring for Houston with the home run and made a couple of nice picks at first before failing to reel in
Everett's errant throw in the seventh.
Jeff Bagwell, DH
0-2, 2 HBP
The signature moment of this game will be Bobby Jenks' strikeout of Bagwell to end the eighth inning, but give the old
warrior credit for reaching base twice (on HBPs). The Astros need all the quality at-bats they can get.
Jason Lane, RF
Lane grounded into a double play to end the second inning and was generally a non-factor.
Brad Ausmus, C
So far the White Sox's running game is up 2-0 on Ausmus, who allowed a pair of steals in the opener.
Adam Everett, SS
The bottom of the Astros' lineup killed the Cardinals, but they were held in check tonight. Everett is lucky his error on
Jermaine Dye's grounder didn't prove costly.
Roger Clemens, RHP
2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO
Clemens has been too fired up in the early innings of big starts before, but this time it was different. His pitches were up,
particularly on Dye's first-inning home run and Juan Uribe's second-inning double. When it became apparent that he was injured, nobody was surprised.
6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, 1 HR
The game could have become a rout when the Rocket left after two innings, but the duo of Wandy Rodriguez and Chad
Qualls kept the Astros in the game by allowing only one run in five innings. Rodriguez was shaky, walking five batters, but worked his way out of a couple of jams.
Qualls was nasty, and he picked up Everett by retiring the side in order after the shortstop's error to lead off the seventh inning.
It's an AL game, so there wasn't much ado about anything here. The only player to come off the bench was Chris Burke as a
pinch-runner in the eighth. He stole second but was stranded.
His biggest gamble was the intentional walk to Aaron Rowand to load the bases in the fifth inning, but it paid off when A.J.
Pierzynski grounded into a double play. Otherwise it's hard to find much fault with Garner, who was put behind the 8-ball early because of Clemens' injury.
Scott Podsednik, LF
2-5, 3B, SB, RBI
His best at-bat of the game was on out -- a 13-pitch showdown against Clemens on which Pods eventually struck out. FOX
dropped the ball by not showing a replay of his sprint from home to third on his eighth-inning RBI triple. Do the Bears need a wideout? Pods should be available in a
week or so.
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B
Iguchi is a much better player than what he has shown this postseason, but until he does something of note, you'll just have
to take our word for it.
Jermaine Dye, RF
1-2, R, RBI, 2 BB, HR
Heading into Game 1, Dye was one of three White Sox with at least 18 career at-bats against Clemens. Dye made good use
of that experience when he hit a solo shot off the Rocket in the first inning.
Paul Konerko, 1B
The White Sox won without getting a big hit from their top slugger, so that's a good sign for Chicago.
Carl Everett, DH
1-3, R, Sac
Crazy Carl? More like Crazy Legs. Everett went first-to-third on a hit-and-run in the second inning and then scored on a
daring dash to home plate. He also laid down a perfect bunt in the fifth inning. Who knew?
Aaron Rowand, CF
He showed nice bat control in executing a crucial hit-and-run in the second inning.
A.J. Pierzynski, C
1-4, 2 R, RBI, SB
No controversy, just a solid ballgame this time. He drove in the White Sox's second run of the game by hitting the ball to the
right side of the infield in the second inning, and his single and stolen base in the eighth led to an insurance run.
Joe Crede, 3B
1-4, R, RBI, HR
The home run was nice, but how about the Buck Weaver impersonation at third base? Crede made outstanding plays in
the sixth and seventh to keep the tying run on third base.
Juan Uribe, SS
1-2, R, RBI, 2 BB
His double in the gap gave the White Sox a 3-1 lead and sent the ailing Clemens to the showers. I'm still wondering how the
Rockies let this guy get away.
Jose Contreras, RHP
Win, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
He struggled early but settled down in time to give the White Sox exactly what they needed. The key stat is the walks total:
zero. Contreras has walked only two batters in 32 postseason innings this fall. The way the White Sox flash the leather, it only makes sense to make the batters put
the ball in play.
2.0 IP, 1 H, 5 K
You hardly heard about these guys because of the dominance of Chicago's starters and the hype surrounding the Astros'
bullpen, but the White Sox relief corps is for real. Neal Cotts gave up a hit to the first batter he faced, Berkman, but after that it was lights out (to borrow a phrase) as
Cotts and closer Bobby Jenks retired the next five batters in order.
These guys haven't been used in weeks. Nothing to see here. Move along.
He made a nice call on the hit-and-run in the second inning. More important, Guillen fought the urge to stick with Contreras
after the right-hander allowed a leadoff double in the eighth. Ozzie also provided the comic relief for the night when his call for Jenks consisted of making the "tall and
fat" gesture. What do you expect from a guy who hasn't used his bullpen since Oct. 11?