Posted: Wednesday October 26, 2005 4:32AM; Updated: Wednesday October 26, 2005 10:11AM
The Astros had runners at first and second with two outs in the 10th and 11th, and in the 13th they put their leadoff runner on. But they stumbled through a litany of errors -- fouling off a high pitch to negate a certain stolen base, swinging wildly at first pitches, failing to get bunts down -- and, in extra innings, struck out six times.
"We didn't pitch great," Pierzynski admitted. "But we didn't give up the big hits, and we got strikeouts when we needed them. You gotta make pitches when you have to make pitches."
All of it enraged Astros manager Phil Garner, who uncharacteristically ripped into his team afterward.
"That's some pretty poor hitting. Absolute rotten hitting," he said. "I don't know how you win a ballgame when you can't hit the ball.
"We might have played 40 innings and it didn't look like we were going to get a runner across the bag."
The Sox looked equally inept -- the two teams combined to leave 30 runners on base, another Series record -- until Blum, who has had only one at-bat this postseason and hasn't had a home run since Aug. 29, took Astacio deep in the 14th.
The loss puts the Astros exactly where they didn't want to be. No team ever has come from three games down to win a World Series.
No team ever has had to try it after losing a game like that one.
"That's a heartbreaker to lose," first baseman Paul Konerko said.
As the hard rock music blared in the Sox clubhouse afterward, with the clock on the wall pushing toward 2 a.m., the Sox knew exactly where they stood. The first three wins haven't been anything close to pretty.
But that next one -- which should come any day now -- will be the best-looking thing anyone in Chicago has seen in generations.