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This one ended with Podsednik's missile of a homer, and the night lit up with fireworks and the big silly grins of grown men made little boys again. Said Rowand, "I can't think of words to describe it."
Oh, the Sox and all who root for them will find the words. Parents will tell their children, and those children will tell their children, about this night. All these years and dreams later, the city was changed as only a World Series can change it.
It was 20 minutes past one in the morning and in the 14th inning when the 17th pitcher threw the 482nd pitch to the 126th batter 341 minutes after this epic baseball game had begun. Houston shortstop Adam Everett popped up a pitch from emergency reliever Buehrle, who hadn't saved a game since back in 1999, in the Eastern League. When shortstop Juan Uribe made the catch, the longest World Series game ever was history--and so too, it seemed, were the Astros.
Winning yet another close game, the White Sox put Houston on the brink of elimination in what had to have been the wackiest, most confounding victory in a franchise-record-tying string of 15 wins in 16 games. Only the 1906, '08, '17 and '61 teams ever won 15 of 16 games. The Sox outlasted Houston even though they:
? walked a World Series-record 12 batters (only one of whom scored);
? finally had a blown umpire's call work against them (replays showed a Jason Lane home run in the fourth, which put Houston up 4-0, smacked against the "in-play" side of the vertical yellow home run line in left centerfield);
"I'm sure a lot of people watching this are wondering, How did these two teams get to the World Series?" Konerko said. "The bullpens. That's how."