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After Lane's double, White Sox relievers Hermanson, Orlando Hernandez, Luis Vizcaino, Jenks, Damaso Marte and Buehrle--who became the first pitcher to start one World Series game and save the next--held the Astros scoreless and hitless over their final 20 at bats. Of course, the pitchers did work around eight walks, a hit batter and two errors.
"We might have played 40 innings, and it didn't look like we were going to get a runner across," Garner said.
Likewise the Chicago offense sputtered after a five-run uprising in the fifth against Houston starter Roy Oswalt, who threw a career-high 46 pitches in that inning alone. Neither team got a hit with a combined 12 runners on over the ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th innings. And then, shockingly, came a hit to decide the game without the drama of a runner on.
Chicago second baseman Geoff Blum, a former Astro, had entered the game in the 13th inning as part of a double switch. He did so with explicit instructions from catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Referring to himself, Pierzynski told Blum, "Fatty's getting hungry. I need something to eat. You're a [former] Killer Bee. Get out there and get this game over with."
Blum had batted only once before in this postseason and had not driven in a run in 56 days when he stepped to the plate in the 14th against Ezequiel Astacio. "I had a lot of pent-up aggression," he said with a laugh.
He took the first two pitches for balls.
"Two outs, 2 and 0, I figured, 'Why not take a chance' and looked for a fastball," he said. "He threw one right where I was looking for it."
Blum crushed an inside fastball on a line over the wall in rightfield, the latest home run in World Series history. Only one other Series game had gone 14 innings, Game 2 in 1916, which was played in two hours, 32 minutes with Babe Ruth pitching the entire game to win for Boston. That game ended on a walk-off single by Del Gainer off the Brooklyn Robins' Sherry Smith, who also went the distance.
After crossing home plate, Blum blew kisses to his wife, Kory, and 20-month-old daughter in the field-level stands. The couple also has triplets, who were born in May. "It's been a pretty amazing year," said Blum, who went from San Diego to the Sox at the trading deadline as insurance against Crede's back trouble. "Getting traded, the birth of my triplets ... why not hit a home run in the World Series?"
Why not, indeed?