Aug 7, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox center fielderAlejandro De Aza
(30) hits walk-off double to beat the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field. The Chicago White Sox defeated the New York Yankees 6-5 in twelve innings. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
The first thing I did upon getting home from U.S. Cellular Field Wednesday night–which is more than a notion after 11 pm when Logan Square is your destination–was watch the highlight of the Alejandro De Aza game-winning triple (which it became in a scoring decision that acted as a knowing wink to the night the White Sox had) around five or six times.
There’s no game Thursday, one of the games Friday features a major league debut, but hardly an anticipated one and there’s no promise of anything of remote importance until September. There’s nothing much to do at all but drink in this ridiculous game for a few hours more–Alejandro De Aza strutting to third with his arms raised in triumph, Alexei Ramirez diving the winning run into home with Puig-style giddiness, White Sox fans in the bleachers slowly working their way back into braggadocio like they were toeing cold waters or squeezing into an old sweater.
It had been a shocking ending that turned from normal drudgery to impossible absurdity faster than anyone could appropriately react. Two two-out rallies, one off the greatest closer of all-time to tie it, the other off a reliever who had struck out four of the seven batters he faced to win it. Five hits with the game on the line and two outs. Six runs from the worst offense in the league. A win credited Dylan Axelrod.
Monday’s blowout victory was easily the more out of character performance, but with the first four Sox hitters reaching base, it was clearly marked as an aberration from the start. On Wednesday night, the Sox were down 2-0 before anyone’s first beer had gotten warm, Hector Santiago wasn’t the superlative level of sharp typically needed to prop up this offense and C.C. Sabathia was still only on 62 pitches entering the seventh. Wednesday saw the Sox and their loyal witnesses from throughout the year dragged all the misery and hopelessness that had characterized the season, only to see the Sox turn around and win anyway.
I’ve been blogging about the White Sox since 2010, so every year has included some attempt to reflect on the joys of isolated moments amidst a larger failure, but this might be the easiest one.
The Sox have been hellish visuals all season, through a slate of games that’s already managed to seem torturously long with 50 still remaining. Nothing piles up predictably bad results like a fatally flawed team, so it’s hard to envision a scenario where we could all be anymore thankful to be reminded that it’s impossible to get through a summer, or even a month it seems, without stunning results–moments that exploit the gaps between what we think and what we can ever know about q game with so much variation and chance (Adam Warren extending the game by mistiming an extraneous hop on a soft comebacker in the 12th, for example).
This White Sox sweep and its exclamation point could mean something. It seems to rather strongly suggest that the Yankees are doomed, there’s a chance it could windup being cited as the spark for more inspired play or it just suggests that the Sox’ true talent level, while bad, is not that of a 100-loss team. But it’d be fine if it didn’t mean anything. Not just because of the #TheRoadtoRodon, but also because very few games and series can be the moment that turned everything around.
It’s enough for it to just be a break from the 2013 White Sox. It was needed.
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan