White Sox: Looking back at Game One of 2005 World Series
Thirteen years ago, the White Sox faced off against the Houston Astros in the 2005 World Series.
This was not the last time that the White Sox were in the playoffs, but it was the last time that our beloved boys made it to the Fall Classic.
To celebrate the White Sox four-game sweep thirteen years ago and the opening night of the 2018 Fall Classic, let’s look back at the only Game One that counts to fans on the South Side.
How the teams got to the Fall Classic
In 2005, the Astros were members of the NL Central, which had six teams. The AL Central was the same as it is today. The ChiSox won 99 games and the Astros won 89 – finishing second in their division.
To get to the World Series, the Astros defeated the Braves, then defeated the Cardinals – who won the NL Central with 100 wins. The ChiSox defeated the Red Sox in the Division Series, then beat the Angels in the League Championship Series. The Wild Card did not exist in 2005. The top four teams were determined by their records.
Thirteen years ago, the first pitch of Game One was thrown by Jose Contreras on October 22 at 7:05 PM at US Cellular Field. That night, the temperature was a chilly 53° – but to Sox fans, it was the perfect night for baseball. Over 41,000 fans packed the stadium to see their Southsiders take the crown.
Contreras threw it to Craig Biggio who grounded out. Contreras also quickly got the next two outs. Roger Clemens pitched for the Astros, but he didn’t have the same luck that Contreras had as Jermaine Dye scored first for the Sox with a solo home run.
In the second, the Astros quickly caught up when Mike Lamb homered off of Contreras who then hit Jeff Bagwell. Fortunately, the inning ended with a double-play. In the bottom of the second, the White Sox scored twice. A.J. Pierzynski earned an RBI with Carl Everett scoring from third base. Unfortunately, Aaron Rowand was forced out at second on Pierzynski’s fielder’s choice. Then, Juan Uribe added his own RBI scoring Pierzynski on a big double to center field.
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The score was 3-1 White Sox entering the third. Lance Berkman tied the game in the top of the third off a double. He earned two RBI when Adam Everett and Biggio crossed home. The score remained tied until the bottom of the fourth when the Sox scored what would be the winning run. With Wandy Rodriguez pitching in relief, Joe Crede hit a home run to center field. The Sox added a fifth run in the bottom of the eighth as Scott Podsednik hit a triple that scored Pierzynski.
Unlike the most recent playoffs – which have been battles of the bullpens, the White Sox starter, Contreras, pitched into the eighth inning. The last batter he faced was Willy Taveras who hit a line-drive double to center field. After that, Ozzie Guillen pulled him for Neal Cotts who faced three batters, giving up a single and striking out two. Bobby Jenks entered the game to get the final out and close the game. And, close it, he did. Jenks struck out Bagwell in the eighth. He came back in the ninth and faced the minimum earning two strikeouts.
By the time Game One was over, eight of the starting batters earned hits. Only second baseman Tadahito Iguchi did not get on base. Lead-off batter Podsednik and Paul Konerko had two hits on the night. Dye and Uribe each had two RBI. Podsednik and Pierzynski each stole a base in the first game.
Contreras threw 82 pitches and earned an ERA of 3.09. He struck out two and did not walk anyone one. On the flip side, seven-time CY Young winner Clemens only made it through two innings and had an ERA of 5.63 in the first game. Contreras earned the win, Rodriguez took the loss.