Chicago White Sox fans suffered a serious punch to the gut after watching the squad drop both games in Houston in the best-of-5 ALDS playoff.
Knowing the odds are slim for a team to come back and win three in a row in a best-of-5 playoff series, many Sox fans have lost the positive vibes in anticipation of the first home playoff game since 2008.
I say it is time to keep the faith and make Game 3 a night to remember to extend the season to Monday with a little blackout magic.
I was a part of the last “Blackout” the Chicago White Sox had in 2008 in Game No. 163 on a late September night that resulted in a tense and exciting 1-0 victory against the Minnesota Twins to win the American League Central Division. Fans were asked to all wear black to provide an intimidating home-field advantage.
As I sat in the upper deck, I remember being so into the game there weren’t as many trips to the concession stands or bathrooms as any other game.
Jim Thome’s homer off Nick Blackburn in the seventh provided the game’s only run. John Danks turned in a strong start, throwing eight innings and surrendering only two hits. Then, Bobby Jenks finished Minnesota off to end the game with his 30th save that season.
The Chicago White Sox are hosting their first playoff game since 2008 on Sunday.
Now fast forward 13 years to the next Chicago White Sox playoff appearance. With the AL Central providing little competition all season, Sox fans and observers spent most of August and September debating the pitching and lineups for the playoffs with the hopes of at the very least a trip to the American League Championship Series. Then Houston happened.
Game One starter Lance Lynn got hit. Game Two starter Lucas Giolito couldn’t find home plate after being staked to a 4-2 lead. The Chicago White Sox offense suffered a power outage with no extra-base hits.
Manager Tony LaRussa made several controversial decisions, including not using talented relief pitcher Michael Kopech in either game and pinch-hitting Cesar Hernandez for Adam Engel in Game two which led to Engel’s replacement in right field, Leury Garcia, misjudging a fly ball that Engel would have likely caught.
Now I am saying it is time to throw that out and give the Chicago White Sox and its fans the results it has been waiting for. Wear black to the game tonight. Wave the towels. Be loud and proud.
Who knows. Maybe it will help Dylan Cease to some low-stress innings or an Eloy home run. Maybe it will lead to Tim Anderson racing around the bases and a Liam Hendriks fist-pump to finish off a victory. Then there will be hope for Monday. It would also lead to watching a Chicago White Sox team having fun and playing freely.