The Chicago White Sox were getting awfully close to seeing its 2021 season end in a whimper. The Houston Astros jumped out to a 5-1 lead in Game 3 of the American League Divisional Series that reduced the raucous crowd at Guaranteed Rate to eerily quiet.
Facing elimination from the postseason with a loss, the White Sox scored five runs in the third inning to spark the club to a 12-6 victory. It woke up both the team and its fans from the miscues and feelings of doubt in postseason play.
Houston had limited Chicago to 20 singles until Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run homer and Leury Garcia blasted a three-run shot to bring the fans along with the team back to life.
After that, the Chicago White Sox bullpen settled down and the offense added on insurance runs as the White Sox showed enough life to extend the series to today’s Game 4 back at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Leury Garcia provided some much-needed offense for the Chicago White Sox.
While Grandal’s power is not a surprise as he hit 23 home runs during the regular season, Garcia’s dinger was not expected. The incredibly gifted super-utility player had just 5 home runs in the regular season and 31 in his nine-year MLB career. But Garcia hit a 435-foot blast to center field and that was the spark needed to give the White Sox hope they can still win the series.
Garcia has been a lightning rod of criticism from some of the fan base this year playing several games this season in right field which isn’t his best position. The Chicago White Sox have dealt with numerous injuries in the outfield so he has been as needed as any player on the roster. Without him, you never know what would have happened to this team in 2021.
If the White Sox are to win the ALDS against Houston, they need to slug more extra-base hits. Yes, singles have some value, and Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, and Jose Abreu have hit for a good average in this series.
However, as Leury Garcia showed, one big swing can change the momentum of a playoff series and set up the rest of the team for success.