Sunday, October 23, 2005

houston, we have a problem

First Pujols, now Podsednik? No, really, Scott Podsednik? Possibly the most unlikely player on the White Sox to hit a walk off HR, Podsednik took Brad Lidge deep on a 2-1 fastball and just like that Houston is down 0-2. Ironically, just before the pitch that Pods, as his teammate call him, deposited in the right-center field bleachers, the Fox announcing crew asked hypothetically if Lidge would still be thinking about the bomb Pujols jacked off him in Game 5 of the NLCS. The banter went something like this: ‘So, many wondered why Garner didn’t bring Lidge in to pitch in Game 6 against St. Louis to get him back on the mound right away even though Houston was up big in the game. Do you think Lidge still has a bad taste in his mouth from that Pujols homer? Nah, he doesn’t have any taste right now ‘ Then bang, there she went. Game over.

There were plenty of storylines and momentum shifts in this game; the Astros fielding problems in the 2nd, the Dye HBP, the Sox 0-8 hitting with runners in scoring position prior to the Konerko at-bat (coincidentally, they showed the stat right before the at-bat), then his dramatic grand slam (only the 5th in W.S. history coming in the 7th inning or later), the 9th inning, 2 out, 2 RBI slap base hit by Vizcaino and finally Podsednik’s walk-off shot, only the 14th game winning HR in series history.

Now only elimination games are truly ‘must win’ games but for all practical purposes, Game 3 in Houston is a must win game for the Astros. Go down 0-3 and its time to dust off the golf clubs. Fortunately for the Astros, they will have their ace on the mound in Roy Oswalt. The bad news is, Jon Garland has been clutch for Chicago in the playoffs and now Houston has to be wondering if they get a 1 or 2 run lead late in a game, can they close it out? Is Lidge still the guy you bring in? It will be a long flight home to Houston tonight.

Konerko's slam

Pods game winner

deja vu?

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