It was do-or-die tonight for the White Sox. Fans flocked to Guaranteed Rate Field early to meet up and tailgate, dressed in all black under the beaming afternoon sun.
It was a good day otherwise for Chicago, with the marathon and the Sky, Bulls, and Bears all winning. So: your move, White Sox.
Emotions certainly ran high — feelings of excitement, gratitude, and plenty of reflection over the last 13 years.
Hard to explain what it means to be a White Sox fan. But, if this pic was feelings, I guess this is what it’s like. I love this team! pic.twitter.com/1y9PiO5ZaM— Mike LaPapa Jr. (@mikelapapa13) October 10, 2021
Big cheers for pitching coach Ethan Katz in the pregame introductions. This city loves core velocity belts— James Fegan (@JRFegan) October 10, 2021
Eloy Jimenez dancing in the dugout getting the crowd fired up.— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) October 10, 2021
The Blackout was in full effect, as fans both there in person, sitting at a bar or watching from their own couches showed up and out.
White Sox Nation understood the assignment ✊ pic.twitter.com/wkaMwvOSiS— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) October 10, 2021
i have met some of my absolute favorite people through sox twitter, and i wouldn’t change any of it for the world. i truly love you all ❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/7KNK1rbPpJ— ™️ (@likedemolition) October 10, 2021
Jim Thome and his family certainly understood the assignment.
Big Jim is in the house! And, he's in uniform!!! pic.twitter.com/saYYWPf8MU— ESPN White Sox (@ESPNWhiteSox) October 10, 2021
Even our very own Jacki Krestel.
Janice, unable to wear black was still watching from the wedding she had a role in.
Former President and fan of the South Siders, Barack Obama kicked things off with a special message.
The entire ballpark was buzzing as the game started.
Dylan Cease took the mound for his first playoff start. Our very own Colleen Sullivan was lucky enough to see Cease’s first career start and first playoff start.
Saw his MLB debut. Now I get his playoff debut. pic.twitter.com/XIXur1spj1— colleen the village witch ⬛ (@colleensullivan) October 10, 2021
Cease had a powerful first-inning throwing absolute fire — and Pitching Ninja noticed.
Someone took a tumble ...
Jose Abreu took a tumble into the camera well chasing a pop foul. No catch.— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) October 11, 2021
The good guys struck first, as Eloy Jiménez ripped a two-out, RBI single to center to put the White Sox up.
Unfortunately, the Astros struck back, and it was soon 2-1, cheaters, after a deep hit from Kyle Tucker. Cease started struggling in the second inning, and the camera panned to Michael Kopech warming in the bullpen.
Kopech warming, is in fact alive.— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) October 11, 2021
Presumably was in the ICU in Houston.
Jake Meyers singled soon after, sending Kyle Tucker home. Whomp whomp. But it’s actually Keelin’s fault.
I got a churro, and we've been doing bad ever since.— Keelin is a 12 ft Home Depot Skeleton. (@Keelin_Billue) October 11, 2021
Cease was pulled after walking José Altuve. While he folded under pressure, it was obvious that the ump was also pretty terrible.
Tom Hailion is wildly inconsistent with his strike zone today. No excuse for Cease just an observation.— Herb Lawrence (@Ecnerwal23) October 11, 2021
The broadcast got a little controversial, and seemed to be Astros-heavy once again. Some people agreed with A. J. Pierzynski — and others were willing to burn jerseys.
Again, I’m not expecting Pierzynski to just praise the Sox the whole time, but he seems pretty anti-Sox so far— Anders Johanson (@acjohanson) October 11, 2021
Kudos to AJ for calling TLR/Katz out for not using Kopech when we were up in game 2.— Brian S I’M ONLY MOSTLY DEAD (@MagnificentStan) October 11, 2021
I like Adam Amin in the booth, he’s entertaining and meeting the bizarre energy of this game. Wainwright is also providing really cool context, especially for what Greinke does to get outs after losing his best stuff to age. AJ Pierzynski is also there— Tipping Pitches (@tipping_pitches) October 11, 2021
The game soured in the third inning, as Kyle Tucker continued to manhandle the Sox, putting the Astros up, 5-1.
Missing the days when the Astros stayed in the NL Central basement.— Cold Wartortle (@coldwars) October 11, 2021
Our very own Tommy Barbee lost hope.
So... what's everyone up to this evening?— Tommy Barbee (@KindaBleu) October 11, 2021
Ben spoke on my exact sentiments.
Now might as well be the time to say that no matter the outcome of today’s game, this was the most fun I’ve had watching the White Sox. This isn’t me admitting defeat. It ain’t over till the final out.— Major BS ⚾️ (@BenChiTownKid98) October 11, 2021
Friends, why do we love Yasmani Grandal? Cue the Moneyball gif. Yaz makes it 5-3, and the White Sox begin to rally in the bottom of the third.
Yasmani Grandal is my favorite. Just in case anyone was wondering.— Chrystal O’Keefe (@chrystal_ok) October 11, 2021
The ladies of Estrogen Power Hour had a few things to say about Yaz too.
Then Leury Freakin’ Legend sent the crowd into a frenzy, with his first career postseason home run, and the longest of his career.
Leury Garcia's 3-run go-ahead HR was so amazing, @LenKasper lost it. We're guessing you did as well. Here's how it sounded on the @HRCasinoIndiana White Sox Network!#changethegame pic.twitter.com/mWD8dcSvV0— ESPN White Sox (@ESPNWhiteSox) October 11, 2021
Sadly, no lead is safe, and the Astros tied it up as Alex Bregman knocked Altuve in.
Sox fans watching this game: pic.twitter.com/Qu4UuhmkIl— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) October 11, 2021
Oh, and then there was “cane guy” possibly casting spells on the Astros?
Michael Kopech ⛽️— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 11, 2021
A little cane magic. pic.twitter.com/e9IySK3GHF
The devil magic worked, because we had a beautiful Abreu RBI soon after, putting the good guys back on top — and for good. Grandal had a hit and ran on the infield grass, allowing Luis Robert to score on an error and take out Tom Hailion by sliding into home. A.J. had a lot to say about it, calling Grandal out on his interesting base running.
AJ forgetting the entirety of his career while calling this one play.— Peter Pantsless Geraci (@PnxNotDed) October 11, 2021
Whew, this has been a wild and super long game.
Cesar Hernandez is only #WhiteSox starter without a hit. He has walked, every player has reached base.— Ryan McGuffey (@RyanMcGuffey) October 11, 2021
It’s the 4th.
t-shirt that says "I survived the postseason baseball of Sunday 10th October 2021"— Lewis "HOES MAD" Baseball Fan (@pigeonize) October 11, 2021
Ryan Tepera had a fantastic outing, holding the Astros to keep the 9-6 lead intact. SSS Staffer Sam (say that five times fast) expressed his undying love. Let's be real, we all love Tepera tonight.
DADDY TEPERA DADDY TEPERA I LOVE YOU— North Side Sox Podcast (@NorthSideSoxPod) October 11, 2021
Pito takes ANOTHER DAMN HIT.
And of course Abreu gets hit.— AddisonShields (@SIAAddyShields) October 11, 2021
Speaking of things that happen all the time:
Yaz walks to own the libs. Again.— Soxtober Truther (@SamR33v3s) October 11, 2021
Death, taxes, and Eloy swinging at the first pitch.— Uncle Baby Jimmy (@Jim_Eck) October 11, 2021
Back to Tepera for a minute, because we won the trade.
Aaron Bummer came in to face some lefties in the seventh, striking out the side with a masterclass 1-2-3 inning.
Astros hitters have struck out 13 times tonight, their most strikeouts through 7 innings of any game all season.— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) October 11, 2021
Our buddy Andrew Vaughn came in off the bench for a clutch moment — a deep RBI double to left field. In case you didn’t know, Scarlett and I are Co-Presidents of the #AVFanClub.
Leury García continued his great night in the eighth, with a double scoring Vaughn. Score update: 11-6.
Most RBI in postseason game— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) October 11, 2021
White Sox history
5 Ted Kluszewski 1959 WS Gm 1
4 Leury García 2021 ALDS Gm 3
4 A.J. Pierzynski 2005 ALDS Gm 1
4 Paul Konerko 2005 WS Gm 2
4 Lance Johnson 1993 ALCS Gm 4
As a reminder —
It was 5-1.— Brian O'Neill (@oneillofchicago) October 11, 2021
And it’s now 12-6 thanks to a Tim Anderson RBI.
TIM ANDERSON HAS 16 HITS— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 11, 2021
THAT'S THE MOST IN A 6-GAME SPAN IN POSTSEASON HISTORY
“Sox in five” chants started throughout the ballpark after Luis Robert made a catch for the first out in the ninth. The excitement was palpable even as I sat alone, hunched over my laptop. I can’t imagine the electricity reverberating through fans at the game.
With Liam Hendriks in and two outs down, Altuve stepped up to the plate, met with loud boos and “cheater” chants. The voodoo cane guy appears on screen once more.
STRIKE THREE IS CALLED — GAME FOUR IS HAPPENING!
Put your brooms away, Houston.
This postgame quote from Grandal sums up his season thus far quite nicely:
"Im either going to walk or hit a home run"— Jake (@Procis1on) October 11, 2021
- the best catcher in baseball
A few other postgame gems:
"The black out crowd was absolutely incredible... Hopefully tomorrow we can send them home happy again, and then finish this out in 5. Sox in 5!"— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 11, 2021
- @WhiteSox Closer Liam Hendriks pic.twitter.com/NNbw2xkQAM
Leury Garcia describes what it's like to be a postseason hero pic.twitter.com/D7Sx9Gh2by— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) October 11, 2021
The moment is never too big for Tim Anderson ✨ pic.twitter.com/omsbEfpl8e— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) October 11, 2021
The Sox were down 5 to 1 and facing elimination when the heart of this team was tested. We don’t know how it’ll turn out but we know there will be a game 4. The bullpen was nails and the offense pulled even then pulled away. The crowd was electric. Just 1 win and then just 1 win— Steve Stone (@stevestone) October 11, 2021
Get your rest friends, quick turnaround. I’ll be back on Six Pack duty.
We have to do this again tomorrow?— Danny (@Soxman_Dan) October 11, 2021
Oh, and don’t forget — Sox in five.