The Pale Hose bid for a World Series upset dimmed with a 1-0 loss at home to the Cubs, drawing the series even at 2-2. Mordecai Brown exacted revenge for a one-run loss to Nick Altrock in the Series opener, holding the White Sox to two hits and just two baserunners in scoring position. For his part Altrock was stellar, allowing a run in the seventh inning after a leadoff single, two sacrifice bunts, and another single.
Further shadowing the White Sox hopes was the fact that they’d scored just seven runs in the first four games. However, the Hitless Wonders had a surprise in store for their crosstown rivals ...
In another one of White Sox GM Ed Short’s best moves, two-time All-Star pitcher Juan Pizarro (nursing a bad arm) was dealt to the Pirates for minor league pitcher Wilbur Wood.
Wood blossomed in Chicago thanks to his knuckleball — first as a record-setting relief pitcher, then as a four-time 20-game winner (1971-74, totaling 90 wins). He started 181 games and in each of those four years pitched at least 320 innings. Wood would also make three All-Star teams. He pitched for the Sox through the 1978 season.
In one of the strangest endings to a postseason game in history, the White Sox beat the Angels, 2-1, in Game 2 of the ALCS.
With the game tied in the ninth inning, catcher A.J. Pierzynski ran to first on a third strike that bounced in the dirt. Angels catcher Josh Paul (a former Sox player) thought Pierzynski struck out without a “drop,” and thus never threw down to first base, as required if a third strike touches the ground. Home plate umpire Doug Eddings agreed with Pierzynski and let him remain at first base, over the howling protests of several Angels players and manager Mike Scoscia.
After pinch-runner Pablo Ozuna stole second, Joe Crede’s double brought home the game-winner and tied the series at a game apiece.
Hardly noted was Mark Buehrle tossing a complete game, for the win. That complete game would loom larger as the ALCS proceeded.
The White Sox were beaten by the Astros, 10-1, in Game 4 of the ALDS, eliminating them from the playoffs.
But the Sox, despite numerous injuries that caused key players to miss significant stretches of time, still had won 93 games and the Central Division title. They had consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 2003-06, and for the first time in the 120-year history of the franchise made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.
They also beat their crosstown rivals the Cubs, in five out of six meetings.