The Chicago White Sox are World Champions
Once again it was Houston closer Brad Lidge who played the role of the goat, giving up the only run of the game after coming in to relieve starter Brandon Backe. Backe pitched seven innings of lights out ball until giving way to Lidge, who allowed pinch hitter Willie Harris,the leadoff batter in the eighth inning, to reach base. A bunt and a ground ball moved Harris over to third before Dye came through with a single up the middle to drive in the run.
Lidge was tagged with the loss, his third in the postseason. The previous two included giving up the game-winning home run to St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols in the National League Championship Series, a three-run shot that forced a game six in St. Louis. The other was a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of game two of the World Series to Chicago outfielder Scott Podsednik, who didn't have a home run at all during the regular season.
For the White Sox, starter Freddy Garcia pitched seven innings, giving up only four hits while striking out seven batters. Rookie Bobby Jenks closed out the ninth, earning his second save in the playoffs and giving up one hit.
The Astros gave it their best shot to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, when right fielder Jason Lane led off the inning with a single. Catcher Brad Ausmus then moved Lane to second with a sacrifice bunt. But with the tying run now at second with one out, Chicago shortstop Juan Uribe took things into his own hands. He made a great catch for the second out by falling into the stands on a foul ball by pinch-hitter Chris Burke, and charged a slow, bouncing ground ball up the middle, firing to first to nail pinch-hitter Orlando Palmeiro by half a step to clinch the series.
Despite the White Sox coming out on top in all four games, there was plenty of excitement and tension in the 2005 World Series-- each win was by two runs or less with the deciding run(s) being scored after the eighth inning in three of those games.
Chicago's championship comes only a year after the Boston Red Sox ended their 86-year drought, supposedly ending the "curse" that New York Yankees slugger Babe Ruth instilled upon the team after being traded in 1920. The White Sox had some demons of their own to exonerate, that being their own "curse" stemming back to 1919 when the fabled Chicago Black Sox scandal occurred. That team was the odds-on favorite to win the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, but eight players conspired with gamblers to throw the World
Series. The result was all eight players, including legendary "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, being banned from baseball for life.
The 2005 World Champion White Sox have given the south-side of Chicago something to celebrate, but with all of these "curses" being broken one can only wonder if perhaps next year the north-side's Cubs can exorcise their own demons. Their drought has lasted since 1908.
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