Yes, we're stuck at our desk, but it is with distinct pleasure that we bring you this playoff edition of From the Cubicle of this potentially decisive Game 3. It doesn't happen a lot around here, so you've got to savor it while you can. If you're like us and you couldn't get out of work early to watch this game, we're here for you. Well, at least I am. Everyone else has left. Tumbleweed just rolled by my desk, which, by the way, is festooned with bunting.
So sit back, make like you're busy and keep your cursor on the refresh button. The first two games have been quite exciting and this one should be no less.
The Red Sox appear confident on the outside. After all, they came from three down to take out the Yankees in last year's ALCS and are 8-1 since 2003 when facing elimination. But this is a different team. No Pedro Martinez, no Derek Lowe, no bullpen and really no real Curt Schilling.
This one should be fun.
From the looks of the radar there's quite a storm brewing from the southwest. We'll keep you updated. The WGN weather guy not
Our director of sales Joe Farrell, a huge Sox fan, just dropped a mop handle off at my desk and taped a picture of a broom inside my cubicle. So what's with the mop, Joe.
"It's the closest thing I could find."
Chris Berman, Rick Sutcliffe and Mike Piazza are on the call again. I've got to say they've been pretty good, though the Red Sox haven't given Berman much to cheer about. It could be worse. It could be John Miller. OK, let's get this going now. Have a few commercials, ESPN. Scott Podsednik falls behind 0-2 and then is plunked by a knuckleball. Wakefield throws over to first and the ball gets by John Olerud and Podsednik takes second. But Tadahito Iguchi had called timeout, so Podsednik goes back to first. On a 2-1 pitch, Podsednik takes off and is thrown out by Doug Mirabelli. That's hard to do with a knuckleballer on the mound. The Gooch then fans. Jermaine Dye does as well and a good first for Wakefield. It looks like the knuckleball, which is hit or miss, is on so far. It helps that it's kind of warm and humid in Boston. But the Sox are coming up.
Garcia goes full to Johnny Damon before losing him with a pitch in the dirt. Edgar Renteria squares but bunts it foul. He then pops out to Joe Crede near the mound. With a guy on first the Sox forego their shift for David Ortiz that worked so well in the first two games. Count goes full to Big Papi. Damon takes off and Papi lines it right over second base where Juan Uribe was covering. Easy double play. Berman is dumbfounded.
I think this mop handle stinks. Paul Konerko goes down swinging. That's three straight for Wakefield. Wakefield then hits Carl Everett. Terry Francona doesn't agree and he's out have a conversation with the ump. The replay shows it's close. I don't think anyone is going to tell Everett otherwise. Rowand, who's got a few taters off Wakefield, grounds into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.
Here's Rain Man, Manny Ramirez. Definitely time for Wapner. Manny walks. Trot Nixon strikes out swinging. Bill Mueller lines out to Uribe. Two outs. Olerud works the count full, which means Manny will be running, which means anything could happen. He could run out to right. Olerud fouls it off before taking the next pitch for ball four. Two guys on for Mirabelli, who digs in to a KC & the Sunshine Band song. That needs to be changed. It's starting to rain. Not very hard, though. Mirabelli rips it towards the hole, Crede makes a diving stop to his left and gets Olerud at second.
A.J. Pierzynski lines the first pitch of the third to right but Nixon robs him of a hit with a diving catch. Crede hits it deep in the hole at short and Renteria makes a nice back-handed pick and jump throw to get the runner. Three straight stellar defensive plays in this game, including Crede's. Uribe hits it deep and off the top of the monster for a double. The game's first hit. Berman originally called it a homer. He also called Renteria "Uribe" on that last play. Whatever. First hit of the game and the Sox have a runner on second with two outs for Podsednik. You ever notice that Berman tries to force way too many words out before taking a breath? The last 10 or so words are reduced to a croak. Podsednik doubles to the left-field corner, scoring Uribe. Iguchi singles to center and Podsednik scores. The Gooch comes through again. Another hit. This time Dye pokes one to center and the Gooch takes third. Four straight two-out hits for the Sox and now Konerko hits with runners on the corners. Konerko hits it hard to right but Nixon gloves it.
White Sox 2, Red Sox 0
Oh, dear. We've got some satellite trouble here. Just lost the feed on the TV and this game's not even on Comcast Sports Net. Bear with us. OK, we're back but still a bit sketcy. Tony Gaganino reached somehow but Damon bounced into a 1-6-3 double play. Renteria squibbed one to third for the final out. The picture is back on the TV now. I nearly lost it and the mop handle was involved.
White Sox 2, Red Sox 0
Everett rips it down the right field line but .... it's on the wrong side of Pesky's pole. It's safe to say they're hitting Wakefield now. Everett then flies out to Damon in center. Rowand smokes it over Manny's head in left and will challenge that arm any day. Jeopardy at 5 o'clock. He slides safely into second head first. Pierzynski grounds to short and Rowand takes third on the slow bouncer. Crede files out and Rowand is stranded at third. Berman is quite exicted that Big Papi is coming to bat. Easy, big fella.
I hope the custodial crew hasn't put out an APB on this mop. I'll be caught red-handed. Maybe I'll stick it in Rahula's cubicle. Ortiz hits a homer to straight-away center. Berman stunningly is speechless. Oh, wait. There he goes. I thought that might stay in the yard. It hit the top of the wall. Manny rips a homer to right and sits at home plate admiring it while undoing his batting gloves. Tie game. Nixon lifts a fly ball to shallow right that Dye squeezes. Mueller pops out to Uribe. Olerud grounds out to Uribe to end the inning. The Red Sox two big boppers strike and we're tied up.
White Sox 2, Red Sox 2
Uribe flies out to right on the first pitch. Podsednik strikes out. The Gooch bounces back to Wakefield for a quick 1-2-3 inning.
Mirabelli grounds out to Crede for the first out. Graffanino flies out to left. Damon lines a two-out double down the right field line. Garcia walks Renteria and that wakes up Don Cooper as Ortiz looms. Two on and two outs for Papi, who rips the first pitch to the deepest part of the park where Rowand makes the catch on the track.
Still tied at 2-2
Dye draws a leadoff walk. El Duque is up in the Sox's pen. Konerko tees off on a Wakefield knuckleball for a two-run homer over the monster. Everett rips one and Olerud makes a nice back-handed play for the out. That's it for Wakefield. Enter Chad Bradford. Rowand sends his first pitch to center for a single. Exit Chad Bradford. Enter lefty Mike Myers, the guy from Halloween, to face Pierzynski. Myers takes forever between pitches and Rowand takes second. This guy takes so long they could run commercials between pitches. Seriously ESPN fit in a promo for "4 Minutes" and 10 highlights between ball three and four. Pierzynski walks. And that's it for Myers, thankfully for all of us. Jonathan Papelbon comes on to pitch. Joe Farrell showed up again and this time he's got a broom. "It took me awhile, but I found one." But it's one of those really tiny brooms a kid might use with a Halloween costume. He's off to drink Old Style at home. Fun night at the Farrells. OK, here's Crede after much delay. Of course, he didn't take the mop with him. Crede fights off a 2-2 pitch. Crede pops it foul down the right-field line and Nixon reaches into the crowd and makes the catch. No Bartmans in Boston. But Rowand tags and takes third. Boston appeals, thinking Rowand left early. No dice. Longest. Inning. Ever. Does Terry Francona have any more delay tactics? Runners on the corners and two outs for Uribe. Uribe takes ball three and Pierzynski, that speedster, takes second. Mirabelli bluffed the throw to second. I wonder if Rowand would've gone home had he thrown that. Uribe swings through ball four for strike three to end the top half of the inning, which took, oh, 30 minutes.
White Sox 4, Red Sox 2
Garcia remains in the game and he'll face Manny, who smokes a homer over the monster. That's it for Garcia. Here comes Damaso Marte to face Nixon. Nixon greets Marte with a single to right. Marte walks Mueller. And Berman is just a bit too excited. Don Cooper comes out to talk to Marte and Olerud to hit. Ozzie is not happy with the strike zone. He's yelling at the ump from the top step. Marte walks Olerud and he's nowhere near the plate. Here comes Ozzie to get him. El Duque will try to get out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam. Jason Varitek will hit for Mirabelli. Sutcliffe claims the crowd got to Marte. I think Marte got to Marte. Brutal. Varitek pops it up and Konerko gloves it in the fungo circle. Here's Graffanino looking for redemption. The count goes even at 2-2. This is pretty intense. Ball three. Graffanino fouls one back. "This is good stuff," Sutcliffe says and I agree. Another foul ball. Might have been ball four. Yet another foul ball. Might have been fall five. Pierzynski goes out to talk to El Duque. Graffanino pops up a breaking ball. Uribe takes it. Huge pitch. That was a 10-pitch at-bat won by El Duque. Damon takes a curve for strike one. Hernandez misses on two straight before throwing a fastball by Damon for strike two. El Duque gets squeezed by home plate ump Mark Wegner. That pitch looked like strike three. Ozzie just shakes his head. Where's ESPN's K-zone on that? Full count. Two outs. Damon checks his swing on a ball in the dirt and Wegner calls him out. Wow. El Duque pumps his fist and walks off. Damon argues. ESPN goes to commercial.
White Sox 4, Red Sox 3
That sixth inning took an hour--58 minutes to be exact. Sorry about the score, folks. It's 4-3. Podsednik and Iguchi ground to short in succession. Dye bounces to second. And we stretch. That was a bit of a letdown after that sixth.
El Duque remains and why not? He fans Renteria and Berman favorite Oritz steps in. The Sox go into their Papi shift with two infielders in shallow right. It's not needed. El Duque blows Papi away. What's gotten into this guy? Manny grounds out to Wapner at first and El Duque mows through the heart of the order. Six straight for the ageless Cuban.
White Sox 4, Red Sox 3
Konerko pops out to shallow left and Manny just stands there with his arms folded while Renteria takes care of it. Great hustle. Yeah ... 'course three minutes to Wapner. Everett, even angrier than usual when he's in Boston, takes a few vicious cuts before grounding out to third. Papelbon strikes out Rowand looking.
White Sox 4, Red Sox 3
Yes, and not to sound like a homer myself, but as people on the board have pointed out, Berman just started a defense of the Red Sox with "Not to take anything away from the White Sox, but..." and then went on to outline how tired the Red Sox are.
El Duque stays and the unbuttoned and pine-tarred Trot Nixon hits. Nixon hits it sharply to Konkero, who spears it with a dive and flips to a covering El Duque, who loves it and pumps his fist again. Mueller hits a broken-bat bloop right to Iguchi. Two outs. Olerud singles to center. Alejandro Machado runs for Olerud and Varitek bats with two outs. Varitek swings at a ball over his head for strike three and runs back to the dugout like a little leaguer. Hurry up and get your gear on, catch. And we go to the ninth.
White Sox 4, Red Sox 3
Mike Timlin is the new Red Sox pitcher and he'll face Pierzynski. Pierzynski pokes one the other way off the monster for a double. Back in the day Carl Yastrzemski used to hold guys to singles on balls hit there. Not with Manny. Crede bunts Pierzynski to third just after Sutcliffe finished saying they wouldn't sacrifice. Uribe squeezes the battleship Pierzynski home. Again, wow. Timlin throws over to first and it's wild. Uribe takes second. Podsednik grounds out and Uribe goes to third. Iguchi strikes out and it looks like Bobby Jenks will pitch the ninth.
White Sox 5, Red Sox 3
Graffanino chops one to Crede and there's one out. ESPN flashes to a video retrospective of the Red Sox's run last year that could serve as an obit for this year's team. Jenks fans Damon with a big curve. Renteria grounds to Iguchi and this one's over. The Sox sweep--and mop--the Red Sox.
Final: White Sox 5, Red Sox 3
The Sox, from the South Side, celebrate. The Sox, from Boston, hit the Turnpike. Their fans are stunned and crying.
Meanwhile, in the Sox's clubhouse champagne is sprayed. Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez is the player of this game. And I'm still waiting for the pizza we ordered in the sixth.
Thanks for reading, posting and e-mailing, everyone. We're glad we could bring you a winner. Have a great weekend.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun