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2005 World Series
From BR Bullpen
|2005 World Series|
|Chicago White Sox||Houston Astros|
|99-63 in the American League||89-73 in the National League|
|2005 MLB Postseason|
|AL||CHW - BOS||CHI - LAA||CHI - HOU|
|LAA - NYY|
|NL||STL - SD||STL - HOU|
|ATL - HOU|
|<< 2004||2006 >>|
"With the birth of my kids, I think this is the most wonderful day of my life". - Ozzie Guillen, Game 4 postgame interview.
The 2005 World Series showcased two of baseball's finer pitching staffs, the perfect way to usher out the age of home run-mashing offenses. The Houston Astros' rotation was led by a trio of aces: likely future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens, World Series veteran Andy Pettitte, and 20-game winner Roy Oswalt. Brandon Backe was the Astros' fourth starter. The Chicago White Sox's rotation did not have the same name value, but was just as effective. In the ALCS, the White Sox tossed four consecutive complete games - the first time such a feat had been accomplished in the postseason since 1956. Mark Buehrle was the lone lefty of the group, while Jose Contreras, Freddy Garcia, and Jon Garland were the right-handers.
The series had a number of story lines. The White Sox were attempting to win their first World Series since 1971. The Astros were appearing in their first World Series ever. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen's outspoken nature made headlines all season, now he was hunting to bring home a trophy in just his second season on the job. Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell were searching for the first rings in their storied existence as the "Killer B's", while an injured Frank Thomas could only watch from the bench as his teammates looked to secure the first championship of his record-breaking career. Every night, lights in buildings across Chicago were turned on in patterns that spelled "Go Sox". The team succeeded in bringing an old baseball city what it deserved.
 The Teams
 The Chicago White Sox
- Manager: Ozzie Guillen
The White Sox, after finishing the season with the best record in the American League, swept the Boston Red Sox 3 - 0 in the Division Series. They then defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4 - 1 in the ALCS. The pitching staff carried the team all season long, and continued to do so in the playoffs. Jose Contreras was one of the league's top pitchers in the second half, while Mark Buehrle, Freddy Garcia, and Jon Garland all posted double-digit wins and sub-4.00 ERA's. Bobby Jenks emerged as the White Sox's closer after Dustin Hermanson suffered a back injury.
The offense was not the club's strength, but the White Sox were capable of scoring in a variety of ways. Scott Podsednik was the team leader in average and stolen bases. Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, and Carl Everett provided power in the heart of the order. Joe Crede and Aaron Rowand were capable hitters and second-to-none on defense.
 The Houston Astros
- Manager: Phil Garner
Having dispatched the Atlanta Braves in an exciting, 18-inning Game 4 of the NLDS, the Houston Astros won Game 6 of their Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals in a rematch of the 2004 NLCS, sending the franchise to its first World Series. 2B Craig Biggio and 1B Jeff Bagwell were still the face of the franchise, but 3B Morgan Ensberg and OF Lance Berkman were the team's heavy hitters. OF Willy Taveras was the Astros' speedster.
Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Roy Oswalt and Brandon Backe formed an excellent starting rotation. Clemens owned a 1.87 ERA in 32 starts, while Pettitte and Oswalt posted 2.39 and 2.94 respectively. Backe had a more human 10-8 record with a 4.76 ERA. Ironically, he would have the best World Series start of the quartet. Brad Lidge was an upper echelon closer, but had surrendered a mammoth home run to Albert Pujols in the 2005 NLCS, shaking his confidence.
 Game 1 @ U.S. Cellular Field
White Sox: 5, Astros: 3
|WP: Jose Contreras (1-0), LP: Wandy Rodriguez (0-1), SV: Bobby Jenks (1)|
|Home Runs: HOU - Mike Lamb (1); CHI - Jermaine Dye (1), Joe Crede (1)|
- Attendance: 41,206
Two hard-throwing righties, Roger Clemens and Jose Contreras, squared off in Game 1 of the 2005 World Series. The pre-game ceremony for the first World Series game in Chicago since 1959 featured a jet flyover and a large American flag that covered a good portion of the outfield. Contreras tossed a perfect 1st inning to get the series underway.
The White Sox scored first on a Jermaine Dye solo home run to right field against Clemens in the bottom of the 1st. The Astros came right back with an answer. Mike Lamb hit a home run of his own to even the game, 1-1. The tie did not last long, as the White Sox scored two runs in the bottom of the 2nd. Carl Everett started off the rally with a single. Aaron Rowand followed with another single, advancing Everett to third. An A.J. Pierzynski fielder's choice scored Everett, and gave the Sox a 2-1 lead. Juan Uribe then doubled to drive in Pierzynski. After two innings, Chicago held a 3-1 lead.
Ozzie Guillen and the White Sox prided themselves on "small ball", but the Astros gave the Sox a taste of their own medicine. A pair of singles gave Houston runners on first and second base with one out in the 3rd inning. Willy Taveras laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners over. Lance Berkman doubled in both runners, and the score was tied again.
Clemens left the game after just two innings with a bad hamstring. Wandy Rodriguez replaced him on the hill and pitched 3 1/3 strong innings. His only costly mistake came in the 4th inning when he surrendered a home run to Joe Crede. Trailing 4-3 in the 8th inning, the Astros threatened to take away the White Sox lead. With runners on first and third, Neal Cotts struck out two consecutive batters. Bobby Jenks came in and struck out Jeff Bagwell to retire the side.
Scott Podsednik hit an RBI triple in the bottom of the 8th to add some breathing room, and Jenks pitched a perfect 9th to nail down a 5-3 win.
 Game 2 @ U.S. Cellular Field
White Sox: 7, Astros: 6
|WP: Neal Cotts (1-0), LP: Brad Lidge (0-1)|
|Home Runs: HOU - Morgan Ensberg (1); CHI - Paul Konerko (1), Scott Podsednik (1)|
- Attendance: 41,432
Fans in Chicago gathered on a cold and rainy Sunday night to watch the second World Series game played in Chicago since President Eisenhower left the White House. The Astros attacked Mark Buehrle early, scoring on a Morgan Ensberg home run in the 2nd inning. As they would so often during the series, the White Sox had an answer. Three consecutive singles off Andy Pettitte in the bottom of the 2nd plated the first run of the game for the Sox. A second run scored on a fielder's choice later in the inning. The Astros tied the game at two in the 3rd inning after Willy Taveras tripled and scored.
The Astros took their first lead of the World Series in the 5th inning. Brad Ausmus hit a lead-off double, but Buehrle was able to retire the next two batters. When it looked like the Astros were going to squander the opportunity, Taveras hit a single and Lance Berkman doubled to give the Astros a 4-2 lead.
The White Sox claimed a 6-4 lead in the 7th inning. Juan Uribe hit a one-out double, Tadahito Iguchi walked, and Jermaine Dye was hit by a pitch. The Astros argued that the ball had hit the knob of Dye's bat, but the White Sox right fielder was awarded first base. With the bases loaded and two outs, Paul Konerko smashed a pitch from Chad Qualls into the seats in left field for a grand slam.
The Astros scratched two runs off Bobby Jenks in the 9th inning on a base hit by Jose Vizcaino to tie the game, 6-6. Brad Lidge came out to pitch the bottom of the 9th for Houston. Lidge retired the first batter and faced Scott Podsednik, who had just one home run up to that point in the season - it had come in the Division Series against the Red Sox. Tim McCarver and Joe Buck discussed the possibility of Lidge's blown save in the NLCS leaving a "bad taste" in the closer's mouth. McCarver barely finished saying "I don't think that taste is there" when Podsednik pulled an offering from Lidge over the wall in right field to win the game.
 Game 3 @ Minute Maid Park
White Sox: 7, Astros: 5
|WP: Damaso Marte (1-0), LP: Ezequiel Astacio (0-1), SV: Mark Buehrle (1)|
|Home Runs: CHI - Joe Crede (2), Geoff Blum (1); HOU - Jason Lane (1)|
- Attendance: 42,848
Rumors swirled during the summer of 2005 that the White Sox were going to trade for a power bat. The trading deadline came and passed, but the only player that General Manager Kenny Williams acquired was Geoff Blum. The former Astro was little more than a utility man, but he would become an unlikely World Series hero in Game 3.
Craig Biggio singled and scored against Jon Garland to give the Astros a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning. Houston fans welcomed in the first-ever World Series game played in the state of Texas. The Astros offense tacked on more support for Roy Oswalt in the 3rd inning. Adam Everett was caught attempting to steal second base, but Juan Uribe botched the play, allowing Everett to return safely to first base. Biggio made the Sox pay, driving Everett home with an RBI single. A Morgan Ensberg single drove home Biggio and gave Houston a 3-0 lead. The Astros were not done. In the 4th inning, Jason Lane pounded a home run off the outfield wall. According to the yellow home run line, the ball was actually in play. Nonetheless, Lane was given the home run and Houston led Chicago, 4-0.
Joe Crede came through in the clutch quite often for the White Sox during the postseason. He hit his second home run of the World Series in the top of the 5th inning. The White Sox then attacked Oswalt with a string of singles. First Uribe, then Scott Podsednik, followed by Tadahito Iguchi, and finally Jermaine Dye. The barrage brought in two more runs. A.J. Pierzynski drove in Iguchi and Dye with a double. The five-run 5th inning made the score 5-4 in favor of Chicago.
Jason Lane stepped up again for the Astros in the 8th inning, this time delivering an RBI double that tied the game at 5-5. The Astros looked poised to win the game in the bottom of the 9th. Three walks loaded the bases with two outs and Morgan Ensberg at the plate. However, Orlando Hernandez struck out Ensberg to send the game to extra innings.
The game quickly progressed to the 14th inning. Both teams were running short on relief pitchers. Ezequiel Astacio came in to pitch for the Astros. He yielded a single to Dye, then got Paul Konerko to ground into a double play. Blum stepped to the plate and delivered solo blast into the stands in right field. The White Sox added another insurance run before heading to the bottom of the 14th. With runners on first and third with two outs, the White Sox brought in Mark Buehrle to record the one-out save. He got the job done, securing a 7-5 White Sox winner.
 Game 4 @ Minute Maid Park
White Sox: 1, Astros: 0
|WP: Freddy Garcia (1-0), LP: Brad Lidge (0-2) SV: Bobby Jenks (2)|
|Home Runs: none|
- Attendance: 42,936
Brandon Backe was nothing more than an afterthought in the talented Astros rotation. A young arm with promise, but nothing more. In Game 4 of the World Series, the afterthought nearly did what the three All-Stars could not: beat the White Sox. In the end, timely hitting and baserunning delivered the south side of Chicago its first World Series title in 88 years.
The early portion of the game was a series of near misses. Lance Berkman doubled, but Freddy Garcia pitched out of it. Scott Podsednik hit a triple with two outs, but the Sox could not get him in. Neither team appeared terribly close to breaking the game open until the Astros loaded the bases in the 6th inning. A single and two walks packed the bases for Jason Lane, a near hero for the Astros in Game 3. Garcia struck out Lane to end the inning.
Brad Lidge looked to undo the demons of Game 2 in the 8th inning. Willie Harris started off the inning with a single. Podsednik laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Harris to second. Carl Everett grounded out, advancing Harris to third, and finally Jermaine Dye picked up a single to drive in the game's first run.
For the White Sox, the battle had just begun. The Astros put two men on with one out in the bottom of the 8th inning. Cliff Politte got Ensberg to fly out, and Neal Cotts induced a ground out to end the inning. A.J. Pierzynski doubled in the top of the 9th, but the White Sox were unable to drive him in.
The bottom of the 9th was a series of thrills. Lane led off the inning with a single against Bobby Jenks. Brad Ausmus bunted Lane over to second base. Chris Burke hit a foul ball that drifted toward the stands. Juan Uribe gave chase and reached several rows into the seats to snag the foul. With two outs and Lane still on second, Orlando Palmeiro hit a chopper over Jenks that Uribe had to catch and fire to first. He did so with no time to spare. Palmeiro was out by a flash and the White Sox were World Series champions.
 Series MVP
- The White Sox won their first World Series since 1971. Many people believed the franchise had been cursed for throwing the 1919 World Series.
- The White Sox outscored their opponent by only 6 runs, tying the record for fewest ever in a four-game sweep. The 1950 New York Yankees had also outscored the Philadelphia Phillies by only 6 runs.
- The White Sox's 11-1 record in the postseason tied for the best ever - with 1999 New York Yankees - since divisional series play began in 1995.
- The seats in U.S. Cellular Field were turned green before the 2007 season. Blue seats remain where Scott Podsednik and Paul Konerko hit their Game 2 home runs, however.
- With his key homer in Game 3, Geoff Blum became the second player to homer in his only World Series at-bat, joining Jim Mason who had done so for the New York Yankees in the 1976 World Series. Bobby Kielty would join them in 2007
 Further Reading
- Bruce A. Rubenstein: Chicago in the World Series, 1903-2005: The Cubs and White Sox in Championship Play, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2006.
|Modern Major League Baseball World Series
Pre-1903 Postseason Series
2005 All-Star Game • 2005 World Series