Wednesday, October 26, 2005


The End is Nigh: White Sox 3, Astros 0

Yeah, the Astros are pretty much screwed. Give credit to the Sox bullpen last night for holding the fort down for six innings to earn the 7-5 win. The Sox are getting it done with two factors that everybody thought would be weaknesses, hitting and relief pitching. Houston's bullpen did an equally terrific job until Ezequiel Astacio came in and did his best Calvin Schiraldi impression. The Sox are now one win away from their first World Championship since the Wilson Administration. The 'Stros rest their playoff lives on Brandon Backe, who put up a 4.76 ERA this season and, if his appearances on the FOX Sounds of the Game are any indication, doesn't have more than five brain cells in his head. Maybe tonight he'll be too stupid to realize he should be nervous. Freddy Garcia is monumentally better than Backe, and the Astros looked like dead fish after the Geoff Blum home run last night, so don't expect too much more baseball in 2005.

Some quick notes on Game 3:
-What was Astacio doing in the game in the first place? I realize that by the 14th inning Phil Garner only had three pitchers available to him, and one was his Game 4 starter, but if given the choice between Wandy Rodriguez and Astacio, Wandy seems like the easier pill to swallow. Rodriguez is no prize, but he'd been pitching well this postseason. If I were Garner, I would have sent Rodriguez out and told him to pitch a shutout or bust. During the season, Astacio gave up 23 home runs in 81 innings this year. Now, I'm no John McGraw, but I don't think that's generally a guy you want to toss out there in a situation where one home run can mean the end of the season. Astacio's final line: 2/3 of an inning, 4 hits, 2 walks, one homer, and two runs, and he was lucky to even get the two outs. Hellooooooo, George Frasier-Land!

-I know he was excited, but did Geoff Blum celebrate his game-winning home run by sticking his finger in a light socket? What was with that hair? He must have been trying to outdo Boston's collection of atrocious hairstyles from last year, because he looked like an extra from Escape From New York.

-We all know the FOX's broadcasting team makes Bob Uecker from The Naked Gun look like Ernie Harwell, but here's a blog that's devoted entirely to ripping on the endlessly awful and lazy postseason coverage that you see going around in endless cycles. Called "Fire Joe Morgan", the blog doesn't just focus on the windbag ESPN commentator, but essentially tears into all sportswriters and announcers in general, kind of like a Spinsanity of the sports set. With guys like Tim McCarver and Lou Pinella spreading verbal diarrhea over the airwaves, there's plenty of stuff to write about. It's funny, insightful, and utterly addicting, my new favorite sports page on the Web.

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