The way that this White Sox season has gone, it really should come as no surprise that the whole season will come down to one game tomorrow evening at U.S. Cellular Field. After struggling through the final two months of the season, the Sox blew their division lead to the Minnesota Twins, and now they'll have their chance for revenge.
That's because the White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 8-2 in a game that was rain delayed for three hours before it started. After the Sox took an early 1-0 lead, things looked ominous in the sixth inning. After the Tigers tied the game up the inning before, Gavin Floyd made a throwing error on a ground ball back to him, over-throwing Paul Konerko at first and sending the ball flying down the right field line. The throw allowed Miguel Cabrera to score from second base, and gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead, and gave Sox fans a very familiar feeling.
It looked like the Sox were going to blow it again.
Thankfully, there is a bullpen that is worse than that of our very own White Sox, and they happen to reside in Detroit. After being stifled by former White Sox World Series hero Freddy Garcia for five innings, Garcia had to leave the game with what appeared to be some kind of neck injury. In came Armando Galarraga, and after warming up for roughly 45 minutes, he threw two wild pitches that allowed DeWayne Wise to score the tying run.
That's when the fun really started. After the walk to Dye, the Sox had the bases loaded with Alexei Ramirez coming to the plate. Alexei, who earlier season tied the record for most grand slams by a rookie with three, decided he didn't want to share any records. So on the very first pitch he saw from Detroit's Gary Glover, he sent a towering shot into the awaiting arms of the giddy Sox fans seated in the left field bleachers.
The slam proved to be all the runs the Sox would need -- though they would add two more for kicks -- as the bullpen came on and threw three scoreless innings (I know, I couldn't believe it either) to follow up Gavin Floyd's yeoman performance.
Now the Sox must wait for tomorrow, when those hated Minnesota Twins come to town (where they are 2-7 against the White Sox this season) to play a one-game playoff that will decide the AL Central division. A win tomorrow, and it's on to the playoffs and Chicagoans can dream of a White Sox-Cub World Series.
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A loss, and, well, I prefer not to think that way just yet.