Boston Gets Hammered in ALDS Opener by White Sox

by Ben Kenna

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday October 5, 2005

Looking back at Game 1 of the ALDS, it?s pretty clear to say that the Sox controlled every asset of the game.

Unfortunately, for Boston fans, they were the wrong colored Sox.

Combining a dominant pitching performance by Jose Contreras, with 5 home runs, the Chicago White Sox pounded out 14 runs on the Boston Red Sox, taking game one by a lopsided score of 14-2. Red Sox starter Matt Clement couldn?t get out of the 4th inning, allowing 8 runs on 7 hits (3 home runs), while also hitting 2 of the first 3 batters of the game. His counterpart, the aforementioned Contreras, threw 7.2 solid innings, allowing the 2 runs, while walking none and striking out six. He has not lost since August the 15th. Boston could only get as close as 6-2, before the White Sox tacked on another touchdown, complete with two-point conversion.

Clement was in trouble from the first batter of the game. He hit Chicago leadoff catalyst Scott Podsedik to start the bottom of the 1st, and then plunked Jermaine Dye two batters later, clearly affected by the speedy Podsednik threatening to steal. A Paul Konerko RBI groundout, and Aaron Rowand RBI single were the appetizer?s for catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who launched a Clement offering to the opposite field stands for a three-run bomb, putting the White Sox up 5-0 after one inning. Konerko added a solo shot in the 3rd inning to make it a 6-0 ballgame, before the defending champs were on the board.

Trot Nixon started the 4th with a single, and moved to 3rd on a Jason Varitek bunt single, and Joe Crede error. Trot scooted home on a Contreras wild pitch to make it 6-1, and Kevin Millar scored ?Tek with a double to right. Momentum quickly subsided; as Millar was gunned down at 3rd base by Tadahito Iguchi, one of those ?No, No, what are you doing?!?yeah, great play!? plays. You couldn?t get angry at Millar for doing his job on a ball hit to the opposite field, Iguchi and Crede simply made a great play. The Red Sox would not plate another run all afternoon.

Down 6-2, when you are the highest scoring team in the League for the 3rd straight year isn?t anything to worry about, but the White Sox quickly got the 2 runs back, on a Juan Uribe home run. That was it for Clement?s outing. The White Sox scored 4 more times in the bottom of the 6th, thanks to an Uribe RBI single, and a Bucky Dent-esque 3-run homer by Podsednik off Jeremi Gonzalez (he didn?t have a homerun all year in over 500 at-bats). Pierzynski added his second homer of the afternoon off Bronson Arroyo in the 8th, when the game was completely out of reach.

The defending champions have been in worse predicaments than being down 1-0, but a 14-2 score clearly can?t be ignored. Boston?s Achilles? heels have been inconsistent starting pitching, and a patchwork bullpen, and both were on display this afternoon. Gonzalez allowed 4 runs in his 2.1 innings, and Arroyo, exiled from the starting rotation, chalked up 2 in 1 inning of play. Yet optimism will say that Chicago (hopefully) used up all their hits on this afternoon, and they are still the underdogs. It?ll be up to Playoff veteran David Wells to cool their hot bats, opposed by Mark Buehrle, who is making his Playoff debut.

Here?s to hoping the correct colored Sox prevail.

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