The outlook wasn't good heading into the Sox game.
Which...could work for either team ending in Sox this year. But, in this case, I'm talking about the Chicago White Sox. Because, as I entered the park that the diehards still call Comiskey, and the sportscasters are contractually obligated to call U.S. Cellular, I wasn't expected to leave with a win. The team was depleted, and the guys who were hitting last year were slumping this year. Even Jose Abreu was having a down, comparatively, season.
And yet the Sox still managed to pull out a win against the 'Stros that day, which was even more phenomenal, especially considering the momentum they had that week. Hell, Carlos Correa was up with them, and he'd had some nice hits the night before. So, the oddest part was not only that the Sox won, but they essentially SWEPT one of the best teams in the AL.
So...I'm gonna show you how it went down.
The game began with a mild drizzle, which would be on-and-off throughout the first bit of the game, but would subside by the time the momentum hit.
The Sox were missing Alexei Ramirez that day, so Gordon Beckham was at short, leaving Emilio Bonifacio to play second, which, to say the least, he wasn't great at that night. Also, Tyler Flowers was out, leaving Geovany Soto, a guy who I was personally shocked to discover was still on an MLB roster, to take over.
Pitching for the Sox was Jose Quintana. Good enough pitcher, but mighty slow. The Astros started a new guy named Vincent Velazquez, who was good enough, but couldn't hold the runs long enough.
The first pitch was thrown out by a boxer that nobody in my family had heard of.
The sky-butts would have been a better second baseman than Emilio Bonifacio, who had some torrid fielding errors, and didn't hit much better. I felt pretty bad for him. Also of note- Avisail Garcia's awful base running. The guy got picked off trying to steal TWICE during the game. TWICE. Dude, stick to hitting.
Adam LaRoche got up, with a couple men on, and knocked a nice homer into the seats, cementing a solid lead for the Sox, and having some of the productivity that the front office was wishing he'd have more of when they signed him. Fireworks went off, the crowd went crazy, and the organ lady's fingers went wild.
I noticed how dedicated some of the fans were around here. They'd been through some shit, definitely. They had to wait a while until 2005, and those years consisted of a lot of bad baseball. Heck, the fact that this had been ten years since that series was a big deal that night, as apparently they didn't want anyone to forget.
There was something about the relentlessness, even in darkness, that I admired. I went and bought a Chris Sale t-shirt while I was there, because I'm tall and thin like Sale.
By the way, a few notes about the stadium- decent place to watch a ballgame. Nothing too eye-popping, but our seats were nice, and it seemed to be new enough to be memorable. My dad told me that this was one of the last few stadiums before Camden Yards revitalized everything. Knowing that did make sense, but I could admire a lot of it. And the food was pretty nice, too. Nice hot dogs.
The vendors knew their audience, and knew how to be memorable. One particular beer vendor went around, yelling, with a scratchy voice, "IIIIIII'VE...GOT............BEEEEEEER..." He went around several times, in the same tone, the same volume. I think he meant to make people laugh. Another vendor, obviously tired of this guy's shit, was trying to sell beer, and still heard the guy three rows away. So, he said "yeah? Well I've got colder beer."
Overall, it was a very nice game. I do think the game at Wrigley slightly edged it out, though. And I'll talk about that one tomorrow.