What a game.
Sometimes you have to simply take a step back and appreciate what a great game this is. THe first game was pretty intense, but Game Two had it all. One minute Berkman's the hero, then it's Konerko, then, of all people, Vizcaino! But Scotty Pod and the Sox had the last laugh.
Yes, people in Houston are calling for Lidge's head, and no one has any faith in Wheeler or Qualls. Here's the deal: they're all fine.
I don't blame Lidge. And he doesn't either:
"This pitch, I was not nitpicking,'' Lidge said. "The one Pujols hit was a mistake. This one, I have to tip my hat. ... I was real surprised by Podsednik. You don't expect him to do that. I'll learn from that, and make a different pitch next time.''
The pitch was inside, and probably should have been more so, but does anyone here expect Scotty Pod to catch up with a 95-mph heater? No. Afterwards, Podsednik said he was waiting on the fastball. Hell, everyone watching knew Lidge was coming with the fastball. Podesdenik just got it good.
And Lidge? Yes, he's been less than stellar his last two appearances. But by no means is he melting down. And no way he doesn't come out to close out Game Three.
"I've had success this year, I'm going to stick to my guns. I'm frustrated by it, but I'm not changing a darn thing. I'm ready to get out there as quickly as possible."
Wheeler had trouble in the eighth, but it was no meltdown either. Uribe, who's rocked us so far, smacked a double off the wall. Then Iguchi put up a great at-bat and drew a walk. Dye also realized that Wheeler couldn't get his grip on the ball, and had a great at-bat before being "hit" by an inside pitch on a full count.
It's hard to blame Qualls either. He's coming into a game with the bases loaded, a position he's not entirely used to. Even with their best hitter up, you can't afford to get behind him and risk a walk. Qualls had to challenge Konerko, and his sinker just didn't sink enough.
But how about that ninth inning?!? Bagwell gets some playoff love by blooping a single to center. Burke works a walk and Ausmus grounds out to first, moving the runners up. Jack and I both shuddered when we saw Vizcaino emerge from the visitors' dugout, but it turned out to be the best move he's ever made. Ha. And Burke's slide! What a move by the youngster! And Biggio's reaction in the dugout! That was a fantastic turn of events against Jenks.
Hey, things aren't all that bad. The Series is far from over, but we do have to dig ourselves out of a hole. Oswalt's starting tomorrow, and Minute Maid Park will be rocking. Berkman's locked in, and Mo snapped out of his funk. Willy T's been on fire. Let's all take Monday off... maybe tease Lidge again on the flight back to Houston. It worked last time.