Softballers turned small-ballers
CHICAGO -- The hero for the White Sox in their season-saving win late Sunday afternoon was supposed to be
In the series' first two games, on Tropicana Field's fast artificial turf, the young and athletic Rays made the White Sox seem inexorably plodding; the Rays took extra base after extra base, often several at a time, while the Sox couldn't do much more than advance station-to-station and wait for a big blow that never came. They stranded 12 baserunners in Friday's Game 2 as a result. Bossard's job, then, was to slow the speedy Rays with a few extra scoops of dirt and a few extra squirts from his hose -- to better enable the Sox to win the game by doing what they do best: mashing the ball over the fence, which they did 235 times during the regular season, 21 more than any other team.
"[The field] may be a little wet around first base because we can run," predicted Rays manager
"I will talk to Roger about it," Sox manager
The rainstorm that delayed the start of Sunday's game by 35 minutes made the field even slower, and seemed to play into the Sox's power-hitting hands. ("You can get in a game with them where they get on fire and hit eight home runs," Rays closer
The White Sox didn't hit a home run in their 5-3 (
The Sox received a strong performance from starter
On this day, facing the prospect of being swept out of the playoffs by a bunch of postseason neophytes, the Sox won by playing in a style that was completely out of character (they stole three bases in total, after swiping only 67 during the regular season). "At least we play tomorrow," added Guillen. "That's the only thing about it."
Tomorrow, though, expect Bossard and his crew to arrive at the field early, and to run up a hefty water bill as they prepare the field for Game 4. Guillen knows that the White Sox aren't about to permanently transform themselves into a Midwestern version of the Rays or the Angels at this late stage of the season, and it's unlikely that they'll win a second straight game without hitting a single home run. Tomorrow, expect the White Sox to attempt to outslug the Rays once more. Tonight, though, they outran them, and that's the major reason why they'll have the opportunity to try.