Extra Out Propels White Sox To Disputed Victory

The White Sox's A.J. Pierzynski swings at a pitch from Los Angeles Angels pitcher Kelvim Escobar as catcher Jose Molina reaches to the ground for the ball during the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 2 of the ALCS at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2005. Umpire Doug Eddings looks on from the plate.
(Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press)
(Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press)

The Chicago White Sox, who haven’t won the World Series since 1917, could be on the way to getting an old monkey (1919’s “Black” Sox scandal) off their backs – much like the Boston Red Sox did last year. Changing nearly 90 years of unspectacular history sometimes requires a bit of luck.

Tonight the 2005 edition of the White Sox were the beneficiary of a dubious call that one day be mentioned along side umpire Don Denkinger’s blown call at first in game 6 of the 1985 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals. This AP article does a pretty good job of summarizing the bizarre sequence.

CHICAGO (AP) – The ninth inning was over.

And then it wasn’t.

And then Joe Crede gave the White Sox what is sure to go down as one of the most disputed victories in playoff history.

Given a second chance when plate umpire Doug Eddings called strike three – but not the third out – Chicago beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 Wednesday night to even the best-of-seven AL championship series at a game apiece.

In a sequence as bizarre as any imaginable on a baseball field, A.J. Pierzynski struck out swinging against Angels reliever Kelvim Escobar, appearing to end the bottom of the ninth inning with the score tied at 1.

Escobar’s low pitch was gloved by backup catcher Josh Paul – he appeared to grab it just before the ball would have hit the dirt. And behind him, Eddings clearly raised his right arm and closed his first, signaling strike three.

Pierzynski hustled and took off for first base anyway, just in case. Sure the inning was over, Paul rolled the ball out to the mound with the Angels already coming off the field, so Pierzynski was easily safe.

Then everybody stopped, including the umpires. When they let Pierzynski stay at first, Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia came out of the dugout to argue.

“When he rings him up with a fist, he’s out,” Scioscia said.

The umpires huddled and upheld the call after a delay of about four minutes.

Pinch-runner Pablo Ozuna quickly stole second, and Crede lined an 0-2 pitch into the left-field corner for a game-winning double.Somewhere in heaven Buck Weaver is smiling…

Editors Note: White Sox historical information corrected.

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