By Ron Griffitts
The 2005 World Series took place between the Chicago White Sox 99-63, managed by Ozzie Guillen who played shortstop for the Sox for thirteen years and had as general manager Ken Williams. They were in their first series since 1959 when Al Lopez was manager, Early Wynn started and Ted Kluszewski had two home runs against the Dodgers in game one.
They were led in batting by Paul Konerko 40 HR, 100 RBI, 98 RS, Joe Crede 22 HR, 62 RBI, Jermaine Dye 31 HR, 86 RBI, Carl Everett 23 HR, 87 RBI and Scott Podsednik 59 SB, .290 BA.
Their pitching staff was led by Mark Buehrne 16-8, Freddy Green 14-8, Jon Garland 18-10, Jose Contreras 15-7 and in the bullpen Dustin Hermanson 2.04 ERA, 34 SV, Cliff Politte 7-1, 2.00 ERA and Neal Cotts 4-0, 1.94 ERA.
They faced the Houston Astros 89-73, playing in their first World Series and managed by former Astros’ player Phil Garner with general manager Tim Purpura and were led on offense by Lance Berkman 24 HR, 82 RBI, Craig Biggio, playing in his 18th season in the majors, 26 HR, 69 RBI, 94 RS, Morgan Ensberg 36 HR, 101 RBI, 86 RS, Jason Lane 26 HR, 78 RBI and Willy Taveras 34 SB, .291 BA, 82 RS.
It is interesting to note neither team had a starter batting over .300.
The Astro pitching staff was led by starters Roy Oswalt 20-12, 2.94 ERA, Andy Petitte 17-9, 2.39 ERA, Roger Clemens 13-8, 1.87 ERA, Brandon Backe 10-8 and relievers Brad Lidge 42 SV, 2.79 ERA, Chad Qualls 6-4 and Dan Wheeler 2.21 ERA.
Game one was held at U S Cellular Field on the south side of Chicago and was tied 3-3 going into the fourth inning until Joe Crede homered off of Wandy Rodriquez which proved to be the winning run as the Sox go on to a 5-3 victory.
Jose Contreras went seven innings for the win and Jermaine Dye added a home run for Chicago and Mike Lamb one for Houston.
In game two the Astros had a 4-2 lead behind Andy Petitte going into the bottom of the seventh inning until Paul Konerko connected for a grand slam home run off of Chad Qualls to make the score 6-4 Chicago.
The Astros tied it with two runs in the top of the ninth on a two run single by Jose Vizcaino and the game went to the bottom of the ninth tied 6-6.
With one out and Brad Lidge pitching Scott Podsednik lofted a home run over the right center field wall and the Sox go up two games to none with a 7-6 win.
For game three the teams switched to Minute Maid Park in Houston for the first World Series game there ever. This was a key game as Houston did not want to lose at home and led 4-0 behind Roy Oswalt going into the top of the fifth inning.
Joe Crede led off with solo home run and before the side was retired the Sox scored five runs highlighted by a two run single by A. J. Pierzynski for 5-4 lead.
Houston tied the game in the bottom of the eighth and the game went into extra innings until in the top of the fourteenth inning Joe Crede led off with a solo home run and the Sox added another run in the inning for a 7-5 lead.
The Astros had two runners on with two outs in the bottom of the inning but Mark Buehle came in to get the last out and Chicago goes up 3-0.
Game four was the most tightly pitched game of the series and was scoreless until Jermaine Dye singled in Willie Harris with the game’s only run in the top of the eighth inning and the Sox win the game 1-0 and the series.
The difference in the two teams was in their respective bullpens as the White Sox held leads better than the Astros on their way to their first World Series title since 1917.
Jermaine Dye got the series MVP and Houston returned in 2017 while the White Sox have not been back to a fall classic since 2005 but this year have clinched the AL Central Division and will be in the playoffs as well as the Astros who have clinched the AL West Division.
Statistics were from baseball-reference.com and baseball-almanac.com.
Ron Griffitts a contributing columnist for The Daily Advocate.