What could be a better way to start than the best way the White Sox have ever started a postseason game?
The five-run first inning, topped off by A.J. Pierzynski's three-run shot, was easily the White Sox's most potent getaway in their history. They never had more than two runs in any first inning previously. In fact, they'd scored in the opening inning in just seven of their previous 39 postseason games.
The White Sox's biggest inning in a postseason game was the seven-run third in the opener of the 1959 World Series. Big Ted Kluszewski hit a three-run homer and the White Sox sank the Dodgers, 11-0.
A look at key statistics through Game 1 of the ALDS.
|ERA||2.00||Holding the Red Sox to a deuce -- an ace!|
|BA||.333||Five homers produce eight runs|
|BA w/ RISP||6-for-11||Production in the clutch|
|Runs||14||Who would've believed it?|
|Fldg||Almost perfect||Great plays by Tadahito Iguchi, Jermaine Dye|
|Pierzynski||1.000 BA, 2 HRs, 2B, 4 RBIs, 4 R||Dynamite on an explosive offensive day|
|Scott Podsednik||.667, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 2 R, SB||First homer of the year|
|Juan Uribe||.500, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 2 R||No. 9 hitter in groove|
|Jose Contreras||2 R, 0 BB, 8 Ks in 7 2/3 IP||Smooth under pressure|
Behind the numbers
This was supposed to be the Red Sox's schtick -- whacking home runs all over the lot. But the White Sox got five homers, including two -- plus four RBIs -- from Pierzynski.
The White Sox were ahead, 2-0, in the first inning when Matt Clement dished up an 0-1 pitch to Pierzynski. It sailed into the left-field seats, just deep enough to send the White Sox hurtling toward victory.
Even though Clement already had given up six runs and the Red Sox scored twice in the fourth, manager Terry Francona ran him out for the bottom half. Boom, Uribe ripped a two-run homer.
Modern history I
This was the first time the White Sox had won a postseason game in Chicago since the first game of the 1959 World Series against the Dodgers at old Comiskey Park.
"I guess when you play the world champs, you are pumped up a little bit. They're the best." -- Ozzie Guillen.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.