Vizcaino almost hero of Game 2
Astros veteran ties game with pinch-hit in ninth inning
CHICAGO -- Jose Vizcaino's motto is "Always be ready," which was a very good thing for the Houston Astros on Sunday night.
The veteran infielder's clutch two-run single with two outs in the ninth helped Houston tie the game at 6 in Game 2 of the World Series. The Astros went on to lose, 7-6, when Chicago's Scott Podsednik homered in the bottom of the inning and overshadowed Vizcaino's heroics.
"This was a tough game to lose, but we'll bounce back. We always do," Vizcaino said. "We were written up as dead earlier this year and we bounced back. We lost [Game 5 of the National League Championship Series] to St. Louis when we were one strike away, and we bounced back. We'll come back from this one, too."
With players like Vizcaino, it is entirely possible.
Making his first appearance in this year's Fall Classic, the 37-year-old added another star to his World Series resume. He lined the first pitch he saw from White Sox closer Bobby Jenks to left field to score Jeff Bagwell and Chris Burke, with Burke sliding perfectly under catcher A.J. Pierzynski's attempt to tag him, as the Astros tied the game.
"In a situation like that, I figured he'd come after me with a fastball, so I was ready for one," Vizcaino said. "Fortunately, I was able to get the bat on it."
"That was a huge knock," catcher Brad Ausmus said. "Viz has done it so many times for us, he's incredible really. To come in cold in that situation against a pitcher like Jenks and get that big hit, that's about as big as it gets."
It wasn't the first time Vizcaino has come through in clutch situations in the World Series. In the 2000 World Series, when he was a member of the Yankees, Vizcaino drove in the winning run in Game 1 with a two-out RBI single off Turk Wendell of the Mets to give the Yankees the victory in 12 innings.
"That one, we won the game," Vizcaino recalled. "My job is just to be ready for when [Astros manager] Phil [Garner] needs me, and that could be anytime, so I want to always be ready."
Vizcaino didn't have a lot of time to enjoy this one as he stayed in the game at shortstop for the bottom of the ninth. On the way out to his position, he realized he had forgotten his cap and had to return to the dugout to get it.
"It was crazy," Vizcaino said. "I ran out there without [a cap], and when I realized it, I felt funny. More camera time for me, I guess."
Jim Molony is a writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.