Let’s go back to exactly 365 days ago today to a day that still serves as one of the highlights of being a White Sox fan in recent memory. After a 93-69 win season that saw the White Sox win the division for the first time since 2008, the White Sox would face the Houston Astros in the ALDS. Even though we know the result, the journey didn’t come without its memories along the way. In particular, Game 3, which was the first White Sox playoff game at home since 2008. The fans had waited 13 years for another home playoff game, and they didn’t let the moment pass them by.
After a much-improved 2021 season, Dylan Cease got the start in Game 3 against Luis Garcia. Despite an incredible first inning, Cease would lose his command in the second inning, lasting just 1.2 innings and giving up three runs.
Michael Kopech would come on to help weather the storm, but through two and a half innings, the White Sox were trailing 5-1 and fans had fallen rather silent.
Despite the quick deficit, the White Sox actually opened the scoring, taking a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single from Eloy Jimenez that scored Tim Anderson.
However, in the bottom of the third, the White Sox started to change the tide. With one out in the bottom of the third Yasmani Grandal homered to inch the Sox just a bit closer and make the score 5-3.
One of the cooler moments of the night happened after Astros starter Luis Garcia was pulled from the game, as Gavin Sheets took in just how passionate White Sox fans were about this team.
After a pitching change to bring in Yimi Garcia, Leury Garcia took one swing that brought the Sox all the way back. His go-ahead three-run homer put the White Sox in the lead at 6-5 in a moment that remains the highlight of Garcia’s South Side career.
However, as the Astros tied the game at six in the top of the fourth, the game’s real turning point came in the bottom of the fourth inning when the White Sox scored three more runs.
The most controversial run was scored on a Yasmani Grandal chopper to first base with runners on first and third and no one out. With the infield in, Yuli Gurriel fielded the ball and threw it home, hitting Grandal in the process. Interference was not called, despite Grandal being well within the baseline. The reason it wasn’t called? Grandal was before the 45-foot line on the basepath and a play was not at first base. In the end, the catcher was credited with making a smart baseball play.
The White Sox would add one more in that inning and three more in the bottom of the eighth, pushing the lead to 12-6 at the end.
Liam Hendriks came on in the ninth to slam the door on this game and send this one to Game 4.
Those who don’t get enough credit for this game?
- Ryan Tepera, who completed two scoreless innings after the combination of Michael Kopech and Dylan Cease was only able to get through four innings
- Aaron Bummer, who threw 1.2 scoreless innings of his own that featured four strikeouts
At the end of the day, this day serves as the only major highlight of the White Sox’ rebuild to date. 2020 was experienced without fans in the stadium, and 2021 came to a quick end the next day with a Game 4 loss. 2022 featured a complete lack of anything that the White Sox had shown in the previous two seasons, leaving them back at the drawing board heading into 2023.
One thing is clear: based on this fan base’s reaction to Games 3 and 4 last season, the fans deserve a lot more than what they’ve gotten so far. And when the time comes once again for some South Side playoff baseball, the fans will be ready…
White Sox Scoring Recap:
Bottom 1st: Eloy Jimenez singles to CF. Tim Anderson scores. 1-0 White Sox
Bottom 3rd: Yasmani Grandal homers to LF. Luis Robert scores. 5-3 Astros
Bottom 3rd: Leury Garcia homers to CF. Yoan Moncada, Gavin Sheets score. 6-5 White Sox
Bottom 4th: Jose Abreu singles to CF. Tim Anderson scores. 7-6 White Sox
Bottom 4th: Yasmani Grandal reaches on fielder’s choice. Luis Robert scores. 8-6 White Sox
Bottom 4th: Eloy Jimenez singles to 3B. Jose Abreu scores. 9-6 White Sox
Bottom 8th: Andrew Vaughn doubles to LF. Yoan Moncada scores. 10-6 White Sox
Bottom 8th: Leury Garcia doubles to LF. Andrew Vaughn scores. 11-6 White Sox
Bottom 8th: Tim Anderson singles to CF. Leury Garcia scores. 12-6 White Sox
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Featured Image: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports