What Was Josh Paul To Do?
After watching the instant replay, in game two of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday night of A.J. Pierzynski striking out, I thought, as I'm sure a lot of viewers did, that it was the third out of the inning and the Angels and the White Sox were headed into extra innings.
Then one of the strangest things happened that I have ever seen. Home plate umpire, Doug Eddings, who made the out call by raising his right hand and making the fist sign, allowed Pierzynski to be safe at first. As long as I pitched in the Major Leagues, I too would have thought that when Eddings raised his right hand that that meant that it was a strikeout and my catcher caught the ball in the air without having to touch the batter to guarantee the final out of the inning. But I guess not?
Give Pierzynski a lot of credit though because, as he said, he thought the ball hit the dirt. He crossed home plate heading back to the dugout and then spun around and ran to first base as the Angels catcher, Josh Paul, rolled the ball toward the mound. By the time the Angels players could react to the NOW live ball Pierzynski was safe at first. And wouldn't you know it, Pablo Ozuna, pinch running for Pierzynski, stole second and scored the winning run on Joe Crede's single off the left field fence. Wow, what a finish!
This was a play that would probably go unnoticed during the regular season BUT this is for the American League Championship! I feel that Eddings blew the call which allowed the White Sox to win. But it was a must win for the White Sox because now the series is tied at one apiece as the two teams head to Anaheim or Los Angeles, or wherever the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim call home.
The same can be said about the Houston Astros beating the St. Louis Cardinals last night in the must win. Now their series is tied at one apiece and they continue the National League Championship Series in Houston. Great pitching performance by Houston's Roy Oswalt helped the Astros win game two.
I had the opportunity to pitch in three League Championship series and it's where every player who ever wore a Major League uniform wants to be in October.
My prediction is that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will be facing the Houston Astros to determine the 2005 World Series Championship and the Houston Astros will win their first ever pennant. They will win because of their outstanding pitching staff and timely hitting.
Let's see how smart I am. Whatever happens, let's just all enjoy the games and remember how many strange things have to happen to allow a team to be World Champions.