The White Sox took the field tonight against their toughest rivals — the much feared Yankees. Even though the Yankees were only 4-2-1, that record did not really rreflect the talent on their team. And without Coach Grossman at the helm (he was required to attend a scouting combine for internationally recognized seven year olds who have expressed interest in playing for the Sox next year), Coach Goldstein was quite concerned – in pregame interviews he said he “had an uneasy feeling in my guts about this one”.
The White Sox bats were kind of quite in the top of the first. David Wynne took the mound and struck out the first batter, but the next three were afraid to swing and walked. Then with bases loaded the next Yankee batter hit a dribbler to Dave W. who alertly tossed the ball home to Dave R for the force at home. With two outs Dave W. struck out the next batter and the Sox escaped the jam with the score a paltry 1-0 Yankees.
At the top of the second, Nolan singled to right, then Wes smashed one to the right field for a double. The Sox now had men on second and third. WIll walked to load the bases, but it was not to be as the Yankees retired the remaining Sox.
The excitement mounted as Dave W started the bottom of the 2nd with two quick walks. Dave then struckout the next batter but the Yankees sneaked across a run on a wild pitch. There was another walk but during that walk the Yankees tried to advance again and as the saying goes, “ fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” — well the catcher Dave R. retrieved the ball and, as rehearsed so many times in practice, flipped it nicely to David W who made the tag by several feet. Two outs and Dave W. struck out the last. After two, it was Yankees 2 White Sox 0.
In the top of the third, the Sox bats came alive. Ricky struck out, but Garret singled to the pitcher, then Mark did the same. Dave R. hit a shot to center and two runs scored. Dave W grounded inito a fielders choice but a third run crossed the plate. Nolan walked and with Wes up, Coach Goldstein alertly sent Bretton home on a wild pitch who scored the fourth run. The White Sox now led 4-2.
Wesley came on in the bottom of the third and has some initial control problems. A walk, a hit batter on the foot and a walk loaded the bases. Their big hitter drilled a three-run triple to right and the Yanks led again 5-4. Another single and the Yankees led 6-4.
Coach Goldstein was seen talking to Wesley but he left the conversation assured that he was not rattled and would pitch the bottom of the 4th. During the top of the 4th , Tom hit a single to second base and due to an error by the first baseman, Assistant Coach Rob, coaching first for the first time, sent him to second. However, the Sox bats were quieted and no runs scored.
Wes led off the bottom of the fourth with some good pitches but the leadoff man hit a weak infield single to thried. Wes found his groove and shut down the next three hitters.
As the White Sox prepared to start the top of the fifth, the Yankees brought in ther ace reliever. This kid was throwing heat and struck out three sox in a row.
In the bottom of the fifth, Bretton came on and, as usual, shut down the Yankees to set up a thrilling sixth inning. The Sox came in to hit down 6-4 and the Yankees needed only three outs to win the ballgame.
Top of the Sixth, unlimited runs, ace pitcher on the mound. Mark leads off with a dribbler to the pitcher and beats the throw. Dave R. gets walked. Bretton drilled another shot to center to bring in one run. With runners at 3rd and 2nd, David W keeps the bats alive with a grounder to the pitcher and beats the throw to first this and scores Dave R. This tied the score with no outs and White Sox fans cheered with much joy. Nolan hit one to the pitcher, but the putout a first allowed Bretton to score the go-ahead run.
With Bretton on the mound the Sox were feeling mighty good, and he struck out the leadoff hitter and spirits continued to soar. But then Bretton walked the next batter. A comebacker to the mound moved the runner all the way to third with two outs. Two outs, man on 3rd could tie the game – could the situation be any scarier? Coach Goldstein was quite concerned. Strike Twooooo, Ball two,…….Strike Threeeeeee!!!!!! The White Sox pull off another squeaker. A first win for Coach Goldstein.
Coach Goldstein sat down with the reporterss for a lengthy interview. He said “I was worried about the hitting early on but the bats came alive at the end when they were needed. Some juicy pitches went by though and a few players were swating at flys that were way over their heads. If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times, ‘If you have to look up over your head don’t swing.’ ” Coach Goldstein went on to say “There were some great moments on defense when Dave Wynne tossed the ball to Dave Riddle at home for the force out saving a run that could have left the game tied. And the toss from David Riddle to David Wynne, who came in to cover home on a steal, and tag the runner out by a mile. The throw from Bretton to Nolan on first during the bottom of the sixth for out number two.” “All these plays are showing vast improvement.” “Just one thing all the players have to keep their heads in the game. No Grass pulling, no Dirt kicking, no Stick playing, no Dancing after out one or two (we still have out three to go.) Pay attention to every pitch even when you are in the outfield, who knows a ball may be hit your way.” At that Coach Goldstein’s beeper went off and he had to leave to solve other pressing problems (rumor has it several organizations have offered him head coaching positions and he constantly is called by coaching headhunters). He did say as he was leaving, “All the boys played their hearts out and I know my heart skipped a few beats in that last inning. It was a Great Game.”
Coach Grossman in a phone interview as he returned from his trip said “I have talked with Coach Goldstein and its clear the Sox had a great game. My compliments to the team and to Coach Goldstein – I knew he could fly the plane – I think I’ll just bring my lawn chair to future games and sit quietly with Coach Emeritus Grossman”.
Remember, practice on Friday from 5:30 – 7:30 – Batt-a-Thon Saturday.