White Sox 2, Angels 1

Suffice to say a certain former Giants and Twins catcher will receive quite a welcome when the White Sox are introduced prior to Friday’s Game 3.

From Section 531 of the Cell, it didn’t look like a dropped third strike. And I guess it didn’t look that way from the Angels’ dugout, either.

Though Mike Scioscia was perfectly justified (and from the looks of the replay, in the right) while arguing that Kelvim Escobar’s strike out of A.J. Pierzynski (above) had ended the bottom of the 9th inning, perhaps the extended appeal did Escobar few favors. The Los Angeles/Anaheim/Planet Earth reliever had already thrown 37 pitches prior to facing Joe (Even Jesus Hates) Crede, and a 5 minute intermission probably didn’t help.

It’s pretty weird to think the White Sox won this game thanks to Pierzynski’s gamesmanship after dubious baserunning decisions had already been so costly earlier in the night (Aaron Rowand trying to score from third on Vlad Guerrero’s overthrow with none out in the first, Crede being doubled off 2nd by Garrett Anderson in the 8th — our friends watching at home claim that Crede got in under the tag after Juan Uribe had lined out).

Lost amidst the AJ-gate controversy is Mark Burhle’s heroic 5 hitter (4 K’s, no walks), an economic gem from the White Sox starter who baffled the Angels all night save for Robb “Karen Ann” Quinlan’s solo HR to left. And with the possible exception of Scioscia not picking up the ball discarded by C Josh Paul and tagging Pierzynski out himself, I can’t really say he was outmanaged, either. The Angels skipper’s decision to pull starter Jarrod Washburn after only 77 pitches (4 2/3 innings, 1 run, 4 hits) seemed curious at the time, but the visitors’ relief corps performed admirably. They’ll be quick to remind us that Joe Crede’s walk-off double occured after the third out of the 9th had been recorded.

(Southpaw reacts angrily to this reporter’s suggestion that the Stickfigure CD is overpriced at $3.99. Yours truly was asked to leave the White Sox team store moments later).