White Sox Lead 2-0 in World Series

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The Chicago White Sox are two wins away from being crowned World Series champions. The White Sox beat the Houston Astros Sunday night in Chicago 7-6 to capture a two-games-to-none lead in the series.


This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.


And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The Chicago White Sox are halfway to their first World Series title since the First World War. Two big home runs helped the Sox beat the Houston Astros 7-to-6 last night in Chicago, and the Sox lead the series two games to none. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

TOM GOLDMAN reporting:

Yes, baseball players make way too much money and, yes, we should recognize teachers and doctors and good parents as the real heroes of society rather than baseball players. But sometimes you just have to marvel at what those guys in the caps and cleats can do.

(Soundbite of fans cheering)

GOLDMAN: Most of the 41,432 people packed into US Cellular Field marveled in a big way last night as White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko's seventh-inning grand slam home run gave Chicago a sudden 6-to-4 lead. It was one of those great baseball moments where a team's best home run hitter walks to the plate, everyone in the park visualizes the big hit, and then he does it. Last night, though, it was everyone except Paul Konerko.

Mr. PAUL KONERKO (Chicago White Sox): I'll tell you, a home run was the last thing on my mind right there. I'm looking just for a base hit to drive in two runs, and anything else is gravy, and that's it. I mean, I didn't feel all that well the whole night, so it was kind of--I got in position one time and hit a ball good tonight and that was on that swing.

GOLDMAN: Konerko may have downplayed his accomplishment, but at least one teammate, Scott Podsednik, was in awe.

Mr. SCOTT PODSEDNIK (Chicago White Sox): I recall standing out in left field after Paul had did what he did thinking about, `Man, what does that man feel like right now, you know, to get us into that position to get us ahead at that point?'

GOLDMAN: It's understandable Podsednik would think that way. During the regular season, he came to bat 507 times and hit zero home runs. But last night after the Astros tied the score at 6-all in the top of the ninth inning, Podsednik came to bat in the bottom of the ninth. Astros' ace relief pitcher Brad Lidge served up a fastball over the plate. Podsednik swung and suddenly he knew how Paul Konerko felt.

Mr. PODSEDNIK: To go out and hit one out of the ballpark for a game winner is pretty much indescribable.

GOLDMAN: And pretty much awful for Brad Lidge, who was pitching for the first time since giving up that mammoth, game-winning home run to Albert Pujols in the National League Championship series. In the Houston clubhouse last night, Lidge was asked if getting blasted two games in a row had damaged his psyche.

Mr. BRAD LIDGE (Houston Astros): Obviously, it sucks, but what are you gonna do, you know? It's--I'm ready to get back out there as soon as possible, and I'm not gonna change a thing, and if they do it again, then I'll tip my hat. But like I said, I'm gonna go with what works for me and I'm gonna keep going with it.

GOLDMAN: Perhaps going home will help the Astros. The series now shifts to Houston for game three tomorrow. It'll certainly be warmer there. It was cold and rainy in Chicago last night, but for the home team, it was no bother. As one sign in the stands read, `My seat is cold but my Sox are hot.'

Tom Goldman, NPR News, Chicago.

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