Good Pitching, Well-Crafted Outs, and Grit: A Fall Classic Outlook ; Chicago's White Sox and Houston's Astros, Teams That Evoke Another Baseball Era, Take the Field Saturday

By Mark Sappenfield and Kris Axtman writers of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, October 21, 2005 | Go to article overview

Good Pitching, Well-Crafted Outs, and Grit: A Fall Classic Outlook ; Chicago's White Sox and Houston's Astros, Teams That Evoke Another Baseball Era, Take the Field Saturday


Mark Sappenfield and Kris Axtman writers of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


After treating generations of its most long-suffering fans to heartbreak and bad hops, baseball, it seems, is trying to make up for lost time. As if the Boston Red Sox had not done enough to cleanse the sport of angst and woe last year - winning their first World Series since Babe Ruth was on the team - now this.

In bringing together the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros, the World Series is set for a fortnight of Dr. Phil moments. The White Sox have not been baseball champions since 1917, and two years later, eight players conspired to throw the World Series for gambling money. The Sox haven't been back to the Fall Classic since the days of the Ford Edsel; the Astros have never made it in their 44 years.

Yet for all the history, it will be the play on the field that harks back to bygone days. In a year when baseball finally faced its chemically enhanced past, this Series, beginning Saturday, is perhaps the ideal endnote to the steroid-aided Home Run Era: two clubs that try to win not with a stream of titanic clouts, but with guile and grit.

If this World Series goes according to form, it could be seven nights of soccer scores, as two of the best pitching staffs in the major leagues turn opponents' bats into conductor's batons, waving at air. Well-crafted outs will be offensive weapons, with runs wrung from every tool at the disposal of manager and player alike - steals and chicanery, bunts and fly balls.

"It's an interesting matchup," says Rany Jazayerli of the Baseball Prospectus, a yearly guide. "Both teams have very similar strengths and weaknesses."

No matter who wins, it won't take long for baseball's cognoscente to tease from this World Series the new formula for winning. In truth, it's the same one that it has always been: good pitching. But these clubs have pushed the formula to its limits, attempting to win the World Series with all-star pitching staffs and a decidedly blue- collar batting lineup.

Houston's best hitter, Lance Berkman, is lovingly called "Fat Elvis" by fans and teammates. Last season, he was bookended by Carlos Beltran, Jeff Bagwell, and Jeff Kent, who combined for 73 home runs and 249 runs batted in. But Beltran and Kent departed, and Bagwell has been injured - leaving the Astros offense in need of an international charity drive.

Even fans thought the Astros had missed their shot of getting to the World Series. "Last year, yes, with Carlos Beltran and Jeff Kent," said Joni Peterson, a season-ticket holder celebrating Wednesday night at the B.U.S., a sports bar across the street from Houston's Minute Maid Park. "But not this year."

Astros pitcher Roger Clemens led the major leagues this season by allowing only 1.87 runs every nine innings - yet he finished with a record of 13-8 because of a lack of run support. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Good Pitching, Well-Crafted Outs, and Grit: A Fall Classic Outlook ; Chicago's White Sox and Houston's Astros, Teams That Evoke Another Baseball Era, Take the Field Saturday
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.