Sunday, October 30, 2005

Happy Halloween!!!



Chicago Skyline-post World Series

Chicago Skyline after the White Sox win the World Series.

Navy Pier - Chicago Fireworks

From the park in Chicago

Photos courtesy of Chrissy Scott-Chicago

Saturday, October 29, 2005

There is a flag on the play, and this beautiful woman is going to make the call.....(a must read)


In the late 90's I attended a football game with a beautiful girl and lets say for "privacy" I change her name all together. I will refer to her as AG.

AG was preparing to see her first NFL game. We were heading to the game with another couple that was from outside the United States. He was a football fan that took part in the "elimination" pool at the office, (which I didn't work in, but we worked for the same company at the time) and I was just a huge sports fan.

We arrive at the game in the outrageous cold of Massachusetts. We are in Foxboro to see the Patriots take on the Dolphins. The seats were made out of COLD aluminum bench types that if you didn’t bring a cushion or a blanket to sit on your ass were guaranteed to have frostbite by the end of the first quarter. There was also an added dilemma to the situation. It was snowing.

Fast forwarding to the 3 quarter, I am sitting with the foreigners and AG. They were to my left and AG to my right. I was amazed; she was really getting into the game. It was a close contest to say the least and all that you could resort to in that cold was to get into the game and give yourself a reason to get up and cheer or jump around.

The Dolphins QB dropped back to make a pass while renting real estate on the Patriots 40 yard line. He decides to throw the football in the middle of the field to a receiver that was no where to be found. The ref throws the yellow flag for the penalty and communicated the foul over the loud speakers. *(if you don't know this penalty, ask someone that knows football!) AG looks at me and says "what did he say?" So the foreigners (male says "that was %$#@* ^&%*&%( %$#@*....) AG says..."I didn't hear a thing you said the wind is blowing to hard..., but why was the ref accusing the quarterback of roughing the pasture?" All said and done with looks of amazement all around I say, the penalty was "roughing the passer." She replies "why would he called that? The ball was thrown into the grass, isn't that "roughing the pasture?"

Well that brought some blood flow to all of us from laughing so loud that all the fans around were joining in this banter.

I was explaining this from the insides of a warm car on the way home, and it was still funny.

This post is dedicated to her.

Chris Kulturides
todayinsports@gmail.com

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Chicago Tribune Headlines 10-27-05





We have heard this post season of the "Black Sox" scandal, and White Sox were a team that had 88 years hanging over it's head.

Well the wait is over and being a resident here in Chicago, I can tell you first hand that the city is proud of the accomplishments of the best team in baseball this year.

(Click on images for a larger view)

Chris Kulturides
todayinsports@gmail.com

Chitown, the wait is over....

This RBI single by Jermaine Dye was the result of this Game 4 (1-0) victory, and the Chicago White Sox being crowned World Series Champions.

Dye was named the series MVP as well.




Congratulations to Ozzie (with trophy) and the Chicago White Sox on an outstanding season.

Today in Sports

Chris Kulturides
todayinsports@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

World Series Game 3



Don't blink....

If you went to the fridge for a snack, you may have missed something. Trust me.

Then again if you joined the game in the 10th or 11th...it was anyone’s game.

For the Astros, Roy Oswalt didn't look as sharp as he did in his last 2 playoff outings. The White Sox put up some numbers early and had Oswalt depart in the 6th after giving up 5 earned runs on 8 hits and walking 5 including giving up one homerun
The Astros manufactured their 4 runs early. In the bottom of the first Craig Biggio (below) doubles and Lance Berkman drove him in for the games first run. In the bottom of the 3rd the Astros strung some singles together and scored 2 to make it 3-0. It didn't take long to tack another on with a home run in the 4th by Jason Lane.



The Astros behind Roy Oswalt jumped out this 4-0 lead and held it all the way to the 5th inning. It looked like the bats were going to keep the Astros in it, until the White Sox batted in the 5th.

Here is the 5th inning recap to take the lead 5-4.

Top 5th: White Sox

*Joe Crede homered to deep right(1)
* Juan Uribe singled to left center
* Jon Garland struck out swinging
* Scott Podsednik singled to right, Juan Uribe to second
* Tadahito Iguchi singled to center, Juan Uribe scored (2), Scott Podsednik to second
* Jermaine Dye singled to center, Scott Podsednik scored (3), Tadahito Iguchi to second
* Paul Konerko flied out to center
* A.J. Pierzynski doubled to deep center, Jermaine Dye and Tadahito Iguchi scored(4,5)
* Aaron Rowand walked
* Joe Crede hit by pitch (Below), A.J. Pierzynski to third, Aaron Rowand to second
* Juan Uribe flied out to right center



At 5-4 going into the final innings, time was running out for the Astros.
In the bottom of the 8th inning, the Astros had a chance to see 2 relievers from the White Sox and manage to get a few walks to get the inning started. Then Jason Lane drop a double to score Morgan Ensberg who had walked with one out in the inning and was moved up a base to second on another walk to Mike Lamb. At this point, it was all tied up 5-5.


Let's fast forward to the Top of the 14th...


Let's touch em' all....Geoff Blum (former Astro) goes deep off (Pedro)Ezequiel Astacio after an amazing 5-4-3 double play to get 2 outs in the inning. Score 6-5 White Sox. Astacio gave up 2 slow rollers to third for base hits and an additional walk to load the bases. He also walked in another run and the White Sox were up 7-5.


Final
White Sox 7
Astros 5

Chicago leads the series (3-0)

****************************************

GAME 4
Wednesday
8:33 EST
(Fox)

** Tonight’s game set a record for the longest game in World Series history.**

Chris Kulturides
todayinsports@gmail.com

Monday, October 24, 2005

World Series Game 2

White Sox Win 7-6 Lead Series 2-0



Sometimes it takes the smallest break to take home a win.

This game started in the midst of mist. It rained all night, sometimes hard and at other times just misty.

The White Sox caught a break in the 7th when a pitch that ran up and in on Jermaine Dye was called a hit-by-pitch. This loaded the bases for the Paul Konerko grand slam. With a blink of an eye, the score went from Houston leading 4-2 to the White Sox leading 6-4.

With Ensberg taking the first pitch of the 2nd inning deep that got the Houston on the board early. In the 2nd inning the White Sox spared no time in getting on the board. The Sox scored two of their own and appreciated the help from Craig Biggio at 2nd base with an error.



Houston's rookie of the year candidate Willy Taveras had his 3rd extra base hit in 2 games with a triple tonight for the Astros in the top of the 3rd.

The games ventured into the 7th inning and after the bases were loaded up on Wheelers hits batsman of Dye. Phil Garner went to Qualls and on the first pitch the White Sox turned the tide on Houston with Konerko going deep.



But Houston wasn't done yet.

In the top of the 9th, they set the stage for a comeback. Was it enough? Here is what the Astros put together.

Bobby Jenks was called in to relieve Cliff Politte. Jeff Bagwell started it off with a singled to center off Jenks. Jason Lane struck out swinging. Then Chris Burke walked and Jeff Bagwell moved to second. The White Sox had 2 outs from Lane striking out and Ausmus grounding out to first. On the groundout, Jeff Bagwell moved up a base and so did Chris Burke. Houston had men on 2nd and 3rd. Garner calls on José Vizcaíno to pinch hit for Adam Everett. Vizcaino singled to left, Bagwell and Burke scored, and on the throw Vizcaino moved to second on the throw to the plate.
Houston ties the game up at 6-6. (below)



With one out in the bottom if the 9th, Brad Lidge deliveded a pitch to Scott Podsednik just dropped over the wall for a walk off home run and the White Sox won 7-6 in the 9th.



Brad Lidge may have though that it couldn't happen again after having the same thing happen to him in the NLCS against Albert Pujols. Yes, it is true...of maybe de ja vue.


Here is the breakdown of the scoring in Game 2

Top 2nd: Houston
M. Ensberg homered to deep left

Bot 2nd: Chi White Sox
J. Crede singled to right, A. Rowand scored, A.J. Pierzynski to third
J. Uribe grounded into fielder's choice, A.J. Pierzynski scored, J. Crede out at second

Top 3rd: Houston
L. Berkman hit sacrifice fly to center, W. Taveras scored

Top 5th: Houston
L. Berkman doubled to deep left, B. Ausmus and W. Taveras scored

Bot 7th: Chi White Sox
P. Konerko homered to deep left, J. Uribe, J. Dye and T. Iguchi scored

Top 9th: Houston
J. Vizcaino singled to left, J. Bagwell and C. Burke scored, J. Vizcaino to second advancing on throw

Bot 9th: Chi White Sox
S. Podsednik homered to deep right center

****************************************

Game 3

Location: Houston
Tuesday 8:05 EST
(Fox)

Match up
Jon Garland
vs.
Roy Oswalt

White Sox lead this best of seven 2-0


***********************************************
Please remember, comments are always welcomed.

Chris Kulturides
todayinsports@gmail.com

Saturday, October 22, 2005

World Series Game 1 - Chicago 5-3




It started out with overcast skies in Chicago tonight, but it was clear what was happening at US Cellular.

This was a game where Chicago was going up against a seven time CY Young award winner in Roger Clemens. Roger departed early after the White Sox got to him early. He was forced to throw 54 pitches in just 2 innings of work. Clemens left the game with soreness of the lower back.

For Chicago, Contreras was sharp and went 7 innings and only allowed 3 earned runs on 6 hits. With all the rest that the bullpen has had in the playoffs, Chicago didn't look like they missed a beat. After watching Contreras for 7 innings, Ozzie brought in Neil Cotts and Bobby Jenks to close it out for the Sox.

Here are some of the key plays in Game 1.

**Chicago gets on the board in the bottom of the 1st on a 3-2 pitch to Jermaine Dye that he takes over the right field fence for a 1-0 lead.

**Mike Lamb countered in the bottom of the inning for Houston with a solo shot to deep Center to tie the game a one a piece.

**In the bottom of the 2nd, Chicago executed a perfect hit and run with Carl Everett running on the pitch to Aaron Rowand. With Everett running, this opened a hole at 2nd and Chicago put runners on the corners.

**When Houston came up in the 3rd, they needed some hard hit balls. Lance Berkman answered the call. Berkman hit a hard shot to the gap in left center for a 2 run double.

**Joe Crede for the White Sox added a run on a solo shot in the bottom of the 4th.
Crede put on a 5 star defensive effort at 3rd tonight. He had 3 amazing assists in Game 1 on hard hit balls.

**In the bottom of the 5th the White Sox left the bases loaded, not adding to the 4-3 lead they had.

**In the bottom of the 8th, Scott Podsednik tripled to deep center scoring A.J. Pierzynski for an insurance run to make the score 5-3.

Bobby Jenks closed it out with an inning ending strikeout in the 8th and 2 more in the 9th. He was clocked at 100 mph.



Jermaine Dye's home run in the 1st

Crede's home run in the bottom of the 4th

Final Score
Chicago 5
Houston 3

Chicago leads the series (1-0)

World Series Game 2
Sunday 7:35 EST
(Fox)

Pitching match up:

Andy Pettitte
vs.
Mark Buehrle





Chris Kulturides
todayinsports@gmail.com

Chicago Bulls OT win and World Series preview

Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls




I had a chance to see the Bulls take on the Bucks at the United Center last night here in Chicago. I was interested in going to this game because I wanted to see Andrew Bogut (R) from Utah in the NBA.

He was very good and looked like he fit in very well. He had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in 29 minutes.

The Bulls went into OT at 99-99 and won the game with a tip in with .05 seconds left by Malik Allen.

Final:
Bulls 107
Bucks 105
OT


Also, taking in the game were Aaron Rowand and Joe Crede from the boxes at center court. Rowand raised his Chicago Bears cap, which was seen by the entire United Center on the big screen at center court and the crowd went crazy.




Game 1
7:35 EST
(Fox)

Starting Pitchers

Roger Clemens
vs.
Jose Contreras


Roger Clemens is a seven-time Cy Young Award winner is 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA in seven career starts in the Fall Classic, striking out 48 in 47 1-3 innings.

Jose Contreras has a 0-1 record in the Fall Classic when he was teammates with Clemens in NY. His loss was against the Marlins in 2003.

These are the projected lineups for Game 1

PROJECTED LINEUPS:

Astros




2B Biggio (.264, 26 HRs, 69 RBIs, 17 HBP)
CF Burke (.248, 5, 26)
3B Morgan Ensberg (.283, 36, 101)
LF Lance Berkman (.293, 24, 82, 91 walks)
1B Mike Lamb (.236, 12, 53)
RF Jason Lane (.267, 26, 78)
SS Adam Everett (.248, 11, 54)
DH Bagwell (.250, 3, 19)
C Brad Ausmus (.258, 3, 47)

White Sox




LF Scott Podsednik (.290, 0, 25, 59 SBs)
2B Tadahito Iguchi (.278, 15, 71)
RF Dye (.274, 31, 86)
1B Konerko (.283, 40, 100, 98 runs)
DH Carl Everett (.251, 23, 87)
CF Aaron Rowand (.270, 13, 69)
C A.J. Pierzynski (.257, 18, 56)
3B Joe Crede (.252, 22, 62)
SS Juan Uribe (.252, 16, 71)


Chris Kulturides
todayinsports@gmail.com

Thursday, October 20, 2005

We have a challenger...

...and now in this corner, the Houston Astros.





The Astros came into Busch Stadium for Game 6 and had nothing to lose.

They knew that they had Roy Oswalt going tonight on full rest and the bullpen was ready if needed. The Astros need to get to Mark Mulder and that they did.



As a note of interest, Houston has solid pitching staffs that consist of the 20 game winner in Oswalt and the work horse of the rotation, Roger Clemens.

Here are some stats on the top 3 starters going into the Worlds Series.

Wins
R. Oswalt 20
A. Pettitte 17
R. Clemens 13

ERA (Min. 162 IP)

R. Clemens 1.87
A. Pettitte 2.39
R. Oswalt 2.94

Strikeouts

R. Clemens 185
R. Oswalt 184
A. Pettitte 171

After looking at the stats of the White Sox rotation and the Astros, it is going to be a very tight series starting in the Windy City on Saturday night.

So Houston has waited 44 years to get there and sure enough it felt that way for Biggio and Bagwell. Since his career started in Houston, Biggio always wanted to make the trip to the series but always seemed to come up short. Not this year.
In his post game comments, here is what Biggio had to say.



"It's been a long time, you know. I'm not greedy, I'm not selfish, just wanted go one time," Biggio said. "I can't tell you how happy I am, it took us a long time and we've got 5 million people in Houston who are very pumped up right now."

If the fans are as prepared as the starting rotation is and the other 8 players that they put on the field, I am sure that the fans are ready to cheer for their team.


Houston wins the series 4-2. NLCS MVP is Roy Oswalt, going 2-0 in the series.



For Mark Mulder, it wasn't the outing that he had hoped for. He went just 4 2/3 and gave up 6 hits and a HR to Jason Lane in the top of the 4th. Mulder struggled with the "small ball" tactics of the Astros, where even Oswalt sacrificed a runner to 3rd in the scoring efforts against the Cardinals in the 3rd. It was Lane's home run that put the icing on the cake for Houston and made it an early night for Mulder.

The Cardinal pitching staff played the odds and LaRussa went to the pen tonight for 6 different pitchers. Adding to the onslaught of hits for Houston, St. Louis could only put together 4 hits over the 9 innings.

Houston was just plain good tonight.

Here is the schedule for the World Series

1. Sat, Oct 22 – at Chi White Sox, 7:35 pm EDT (FOX)
2. Sun, Oct 23 – at Chi White Sox, 7:35 pm EDT (FOX)
3. Tue, Oct 25 – at Houston, 8:05 pm EDT (FOX)
4. Wed, Oct 26 – at Houston, 8:05 pm EDT (FOX)
5.* Thu, Oct 27 – at Houston, 8:05 pm EDT (FOX)
6.* Sat, Oct 29 – at Chi White Sox, 7:35 pm EDT (FOX)
7.* Sun, Oct 30 – at Chi White Sox, 7:35 pm EST (FOX)
*if necessary

***********************************


Tonight marks the 40th year that baseball has been played in Busch Stadium in
St. Louis.

It will be slated for demolition, and the new stadium will be ready for 2006.

In other St. Louis news, after struggling with back pain the entire season Larry Walker may end his 17 year career after this season. Walker struck out in his last at bat tonight at Busch Stadium.

***********************************
In other sports new today:


Joe Girardi accepts Marlins managerial job today and departs New York and the Yankees. This is his first managerial post. He replaces Jack McKeon after a disappointing 83-79 this year.

LeBron James made some noise tonight in his first start for the Cavs scoring 26 points. He added five rebounds, three steals, one assist and four turnovers in 33 exhausting minutes. Cleveland went on to win this exhibition match up against the Memphis Grizzlies, 88-84.

Tedy Bruschi attended his first practice after suffering a stroke after last years Pro Bowl. He said that he had some "jitters' that were to be expected.

Joe Torre will be back in 2006 for another tour of duty with the New York Yankees.

***********************************

Remember, questions and comments are always welcomed. Just email us at todayinsports@gmail.com

Chris Kulturides
todayinsports@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

NLCS Game 5 Review

Demolition Day is on hold in St. Louis...

What a night in Houston. St. Louis was clinging to the oxygen tanks after the 7th inning and in the 9th the stage was set.

When I see the commercials that MLB runs on TV during these playoff games, I know what they mean when the fans say "I live for this."

This was one to live for.







Game 5 looked like a pitchers duel from the get go.

It was CY Young candidate, Chris Carpenter going up against Andy Pettitte for the Astros in Houston. As for Carpenter, he had great location all evening keeping the ball down and striking out 6 over 7 innings of work. He made just one mistake, a pitch that just stayed up enough in the zone that was dead center on the plate for Lance Berkman to serve into the Crawford Boxes in left field. Berkman went down for the pitch and powered it out of the park and brought the crowd to their feet for the rest of the game.

Let me set the sequence of events in the bottom of the 7th.

Bottom 7th: Houston
- O. Palmeiro hit for C. Qualls
- O. Palmeiro grounded out to shortstop
- C. Biggio safe at first on third baseman H. Luna's fielding error
- C. Burke singled to right, C. Biggio to third
- L. Berkman homered to deep left, C. Biggio and C. Burke scored
- M. Ensberg singled to left, M. Ensberg out at second
- M. Lamb flied out to center

3 runs, 3 hits, 1 errors
St. Louis 2, Houston 4




The crowd was cheering so loud that they were on their feet for the 7th, 8th and the top of the 9th. It was electric in the stadium in Houston. They brought on their closer Brad Lidge to pitch the 9th. He faced 6 batters and threw 25 pitches

After striking out the first 2 batters that he faced, it looked like Houston was going to be playing the White Sox in Game 1 of the World Series.

This was theater at its best.

David Eckstein stepped to the plate, someone that all players in the NL and Tony LaRussa say is the "toughest out" for the Cardinals.
He was tonight. With 2 strikes Eckstein singled to left, Jim Edmonds drew a walk on a ball 4 inside pitch and then it was Albert Pujols to the plate.
Pujols hit a rocket over the train tracks in Houston that if the left field wall is 330, then it would have landed at the 550 foot mark. It was a bomb and he got all of it.



With the homerun St. Louis put the demolition on hold at Busch Stadium and took away a trip to the World Series for Houston for tonight.

Here is how the 9th shaped up for the Cardinals.

Top 9th: St. Louis
- B. Lidge relieved D. Wheeler
- J. Rodriguez hit for H. Luna
- J. Rodriguez struck out swinging
- J. Mabry struck out swinging
- D. Eckstein singled to left
- D. Eckstein to second on fielder's indifference
- J. Edmonds walked
- A. Pujols homered to deep left, J. Edmonds and D. Eckstein scored
- R. Sanders struck out looking

3 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors
St. Louis 5, Houston 4

Final score:
St. Louis - 5
Houston - 4

Game 6 Wednesday 8:05 p.m. EST (Fox)
Pitching match up
Roy Oswalt -Houston (Game 2 Winner)
vs.
Mark Mulder St. Louis(Game 2 Loser)

****************************************


In other news, the A's have picked up the option on Jay Payton (OF)who was acquired in a trade with Boston. Boston picked up Chad Bradford (RP)in exchange.

Terry Pendelton, former Atlanta Brave and current pitching coach for the team has interviewed for the managerial post with Tampa Bay.

In the NHL, Wayne Gretzky and the Coyotes picked up their first road win and are 2-4 on the season.

In NFL news, the Colts defeated the Rams on Monday Night Football 45-28.

After being cleared by his medical team, Tedy Bruschi of the N. E Patriots will return to football 8 months after having a stroke. The final decision was made by Bruschi and his family as to when he will return. He announced today that he will practice with the Patriots starting on Wednesday. The Patriots have the bye week this week.


Chris Kulturides
todayinsports@gmail.com

Monday, October 17, 2005

NLCS/ALCS Game Reviews









The Astros were backed by Brandon Backe today in Houston.



Backe pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing 1 run and accumulating 7 strikeouts.

In another great effort Jason Lane came through again taking a pitch that was up and in and took it deep. This put Houston on the board.

Houston has taken a 3-1 lead in the NLCS. They will play game 5 Monday @ 8:05 on Fox. The pitching match-up will be Chris Carpenter for the Cardinals going against Andy Pettitte.





As for the Cardinals, it got rough after a Jason Marquis error in the bottom of the 7th, and the ejections of Manager Tony LaRussa and outfielder Jim Edmonds.
















Here is the scoring summary:

Top 4th: St. Louis
- A. Pujols hit sacrifice fly to right center, D. Eckstein scored

Bot 4th: Houston
- J. Lane homered to deep left

Bot 7th: Houston
- M. Ensberg hit sacrifice fly to center, W. Taveras scored

Final score in Houston 2-1

******************************************



American League Pennant




The Chicago White Sox were pleased with what they saw from José Contreras in Game 5.
He pitched a complete game, the fourth in a row by the White Sox in this series with the Angels. Contreras only allowed 5 hits and the 3 runs to pick up the win.



Joe Crede was the star of Game 5 going 2-3 with 3 RBI's and a HR.



The Chicago White Sox won Game 5 (6-3) and take the series (4-1) for the American League Pennant.

For the complete play-by-play of game 5, click here.

Here is a look at the dates and times for the World Series.
1. Sat, Oct 22 – at AL Champion, 7:30 pm EDT (FOX)
2. Sun, Oct 23 – at AL Champion, 8:00 pm EDT (FOX)
3. Tue, Oct 25 – at NL Champion, 8:00 pm EDT (FOX)
4. Wed, Oct 26 – at NL Champion, 8:00 pm EDT (FOX)
5.* Thu, Oct 27 – at NL Champion, 8:00 pm EDT (FOX)
6.* Sat, Oct 29 – at AL Champion, 7:30 pm EDT (FOX)
7.* Sun, Oct 30 – at AL Champion, 7:30 pm EST (FOX)

* - If necessary
****************************************

Schedule for Monday

NLCS 8:05 EST (Fox)

Monday Night Football

St. Louis (2-3) at Indianapolis (5-0)

9:00 EST (ABC)


Chris Kulturides
todayinsports@gmail.com

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A break in the action.......

There are always room for new firsts.

In the almost one year that I have lived in Chicago, I made my first visit to the United Center. It was a meeting between the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls.

For the majority of the time that I was sitting there and watching the game, I couldn't help but look at the banners and think of the time that Jordan spent in this house. It was amazing. I sat in the first row in section 107 right behind the "court side seats." I took a few pictures, and I wanted to share them with you.

The Bulls looked strong in this preseason match-up, winning 116-97. The Celtics host the Bulls in Boston on Wednesday October 19th at 7:30 EST.


Jordan

Jordan Achievements & Honors

Center Court

Banners and the Jumbotron

Chicago Bulls warm-ups and the floating Bull(no strings)-Driven with remote control fans-very cool.

My old home town hero...Paul Pierce.


We'll be back with more coverage on the NLCS/ALCS reviews, after the game.

Chris Kulturides
todayinsports@gmail.com