MLB 2021 Game #17: ALDS Game 3 – Astros vs. White SoxWhite Sox center fielder, Luis Robert, singles during Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. (Photo: Cooper Neill/MLB Photos)
More playoff baseball this evening.
Today will provide two personal firsts. Throughout the years, I have attended games on consecutive days. That's nothing new. But consecutive days with postseason games? Not yet. Also, I haven't attended an American League playoff game.
Tonight, the Chicago White Sox face elimination. After dropping the first two games of their best-of-five American League Division Series against the Houston Astros, they must rattle off three consecutive wins to advance to the next round. Perhaps returning to Guaranteed Rate Field will provide the necessary spark.
After two games, the White Sox have generated 18 hits. All of those were singles. Luis Robert is responsible for five (5-for-7, .714/.778/.714); Tim Anderson has four (4-for-9, .444/.444/.444); and Jose Abreu has four (4-for-8, .500/.556/.500). Eloy Jimenez is the only other player with multiple hits (2-for-8, .250/.250/.250).
The White Sox have not hosted a home playoff game since October 6, 2008, when they were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Rays during Game 4 of the ALDS. The last time the White Sox hosted the Astros (then members of the National League) for a home postseason game was Game Two of the 2005 World Series. The White Sox won that game, 7-6, on their way to a Series sweep.
This evening, the Astros (95-67, .586) will send righthander Luis Garcia (11-8, 3.30 ERA, 167K) to the mound. The 24-year-old Garcia reached the majors during the COVID-shortened 2020 season. Since then, he has compiled a career record of 11-9 and 3.27 ERA (2.9 WAR). He has appeared in one postseason game. He started Game 5 of the ALCS against the Tampa Bay Rays. He pitched two innings and allowed no hits, but two walks.
The White Sox (93-69, .574) will counter with Dylan Cease (13-7, 3.91 ERA, 226K) to fend off elimination. The 25-year-old reached the majors in 2019. He has compiled a career record of 22-18 and 4.39 ERA (3.0 WAR). Cease's postseason experience is limited to one inning during the 2020 American League Wild Card Series against the Oakland Athletics. He retired all three batters he faced.