Wednesday, January 26, 2011

GAME #5 - 1962 ALCS - Halos take 3-2 series lead via late inning comeback

Felix Torres / Luis Aparicio
GAME 5 - Comiskey Park - LAA 7, CHW 6 (10 inn)
Dean Chance vs Ray Herbert

Ray Herbert left the game with 2 outs gone in the 7th and his team up 4-0.  Dean Stone came on board to fan lefty Leon Wagner to end the inning and seemingly end the Angels chances.  Stone would start the 8th by getting Lee Thomas to pop out to third, but it would all be downhill from there.  Felix Torres would double to right center and Buck Rodgers would single, but when pinch hitter Steve "Sgt" Bilko fouled out to catcher Cam Carreon the Chisox looked to be dodging a bullet.  Reliever Turk Lown was able to get Bilko out, but could not do the same when he walked the appropriately nickamed "walking man" Eddie Yost on 5 pitches to load the bases.  Tom Satriano was once again called upon in a pinch and the backup backstop delivered an RBI single to get the Halos on board.  Albie Pearson would be the next to deliver a key hit.  Pearson's 2 run single to left center scored Rodgers and Yost and just like that a comfortable 4-0 lead was now a tight 4-3 crapshoot.  Mike Joyce would start the top of the 9th for the Pale Hose in search of 3 big out for victory.  Leon Wagner led off the inning by grounding to Cunningham at first who took it unassisted to the bag for out #1.  Lee Thomas hit a routine grounder to short that Aparicio fielded cleanly, but inexplicably threw wide of the bag, which pulled Cunningham into foul territory to allow Thomas to reach on an error.  All looked good as Felix Torres hit virtually the same grounder to "Little Luis", who this time easily threw out the runner to put the Chisox 1 out from victory.  Buck Rodgers came to the plate and used his batter's eye pefectly to work out a walk as he battled back from an 0-2 count.  Bilko did the same and now the bases were loaded for rookie shortstop Jim Fregosi.  At the start of the 1962 campaign Fregosi was toiling in the minors like so many other young players hoping for a chance.  Fregosi got his chance and made the most of it by slashing a liner to right field to tie the game at 4.  A huge hush came over the crowd in the Southside of Chicago, who only a few innings before were watching their team cruising toward victory.  As extra innings loomed the momentum truly shifted to the visitors from Southern California.  A 3 run outburst in the top of the 10th led by an RBI double by Leon Wagner and a two run single by Felix Torres sucked the remaining air out of Comiskey.  To their credit the Chisox were not about to roll over and die.  Angel reliever Bobby Botz gave up doubles to Joe Cunningham and Cam Carreon to cut the Halo lead to 2.  A two out single by Aparicio scored Carreon and got the crowd back into the game.  With Aparicio on 1st and two outs already on the board Chicago needed to get "Little Luis" into scoring position.  With his running mate Nellie Fox at the plate there were two options:  steal second or play hit and run.  After throwing over twice Halo reliever Ken Bowsfield was paying close attention to the speedster on 1st.  Aparicio tried to extend his lead just a bit further, but in doing so got caught leaning.  Bowsfield's pick off throw to Bilko at first was right on the money and Aparicio was called out to end the game.
Angels lead series 3-2

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