By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer
Published October 23, 2005
CHICAGO - There were feel-good reasons for Houston manager Phil Garner to use veteran Jeff Bagwell as the designated hitter Saturday so he could make his long awaited World Series debut.
But, Garner insisted, that wasn't the whole story.
"There's no question that there's some sentimentality involved," Garner said. "There's a lot of other reasons to have him be the DH, but I think the overriding reason is he's a good player and if the game's on the line, I'd just as soon have Jeff Bagwell up."
Bagwell, 37, missed 115 games after shoulder surgery and had not started a game since May 3, limited to pinch-hitting since his Sept.9 return, going 3-for-12 with four RBIs. Saturday, he was 0-for-2, including a huge eighth-inning strikeout, and was twice hit by pitches.
Bagwell played 2,150 regular-season games before getting to a Series debut; only teammate Craig Biggio, who also made his debut Saturday, and Barry Bonds played more.
Bagwell appreciated the opportunity but he too wanted to make sure it was for the right reason.
"Phil's got a responsibility to 24 other guys, and that's what's most important, not getting Jeff Bagwell in the lineup," Bagwell said.
DANDY ANDY: Tonight will be Andy Pettitte's 34th career postseason start, more than any pitcher in history. Because he's representing his home-state Astros in their first World Series he expects to be as giddy as his first appearance in 1996.
"This is right there with my first trip," Pettitte said. "Obviously we went so many times after that in New York but this has been extremely special and gratifying to be able to help this organization get to this World Series."
AGE-OLD ISSUES: Houston's Roger Clemens, at 43 years, 2 months, 18 days, is the second-oldest pitcher to start a Series game. Jack Quinn was 46 years, 3 months, 7 days in Game 4 of the 1929 Series for Philadelphia.
NO LOU-TV: Concerns over Hurricane Wilma forced former Rays manager Lou Piniella to stay home rather than join the Fox TV crew as an analyst. Fox vice president Dan Bell said there was a slim chance - maybe 25 percent - that Piniella would work games later in the Series. "It looks like he won't make it," Bell said.
CEREMONIALLY SPEAKING: Former Sox great Luis Aparicio threw out the ceremonial first pitch and Guillen, a fellow Venezuelan, caught it. Aparicio was joined by five other members of the 1959 Go-Go Sox, their last World Series team: Jim Landis, J.C. Martin, Billy Pierce, Jim Rivera and Bob Shaw. ... Josh Groban performed the national anthem and Liz Phair sang God Bless America. ... Former Sox star Bo Jackson will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 2, with Lou Rawls singing the national anthem and trumpeter Chris Botti performing God Bless America.
MISCELLANY: The Chicago bullpen has not allowed a run in 10 postseason innings. ... White Sox starters had pitched 43 consecutive innings until Neal Cotts relieved in the eighth. ... Chicago's Jose Contreras tied Series records by hitting three batters (Pittsburgh's Bruce Kison did it in 1971 against Baltimore) and by hitting two in one inning (Detroit's Ed Willett did it in 1909 against Pittsburgh and St. Louis' Wayne Granger did it in 1968 against Detroit). ... Bagwell was the fifth player to be hit twice, the first since Todd Pratt of the Mets in 2000. ... Astros shortstop Adam Everett's hitting streak ended at eight games. ... Contreras was the sixth Cuban to start a Series game, joining Orlando and Livan Hernandez, Luis Tiant, Mike Cueller and Camilio Pascual. ... Guillen and Garner are the 40th and 41st men to play and manage in a Series. Guillen played for the 1999 Braves and Garner for the 1979 Pirates. ... Clemens is the 32nd player to appear in a Series for three teams and the fifth pitcher to start for three (Red Sox, Yankees, Astros), joining Curt Schilling, Jack Morris, Danny Jackson and Joe Bush.