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2005 World Series
Astros offense runs out of clutch magic
By MARC TOPKIN
Published October 27, 2005
HOUSTON - The Astros were defined by their ability to come back from a 15-30 start to win the NL wild card and oust the Braves and Cardinals in the playoffs.
But in the World Series, they could never get started.
As expected, the Series featured strong pitching on both sides. What the Astros didn't expect was that their offense would be rendered so useless.
The Astros hit just .203 (29-for-143) and scored 10 in the four games, primarily because they weren't able to come up with the one clutch hit when they needed it, and when they usually got it.
They did not score over their final 15 innings and were 0-for-17 with runners in scoring position during that stretch.
"It's not suddenly, it's been a trait of ours all year and we managed to win even though we hadn't done that," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "What you saw is some of our typical games. We managed to somehow get through it and we just, we didn't eke it out this time. And that's unfortunate."
Despite his frustration, Garner said the Astros still did well.
"Everybody in our clubhouse had something to do with us getting here and it's a pretty good story, a doggone good story," Garner said. "I'm proud of those guys. We played hard. We came together as a team. We never did fracture apart like teams that were playing as poorly as we did the first part of the year."
TEAM EFFORT: Sox rightfielder Jermaine Dye was named Series MVP after hitting .438 (7-for-16) with a homer and three RBIs, including the only run in Wednesday's clincher.
"When you've got a lot of guys that can get the MVP, that's just a great accomplishment," Dye said. "A couple of guys could have got it. We all worked hard to do whatever we could to help this team win and guys came up with big hits in a lot of situations."
MUY BIEN: Before the game, MLB unveiled the Latino Legends team as voted by fans, though what was supposed to be a lineup of all-time Latino stars had a relatively modern look.
Winners were catcher Ivan Rodriguez; first baseman Albert Pujols; second baseman Rod Carew; shortstop Alex Rodriguez; third baseman Edgar Martinez; outfielders Roberto Clemente, Manny Ramirez and Vladimir Guerrero; starting pitchers Pedro Martinez, Juan Marichal and Fernando Valenzuela; and reliever Mariano Rivera.
The closest competition was for the final rotation spot, where Valenzuela received 49,616 votes and Luis Tiant received 36,610.
BIG HITTERS: Atlanta's Andruw Jones, who led the majors with 51 homers, and Boston's David Ortiz, who led the majors with 148 RBIs, were presented with the Hank Aaron award, which recognizes the top hitter in each league.
MISCELLANY: It was the sixth time a team clinched the Series with a 1-0 win, the first since the Braves beat the Indians in 1995. ... Chicago closer Bobby Jenks was the first rookie to earn a save in a Series clincher and the first rookie to finish a clinching game since Larry Sherry of the 1959 Dodgers - against the White Sox. ... The Sox tied the 2004 Red Sox as the only teams to win eight straight postseason games. ... The White Sox were the first team to clinch all three series in the same postseason on the road. ... With a first-pitch temperature of 64 degrees, the Minute Maid Park roof was again open. ... Astros starter Brandon Backe, the ex-Ray, struck out five straight over the fourth and fifth innings, one shy of the Series record shared by Cincinnati's Hod Eller, Baltimore's Moe Drabowsky and St. Louis' Todd Worrell.