I linked to this earlier and did not mention that I attended that game hoping, obviously, to see the Astros clinch their first World Series berth.
Our section started chattering in the bottom of the eighth about batting order and how Pujols was up fifth in the top of the ninth. The math was pretty easy and rather scary — two outs, two runners on and the best hitter in baseball at the plate.
I don’t believe I’ve ever heard as much noise disappear so quickly as when Pujols smashed that homer — the place went from uproar to shocked silence. And even though the Astros won the series in the next game, I think the damage to the pitching rotation probably cost them any chance they had against the White Sox. If Oswalt starts Game 1 and pitches well, the World Series is a totally different thing.
Also, Ensberg didn’t walk Jim Edmonds on five pitches. If he followed Garner’s instructions, there’s no blame to be cast on him at all.