A pitcher hurling a complete game? In the postseason?
The chances of witnessing that rare baseball feat these days is even less than seeing a bunt or stolen base.
But on this day in béisbol, Oct. 16, 2005, Jose Contreras of the White Sox went old school, going the distance for a rare CG in the box score as Chicago clinched the American League pennant with a 6-3 win over the L.A. Angels in Game 5 of the ALCS.
Even more remarkable: Contreras’ quality outing was the fourth straight complete game victory by White Sox pitchers in the ALCS, following wins by Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland and Freddy Garcia. The staff had nine complete games during the regular season.
Contreras, who went 8 1/3 innings in a tough 3-2 Game 1 loss, made up for it in the clincher, giving up three runs on five hits.
The 33-year-old Cuban righty, who the year before had been traded to the Sox from the Yankees after an underwhelming season and a half in the Bronx, went on to win Game 1 of the 2005 World Series against the Houston Astros. He beat Roger Clemens to set the stage for a four-game sweep of the ‘Stros in the White Sox’s first Fall Classic appearance since they lost to the Dodgers in 1959.
— Robert Dominguez
Robert Dominguez is co-author of “Bronx Bummers: The Unofficial History of the New York Yankees’ Bad Boys, Blunders and Brawls” and writer of the upcoming “El Salón: The Trials and Triumphs of Baseball’s Latino Hall of Famers.”
Photo: Jim from , USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons