Tuesday’s loss in Game 4 of the American League Division Series robbed the White Sox of their second “win-or-go-home” contest in franchise history.
The first was a loss to Oakland in Game 3 of the American League Wild Card Series during the truncated 2020 campaign.
Here’s a look back at the Sox decisive postseason tilts that might have been:
*Game 9 of the 1919 World Series: The Cincinnati Reds eliminated the White Sox with a 4-1 win in Game 8 of the ill-fated series at Comiskey Park. A win by the Sox would have forced a decisive game in Cincinnati with Ed Cicotte poised to start but history tells us that one may not have gone so well for the good guys.
*Game 7 of the 1959 World Series: The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the series with a 9-3 Game 6 triumph at Comiskey Park. Even if the Sox had stayed alive with a win in Game 6, they would have been up against it in the final affair as ace Early Wynn would most likely have been unavailable after starting Games 1 and 4. However, being at home certainly would have helped.
*Game 5 of the 1983 American League Championship Series: The White Sox absorbed one of the most crushing defeats in history when Baltimore eliminated them in Game 4 at Comiskey Park. If the Sox could have somehow found a way to win Game 4 (and not let a gutsy gem by starter Britt Burns go to waste), they would have had 24-game winner, Game 1 winner and future Cy Young Award winner LaMarr Hoyt on the mound the next night. Maybe that would have been the game the bats of the “Winning Ugly” White Sox — limited to three runs in four games — would have returned to the form that helped the team win 99 games and take the American League West by a record 20 games.
*Game 7 of the 1993 American League Championship Series: Shades of 1983. The White Sox were sent home for the winter with their best pitcher on tap for the decisive game. The Toronto Blue Jays took Game 6 at Comiskey Park en route to their second consecutive World Series title. A Sox win that Tuesday night would have them starting Wilson Alvarez, their hottest hurler and Game 3 victor, ready to throw for the pennant clincher at home.
*Game 5 of the 2008 American League Division Series: How does Mark Buehrle in a do-or-die contest sound to you? That was the likely scenario if the Sox had taken Game 4 from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at U.S. Cellular Field.
*Game 5 of the 2021 American League Division Series: The clunker in Game 4 robbed the Sox of a chance to throw Lucas Giolito at Houston for a chance to move on to the American League Championship Series.