Back in black?
That’s what the White Sox want to see when they bring playoff baseball back to their home ballpark for the first time since 2008 when they host at least one game in the American League Division series next week. In 2008, their 1-0 “blackout game” tiebreaker victory over the Twins for the division championship went down as one of the top team moments in recent history.
Fans were asked to wear all black then, and almost all of the sold-out crowd obliged. Jim Thome homered, 38-year-old center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. threw out a runner at home and John Danks and Bobby Jenks took care of the pitching.
The Sox are asking fans to do the same when the Sox play in the ALDS next week. Who they play and when is not official, although it’s looking like the Astros in a series that would open in Houston. The Astros lead the Sox by 2 1/2 games for home field and own the tiebreaker. The Sox have five games left, the Astros three apiece against the Rays and Athletics.
“We are going to be promoting and encouraging fans to wear black throughout the playoffs hoping we have an extended stay,” Brooks Boyer, Sox vice president for marketing, said. “We want to create a great, home-field atmosphere at games that our players will feed off of. It should be fun.”
Back rally towels will be given away for the first home game, which would be Game 3 on Sunday, Oct. 9, if the current standings stay the same. The Sox will announce more details Tuesday and promote the blackout it through all of their platforms.
The Sox have five games left in the regular season, all at home, after playing a makeup game in Detroit Monday. Trailing the Astros by three games for the No. 2 seed in the ALDS, the Sox will likely open the best-of-five series at Houston Oct. 6 and 7. After a travel day. Games 3 and 4 (if necessary) would be at Guaranteed Rate Field on Oct. 9 and 10, with game 5 (if necessary) Oct. 12 in Houston.
The ALCS starts Oct. 15 and will end Oct. 23 if it goes seven games. The World Series opens Oct. 26 and concludes Nov. 3 if it goes seven games.
The Sox are in the postseason in consecutive years for the first time in their history. They played all three games of the Wild Card series in Oakland last season, which they lost 2 games to 1.
Rodon is on for Wednesday
Manager Tony La Russa said All-Star Carlos Rodon’s bullpen session Sunday was “just OK” but he wants to start Wednesday against the Reds to test his fatigued left shoulder. It will be his last outing before a possible postseason start.
“He didn’t really let it go,” La Russa said. “But he said he’s good to try it.”
Rodon (12-5, 2.47 ERA) pitched three innings in his last start and his pitched 23 innings in August and September. La Russa will hope for five or six innings but won’t force it.
“We’re just going to watch him throw that first inning and see if it makes sense to send him out for the second. As always, you hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”