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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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August 22,1977

Posted 05-20-2018 at 02:39 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 09-18-2018 at 07:37 AM by TommyJohn

August 22,1977
vs. New York Yankees
at Comiskey Park

The White Sox return to Chicago in 2nd place, but only 1 game behind the Royals. The month of August has not been very kind to them thus far-they are 6-14 going into a two game series with the Yankees, against whom they are only 2-6 on the year.

Sox fans still had hope. 45,443, the second largest crowd of the year, turned out for this one. The Yankees were red hot-72-50, 1/2 game out of 1st and bearing down on the division-leading Red Sox. The Yankees and White Sox were meeting for the first time since that night in New York when Chris Chambliss destroyed the Sox' 6 run comeback with a game-winning home run.

The game was once again a nip-and-tuck defensive battle, with Francisco Barrios and Ed Figueroa matching zeroes for four innings. Sox fans got a small thrill in the top of the 2nd when Yankee Carlos May argued balls and strikes a little too vigorously, earning an ejection from home plate umpire Rich Garcia. That brought Billy Martin out of the dugout to provide some entertainment as he argued with Garcia over the ejection.

Lou Piniella broke the scoreless tie in the 5th with a one out home run. Mickey Rivers and Chris Chambliss kept the huge crowd quiet with solo home runs in the 6th and 7th inning, respectively, and the Yankees led 3-0.

The Hitmen showed signs of life when Oscar Gamble doubled to lead off the bottom of the 7th. Two outs later Chet Lemon drew a walk. The crowd then showed signs of life when Lamar Johnson doubled to score both runs. Suddenly it was a 1 run game.

The 3-2 score remained in the bottom of the 8th when Ralph Garr walked to open the inning. He then attempted to steal 2nd but the Yankees stole the signal, called a pitchout and nailed him. Alan Bannister followed with a single.

Richie Zisk then singled to center. The crowd roared when Mickey Rivers bobbled the ball. Bannister steamed around 3rd but Rivers recovered and threw a perfect strike to Thurman Munson, who had Bannister dead to rights. Suddenly, as he went to make tag, Munson inexplicably bobbled and dropped the ball. Bannister was safe and the game was tied.

Gamble then whacked another single to center. Rivers charged forward, went to scoop up the ball but came up with empty air. Zisk, who had gone to 2nd when Bannister scored, came around to score and the Sox had a 4-3 lead. Gamble ended up at 3rd base on the play.

Eric Soderholm was intentionally walked to set up a double play. Jim Spencer then hit a ground ball directly to Chris Chambliss. Both Soderholm and Gamble were off and running. Chambliss was presented with several possibilities-throw home, to 2nd, or touch 1st for the easy out. Chambliss did none of them. He held the ball as Gamble dashed across the plate to make it 5-3.

The inning ended with that score and the Yankees had one last shot in the 9th. Leading off was Chris Chambliss, anxious to atone for his mental error. Sox fans who had watched the game on the 16th knew it wasn't over.

Chambliss pulled no such heroics this night. He grounded out to open the inning. Graig Nettles popped out for the second out. Piniella made it interesting by singling to bring up the tying run, but Barrios bore down and induced Willie Randolph to ground to Bannister, who flipped to Don Kessinger to get the force at 2nd. The White Sox were able to make this thrilling comeback stand up.

The White Sox would lose the next night to conclude the season series with the Yankees at 3-7. The loss dropped the Sox to 69-53 and they also fell a notch to 3rd place, behind the Royals and the Twins, who had snuck up on the Sox to wrest 2nd place away from them.

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