Joe Crede

White Sox 2005 Rewind: 'Pulling an El Duque' before 'pulling an El Duque' was a thing

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AP

White Sox 2005 Rewind: 'Pulling an El Duque' before 'pulling an El Duque' was a thing

Months before “pulling an El Duque” was a thing, Orlando Hernandez was getting out of bases-loaded jams all over the place.

Hernandez etched his name into White Sox history — and into that statue that’s sitting outside Guaranteed Rate Field — with his relief work in Game 3 of the ALDS, coming on in a bases-loaded, nobody-out situation and getting three straight outs to preserve a one-run lead.

But he had some practice earlier in the season.

In the White Sox 3-1 win over the Twins on April 19, Hernandez faced not one but two jams with the bases loaded and less than two outs. And he escaped both of them.

Hernandez was stellar the first time he faced the Twins in 2005, giving up just one run and striking out five hitters in seven innings. Next time out didn’t go so hot, as he gave up six runs, four of them earned, on eight hits and four walks against the Indians.

This one was somewhere in between. He gave up 10 hits but no runs, thanks to getting out of a pair of unenviable jams.

In the second inning, the Twins led off with a double and a single. A steal of second and a hit batter loaded the bases with just one out. But Hernandez followed with a strikeout of Michael Cuddyer, and after falling behind Nick Punto, 3-1, he induced an inning-ending pop out.

Four innings later, the Twins strung together three consecutive one-out singles. Bases loaded, one out yet again. But Hernandez got Punto to pop out once more, and Shannon Stewart flew out as Hernandez pitched his way out of another doomsday scenario.

Neither overshadowed what was to come, Hernandez’s legendary performance on the playoff stage. But it’s not like he didn’t have practice in similar situations.

Earlier in #SoxRewind, we saw Jon Garland show his talents as an escape artist. But in 2005, no one compared to El Duque in that category.

What else?

— The eephus! This was the first El Duque start on #SoxRewind, so the first time we got to see him unleash the eephus. It didn’t work against Jacque Jones in the sixth. Jones ripped it into center for a base hit. But it sure was fun to watch Hernandez float that thing up there.

— As relayed by Hawk Harrelson during the broadcast, Hernandez giving up 10 hits in a scoreless outing was the first time that had happened for a White Sox pitcher in more than 20 years.

— Shingo time was running out. Luis Vizcaino and Dustin Hermanson kept the Twins off the board in a three-run game in the seventh and eighth innings, but on for the save in the ninth, Shingo Takatsu experienced the kind of early season trouble that got him yanked from the closer’s role. After getting the first out of the inning, he let the Twins score a run on back-to-back hits. Ozzie Guillen didn’t let Takatsu hang around, pulling him in favor of Damaso Marte, who retired the two hitters he faced to lock down the win. Takatsu’s final save with the White Sox came in early May, and he was released on Aug. 1.

— Torii Hunter was a defensive whiz in center field for the Twins, winning nine consecutive Gold Gloves, including one in 2005. If you forgot just how skilled he was out there, you got to see a couple reasons why he’s got such an impressive trophy case in this game. He used his hose to nab Scott Podsednik trying to score on a Carl Everett fly ball in the first inning, a terrific throw that helped keep this game scoreless for five and a half innings. He made a great leaping catch at the wall to prevent the White Sox from growing their lead in the sixth.

— Joe Crede extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a pair of hits, including a go-ahead double in the fifth inning. Crede’s streak ended up lasting 14 games. He hit .408/.442/.653 with eight extra-base hits and eight RBIs during that stretch.

— Brad Radke ended up getting knocked around the first time he faced off against the White Sox in 2005, giving up five earned runs. But for the better part of that outing, he kept the South Side offense quiet. Same thing in this one, where he ended up giving up three runs on 11 hits. But he hung around for eight innings — a complete-game effort in a loss — and logged a quality start. Radke had a 4.73 ERA in 36 career starts against the White Sox.

Since you been gone

While #SoxRewind is extensive, it doesn’t include all 162 regular-season contests, meaning we’re going to be skipping over some games. So what’d we miss since last time?

April 14, 2005: Paul Konerko hit a three-run homer, but the White Sox couldn’t overcome the pair of crooked numbers the Indians hung on Hernandez and Neal Cotts. A four-run bottom of the first and a three-run bottom of the sixth added up to trouble. White Sox lose, 8-6, fall to 6-3.

April 15, 2005: Jon Garland was good, allowing just two runs in his seven innings against the Mariners. The bullpen faltered a bit trying to close things out in the ninth, but six White Sox runs — including homers by Jermaine Dye and Juan Uribe — were enough. White Sox win, 6-4, improve to 7-3.

April 16, 2005: Mark Buehrle was outstanding again, turning in one of the most impressive performances he ever had: a career-high 12 strikeouts and nine innings of one-run ball against the Mariners — in 99 minutes. He threw more pitches, 106, then the number of minutes played. Amazing. Adam Hoge waxed poetic on this one. White Sox win, 2-1, improve to 8-3.

April 17, 2005: A pair of first-inning homers by his old team wasn’t a good sign for Freddy Garcia, but the two singles that accounted for three runs in a busy fifth were what doomed his squad this day. White Sox lose, 5-4, drop to 8-4.

April 18, 2005: Everett hit a pair of home runs off Kyle Lohse, including a game-winning shot that broke a 3-all tie in the sixth. Everett’s power made up for an ugly fifth inning from Jose Contreras that featured runs scoring on a balk and a wild pitch. White Sox win 5-4, improve to 9-4.

Next up

#SoxRewind rolls on Tuesday, when you can catch the April 20, 2005, game against the Tigers, starting at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago. Big days (and big flies) for both Crede and Jermaine Dye.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

When They Were Prospects: Joe Crede

When They Were Prospects: Joe Crede

Joe Crede celebrated his 40th birthday just days ago. It seems odd… the image of a youthful Crede during the 2005 Championship run is etched in the minds of White Sox fans - or at least this White Sox fan – forever. 

He was a fantastic defender; he should have won at least one Gold Glove. He did win a Silver Slugger in 2006. He was an All-Star in 2008. He would’ve surely collected a handful of more accolades had his back not given out on him.

Crede was drafted in the fifth round of the 1996 draft out of Fatima High School in Westphalia, Missouri. He burst onto the prospect scene in 1998 when he just missed a Carolina League triple crown with Winston-Salem, hitting .315/.387/.514 with 20 HR and 88 RBI in 137 games. The only category in which he didn’t pace the league was home runs; he finished third, two behind the leader.  

Entering 1999 he was Baseball America’s 46th ranked prospect, and after injuries derailed his season he was still a top-100 prospect entering 2000 (he was No. 96). That season, he tore up the Southern League hitting .306/.384/.490 with 21 HR and 94 RBI at Birmingham, earning him a seven-game taste of the Majors at the end of the season.

Crede skyrocketed up the Baseball America top 100 prospect list entering 2001. Notables listed below:

33. Adam Dunn

36. Joe Crede

40. Jake Peavy

42. Albert Pujols

91. Miguel Cabrera

94. Juan Uribe

Following brief stints with the Sox in 2001 and 2002, he finally stuck with the club for a full season in 2003, providing excellent defense as well as 19 home runs. Two years later he was a World Series champion and could have easily taken home World Series MVP honors, collecting at least one hit in all four games and adding a pair of home runs.

Crede recorded career highs of 30 HR and 94 RBI in 2006, but that was the last time he appeared in 100 games. Back issues cut his career short as he finished up with Minnesota in 2009. 

An underappreciated player with a knack for clutch hits, Crede finished with 140 home runs; reaching 20 on three occasions. His glove, however may have been his best asset. Or was it his singing voice?  With Crede on the team, White Sox fans never stopped believing

Flashback Friday: Get ready for Opening Day with this throwback Cubs-Sox showdown

Flashback Friday: Get ready for Opening Day with this throwback Cubs-Sox showdown

Opening Day can't get here soon enough.

So we decided to get an early start on the 2018 season. Real early. Like 17 years too early.

We busted out some old MLB Showdown cards from 2001 and had a Crosstown clash Friday afternoon at NBC Sports Chicago headquarters.

The Cubs, the home team despite our American League rules, sent out this starting lineup:

1. Eric Young, 2B
2. Bill Mueller, 3B
3. Mark Grace, 1B
4. Sammy Sosa, RF
5. Corey Patterson, CF
6. Rondell White, LF
7. Ricky Gutierrez, SS
8. Todd Hundley, DH
9. Joe Girardi, C

Kerry Wood, P

The White Sox, meanwhile, countered with this stacked lineup:

1. Jose Valentin, SS
2. Ray Durham, 2B
3. Frank Thomas, DH
4. Magglio Ordonez, RF
5. Charles Johnson, C
6. Paul Konerko, 1B
7. Carlos Lee, LF
8. Chris Singleton, CF
9. Joe Crede, 3B

James Baldwin, P

For the uninitiated, MLB Showdown's rules are pretty simple. Each pitcher has a "control" number, and each batter has an "on-base" number. In every at-bat, the pitcher rolls the 20-sided die, adds his control number to the roll, and if that total is higher than the on-base number of the opposing batter, the pitcher's outcome chart is used. If it's lower, the batter's outcome chart is used. The batter then rolls and the outcome is determined.

So for example, in the below matchup, Jon Lieber rolled an 11, giving him the advantage over Royce Clayton (3+11=14, which is greater than 7). Clayton then rolled a nine, grounding out. And so that goes for nine innings.

On to the Crosstown Showdown showdown!

First inning

The White Sox got on the board early and often, scoring off Wood in the first with back-to-back RBI doubles by Thomas and Ordonez. Wood appeared rattled.

The Cubs, despite matching intensity, could not find the same success against Baldwin.

Second inning

The White Sox kept up the attack on Wood, pounding him for three more runs in the top of the second. Crede had the game's biggest moment, smacking a two-run homer that had the South Siders celebrating and the North Siders reeling.

A sacrifice fly pushed the lead to 5-0.

Third inning

Wood settled in nicely after the initial damage and posted four consecutive scoreless frames after the three-run second.

Fourth inning

The Cubs' lineup had plenty of its own pop and put it on display when Patterson ended Baldwin's shutout attempt with a solo homer that probably went all the way to Sheffield. (He rolled a 20.)

Fifth inning

After all those homers, the game turned into a pitcher's duel from there, with nothing but zeroes on the hand/marker-operated scoreboard.

Sixth inning

Wood and Baldwin both finished up their days in strong fashion. Baldwin allowed one run in six, Wood threw four scoreless after a rough couple two innings to start.

Seventh inning

After the starters finally ran out of card-mandated gas, the bullpens took over. The Cubs went with Felix Heredia to start the seventh, an interesting choice.

Bob Howry had a shutout seventh inning for the White Sox.

Eighth inning

Some more pitching-change drama on the North Side. The fans were hoping for Tom "Flash" Gordon. The skipper went with Todd Van Poppel.

The Cubs staged one more late push, with Grace homering in the bottom of the eighth off Kelly Wunsch.

Ninth inning

Though the White Sox bats went to sleep after the second inning, the lead was big enough for Keith Foulke to close things out. He put two batters on with two outs, but he got Girardi swinging to give the South Siders the win.

And so there you have it! A nice dose of nostalgia as Chicago prepares for baseball season.