Game 3 of the 2005 World Series is one of the more memorable in recent memory. The Chicago White Sox defeated the Houston Astros in 14 innings. The pitching staff’s were stretched so thin that Mark Buehrle — who had started Game 2 in Chicago two days earlier, picked up the save.
In the years that have passed, a rumor has persisted that Buehrle might have had a few drinks. Ahead of having his number retired by the White Sox, Buehrle penned a piece for The Players’ Tribune to address the rumor.
“The thing a lot of people talk about with that one is this rumor that I drank a few beers before I got the save in our Game 3 victory,” Buehrle wrote. “There’s been some stuff that’s come out on that topic, but I feel like you all should really hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. So, here goes….In short: Yeah, sure, O.K. fine, so I had a few. I can admit to that.”
So, how many did Buehrle drink? “It was only like three beers….Max.”
Well, there you have it.
Starting pitchers who are not pitching on the given day are really separate entities from the team. On occasion, they can be called on to pinch run or even pinch hit (especially in National League stadiums) but in reality, this is not that rare.
Still, though, it’s fortunate that it worked out for Buehrle. If anything, it adds to his charm 12 years later. For an idea on how much of a double standard can be in place for incidents like this, we needn’t look beyond the Boston Red Sox.
After the Red Sox came back to win the 2004 ALCS and eventually, the World Series, it was revealed that members of the team took shots before games. That was generally covered positively, as a way to prove how loose Boston’s players were as they were facing a monumental uphill task.
Seven years later, the Red Sox missed the playoffs after experiencing one of the biggest chokes in recent baseball history. It was revealed that some of the starting pitchers would have chicken and beer in the clubhouse during games when they were not starting. That contributed to a mass exodus in Boston and was not treated like a positive — far from it.
Fortunately for Buehrle, it worked out okay. He saved Game 3 and the next day, the White Sox won their first (and to date, only) World Series since 1917. All’s well that ends well and for Chicago, 2005 ended very well.