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He'd just love to close this book

Lidge is hoping for better results

HOUSTON -- This is what you do when you've given up multiple home runs as dramatic as any hit in October since the 2001 World Series, when former Red Sox reliever Byung Hyun Kim, then with Arizona, almost singlehandedly gave New Yorkers a reason to smile again after 9/11.

Sleep on plane. Go home. Change the baby's diaper. Go to bed. Show up at the ballpark for a workout.

That, according to Astros closer Brad Lidge, was his agenda in the aftermath of the walkoff home run he gave up to Scott Podsednik Sunday night in the White Sox' 7-6 win in Game 2 of the World Series, which came just six days after he'd given up a three-run home run to Albert Pujols of the Cardinals with the Astros an out away from winning the National League pennant.

''The actual pitch was not a mistake," Lidge said of the 2-and-1 fastball he threw to Podsednik, the 14th player in World Series history to hit a walkoff home run but the first to do so after a regular season in which he did not hit a homer. ''I threw the pitch where I wanted it. He did a great job, actually, in that situation. I kind of tip my hat to him.

''I don't look at it as something I did wrong as much as it was something he did right. If I had that pitch again, the one I made to Pujols, I wish I had that pitch back. But the one to [Podsednik], I'd throw that pitch to him 10 out of 10 times. That's the pitch I want in that situation."

Lidge said he has struggled with failure in the past.

''You go through situations where you have back-to-back bad games or three in a row, but it always stops," he said. ''It always does. Unfortunately the timing of it is magnified for me. That's unfortunate.

''But like I said, I'm not planning on changing anything. I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing and the next time out, we're going to have some success."

Clubhouse leader Jeff Bagwell was asked what he does when Lidge struggles.

''Pat him on the back and say, 'No big deal, whatever,' " Bagwell said. ''I mean, that's the job of a closer. There are times you're going to have bad times. Everybody wrote off Mariano Rivera when he gave up a couple of saves to the Red Sox and he [had] a pretty good year.

''I know this is a big stage and a big situation, but Brad Lidge is a hell of a closer and I want him on the mound in the same situation -- not that situation, I'll take a lead, or the same, either one. I've got the utmost confidence in him. He'll be fine."

Dye fesses up

Yes, Jermaine Dye said, he knew the ball hit his bat, not his hand, when plate umpire Jeff Nelson ruled otherwise and awarded him first base as a hit batsman in the seventh inning, one batter before Paul Konerko hit a grand slam. ''I wasn't going to say anything," he said. Dye, asked if he was surprised that Astros catcher Brad Ausmus and manager Phil Garner didn't argue their case, shrugged. ''What can they argue about?" he said. ''The only other thing they could have done was check the ball. I heard they tried to do that and the umpire wouldn't let them do that [it had already been thrown out, Garner said]. Whatever, it was unfortunate but it kind of helped us." Asked if he had to think to shake his hand in apparent pain when Nelson made his call, Dye said, ''You want to do something just to keep everyone guessing till the replays start popping up." . . . White Sox reserve Geoff Blum, who spent two seasons in Houston (2002-03), on the claim by Astros righthander Roy Oswalt that when he was younger, the pain in his sore shoulder disappeared after receiving an electric shock while working on his car: ''He swears by it. Maybe he invented a new treatment. You plug yourself into a car battery and win 20 games."

Hairy situation

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he went to Astros second baseman Craig Biggio and apologized for an incident at US Cellular Field in which a spectator apparently pulled the hair of Biggio's wife during Game 2. (The spectator was apprehended by ballpark security.) ''I wish they brought that guy to the clubhouse so Biggio could kick his butt," said Guillen. ''I told the police, 'Don't bring him to jail, bring him to me in the clubhouse.' That's not a fan. When you hit a girl or a lady, that's not a man. Not just because it was Biggio's wife, that's the same for anybody."

Ole for Ozzie

Guillen entertained writers with tales of how he goes to bullfights in his native Venezuela with countrymen (and Phillies teammates) Ugie Urbina and Bobby Abreu. He grew defensive when someone questioned his description of bullfighting as an ''art," sneering at Americans who fuss over ''deer hunting." . . . Guillen drew laughs when asked the ages of his sons -- Ozzie Jr., Oney, and Ozney -- and gave a panicked look to MLB PR executive Phyllis Merhige. ''Oh, God," he said. ''I know Ozzie is old enough to go to the bar and drink. ''It's 21, 19 -- 21, 20, and 13." . . . Greg Grenske, the agent for Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez, said Ramirez survived yesterday's torrential rains in South Florida, but that the weather has likely pushed back Ramirez's planned sitdown with team owner John W. Henry.

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