The penultimate game of the 2010 Chicago Crosstown Classic (also known as the 2010 British Petroleum Chicago Crosstown Cup) was a well pitched and evenly played game, the outcome of which, however, did not please me.
The Cubs starter, RHP Carlos Silva, entered the game with eight wins for the season, and that’s how many he has as I write this recap.
Mr. Silva pitched six full innings, giving up two runs and three hits. During those six innings White Sox players were awarded first base three times after being hit by a pitched ball. None of those hit batsmen crossed the plate to score a run.
In the second inning Carlos Quentin was awarded first base, although I’m not convinced that he was actually hit by a pitched ball. It looked to me like the ball glanced off his bat, but he cried and the home plate umpire bought it.
Juan Pierre was hit by a pitched ball in the bottom of the fifth inning. And, subsequent to that, Carlos Quentin was actually hit by a pitched ball in the bottom of the sixth, thus completing the trifecta.
Just Carlos Silva’s way of saying “Hello”, I guess.
The White Sox starter, RHP Freddy Garcia pitched seven full innings, giving up two runs and eight hits.
The Cubs scored their first run in the sixth inning. Ryan Theriot, batting in the 9 hole, led off the inning with a single to left field. He took second on a sacrifice “swinging bunt” by Kusuke Fukudome, took third base on an infield single by Marlon Byrd, and scored on a single to center field by designated hitter DLee.
The Cubs second and final run came in the very next inning. Aramis Ramirez slammed a solo home run into the center field bleachers.
I must point out that the Cubs “Clean Up Hitter Du Jour” (Xavier Nady) went 0-4 this evening with one fly out and three ground outs. In the sixth inning Mr. Nady ground into an inning ending double play, which killed the Cubs biggest rally of the game.
At the time of Xavier’s GIDP, the Cubs had runners at first and third with one out, and had just scored their first run of the game.
Speaking of double plays, Alfonso Soriano ended the game with a walk off GIDP in the top of the ninth. With one out Aramis Ramirez drew a walk. Tyler Colvin was brought in to run for Mr. Ramirez, and Mr. Soriano ground into the 5-4-3 double play to seal the deal.
In Alfonso’s defense, he did hit two doubles tonight. His second double of the game occurred in the seventh inning with no outs. Mr. Soriano was bunted to third by Starlin Castro, and that’s where he died. Geovany Soto looked at strike three, a fastball right down the middle, for the second out, and Ryan Theriot ended the threat with a ground out to short.
The White Sox scored their first run in the third inning. Gordon Beckham led off the inning with a triple to right field. He scored on a two out single to center by Alex Rios.
Interestingly, the Sox scored their second run of the game while recording no hits in the process. Paul Konerko walked to lead off the sixth inning. He took second when Carlos Quentin was hit by an aforementioned pitched ball. Konerko took third on a sacrifice fly to center field by Mark Kotsay, and scored on a sac fly to right by Alexei Ramirez.
The White Sox scored what would become the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Cubs brought in RHP Andrew Cashner to relieve Carlos Silva at the start of the bottom of the seventh inning. Mr. Cashner induced the first four batters he faced to ground out, 4-3. He was throwing 98+ mph fastballs and I think, maybe, he threw one too many. The fifth batter Mr. Cashner faced, Paul Konerko, lifted one of those fastballs into the left field stands.
In his defense, Mr. Cashner did get the sixth and seventh batters he faced out. So he gave up only one hit in two complete innings, but it was a biggie.
There were two base running plays which absolutely must be included in tonight’s highlights reel.
In the bottom of the fifth Juan Pierre appeared to be thrown out on an attempt to steal second base. Geovany Soto’s throw to Starlin Castro beat Mr. Pierre to the bag by a mile. Closer analysis revealed, however, that while Starlin had applied the tag to the dirt in front of the bag, he did not, in fact, tag the runner. So the dirt was out, but the baserunner was safe.
Ironically, just a half inning earlier, Starlin Castro was called out on an attempt to steal that very same second base. I say ironically, because it appeared to many of us who watched the replay that Starlin’s fingers, palms, wrists, forearms and elbows had already crossed the bag before any tag was applied.
It seems like Mr. Castro is a very nice, well mannered young man. That may have to change.
The White Sox scored three runs on four hits tonight. The Cubbies scored two runs on eight hits.
The Cubs were in this game the whole way, until the final out. That’s really all we can ask.