Cubs 6, White Sox 3
WHAT WENT RIGHT
- Soriano DH’ed! Soriano DH’ed!
- The Cubs put together a two-out rally in the 3rd, scoring twice on a solid single by Starlin Castro. Castro then swiped second on a pitch out.
- The Castro Show continued in the 6th with a solo shot to tie the game. A few minutes later, Carlos Pena gave the Cubs the lead with a three-run bomb.
- Carlos Zambrano battled through eight innings for his sixth win of the season. Zambrano struck out five, including Adam Dunn three times.
- Aramis Ramirez had his glove working tonight. He made two excellent plays on hard-hit grounders, turning one of them into a double play.
- Carlos Marmol navigated some 9th inning trouble to notch his 15th save.
WHAT WENT WRONG
- The Cubs gave up a cheap run in the bottom of the 1st when Carlos Quentin cued a weak RBI single to RF. The next two runs certainly weren’t cheap, as Paul Konerko jacked yet another homer. That’s 20 for Konerko if you’re scoring at home.
- The Cubs knocked out starter Gavin Floyd, but did next to nothing against the Sox bullpen.
- D.J. LeMahieu continues to look overmatched at the plate.
- Comcast gave us Len and Bob instead of Hawk and Steve. In the 3rd inning we were treated to a vanilla interview with GM Jim Hendry. Len and Bob tossed him a few softball questions that weren’t even worthy of a high school broadcaster. For example: “What do general managers talk about when they get together before a game?” “Can you think of a faster player than Tony Campana?” Riveting.
The annual Cubs-Sox series usually gets me thinking about players who have suited up for both Chicago teams. We all remember the obvious two-timers (George Bell, Lance Johnson, Vance Law, Ron Santo, Sammy Sosa, Steve Stone, and Steve Trout), but here’s a quick look at a few you may have forgotten:
- Jaime Navarro—Navarro racked up lots of innings, but most of them were bad. As a Cub in 1996, he led the NL in hits allowed. The next year he did the same thing for the Sox (in the AL of course). Navarro frequently looked like he was throwing batting practice.
- Ron Hassey—A spare part in the Rick Sutcliffe deal, Hassey was a nice weapon off the bench in 1984, hitting .333 in limited action. The portly C/1B moved to the south side in 1986 and racked up even better numbers that season. One year later, he was straddling the Mendoza Line.
- Tom Gordon—“Flash” was a hammer out of the Cubs 2001 bullpen, punching out 67 batters in only 45 innings. Unfortunately, an injury cut his season short. In 2003, he took his arsenal across town and logged 74 solid innings for the Sox. Did you know that Gordon hung around the Majors for 21 seasons?
- Jay Johnstone—When we were kids, Johnstone was my neighbor’s favorite player. Looking at his career, I’m not sure why. Johnstone didn’t hit a lick for the Cubs or the Sox. For what it’s worth, he did have a couple decent seasons for the Phillies in the 1970s.
- Matt Karchner—In 1998, the Cubs were looking for bullpen help to solidify their playoff run. They decided to acquire Karchner from the White Sox in exchange for prospect pitcher Jon Garland. As I’m sure you remember, the Cubs got the short straw in this deal. Karchner was completely rotten, and Garland has gone on to a respectable ML career. He spent eight seasons in the Sox rotation and piled up a ton of league-average innings, which isn’t too bad.
- Steve Christmas—How can you not love that name? Too bad Luke Easter wasn’t available.
NOT MY CUP OF TEA
I have to admit, the “Crosstown Classic” does very little for me. It really brings out the worst in both fan bases, and I simply can’t stand watching Juan Pierre play baseball. Seriously, how can a Major League team play such a crappy hitter in LF? It isn’t 1963.
In case you were wondering, the Cubs were 82-80 in 1963. Ron Santo and Billy Williams tied for the team lead with 25 homers. Dick Ellsworth went 22-10 with a 2.11 ERA. I’d give my left arm for 82 wins this year.
OK, maybe not.
Stars of the Game
Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)
1st Star – Starlin Castro (.282 WPA)
2nd Star – Alfonso Soriano (.242 WPA)
3rd Star – Carlos Zambrano (.131 WPA)
Cubs Hitting: +.323 WPA
Cubs Pitching: +.177 WPA