Cubs 12 @ White Sox 3
What Went Right
- Matt Garza threw a strong 6 innings, surrendering 3 runs on 5 hits. Even that looks worse than it really was–the 3 runs came on homers hit by AJ Pierzynski and ageless wonder Paul Konerko. Other than those two mistakes, Garza looked dominant on the way to his first win since April 29.
- Shawn Camp and Manny Corpas combined for 3 innings of quality relief, allowing only 1 hit and no walks and striking out 3 Sox to seal the win for the Cubs. As rare as the offensive outburst was for the Cubs, it was nice to get some actual relief from the bullpen.
- And about that offensive outburst–the Cubs put up season highs of 5 homeruns, 15 hits, and 12 runs tonight. Everyone in the lineup contributed to the win. David DeJesus didn’t get a hit, but he did get hit by the pitch twice in the 7th (although replay showed the first one was more of a dramatic performance than an actual HBP), and came in to score the first run of that inning. Starlin Castro hit out of the second spot tonight and had a huge game–3 hits including a 2-run homer. In a possible (probable) foreshadowing of things to come, Bryan LaHair got his first start of the year in RF. He made the most of it, pounding a 2-run homer in the 3rd to give the Cubs a lead they would never surrender. Alfonso Soriano hit fourth as the DH, and hit a 440 foot bomb to dead center field. He now has 4 homeruns and 10 RBIs as a DH–a new team record. Steve Clevenger (starting at 1B) and Darwin Barney both singled in runs and scored in the Cubs’ 6-run 7th inning. Luis Valbuena has been a pleasant surprise (for the most part) at 3B, and he continued to pry the job away from the already-forgotten Ian Stewart with another excellent game, putting up 3 hits, including a 3-run bomb to wrap up the scoring in the 7th. Geovanny Soto made a nice return from the DL, with 2 hits including his solo homer in the 6th. And Fast Tony Campana even got in on the action with a hit and, of course, a stolen base (his 24th) ahead of Castro’s homer in the 5th. Tonight was easily the most complete performance any Cubs lineup has put together all season. It was a pleasure to watch, and that’s not something we’ve been able to say much this year.
- Special thanks go out to the White Sox for starting Zach Stewart tonight. The Sox long relief man took the hill to give Chris Sale and Jake Peavy some extra rest. Who can blame the Sox for underestimating this Cubs lineup? I’m just glad we took advantage of the situation.
- Also need to give a big thank you to the wind, which registered at as much as 41 mph during the game. It was hard to tell which hitters benefited most from it, but it was certainly a factor.
What Went Wrong
- Nothing comes to mind right away, and I’m not inclined to go digging for dirt after a win like that.
- Oh wait, now that I think about it–it’s always unpleasant to see the ever-odious Pierzynski have any success. I don’t care that we gave up the homerun to him–I just wish I didn’t have to see it happen.
- Since I’m apparently padding out this section with gripes that are only vaguely game-related, I’ll point out that The Cell was only about 80% full tonight. I can understand Cubs fans not wanting to make the trek to the Southside just to have insults, profanity, and garbage hurled at them for 3+ hours and watch the Cubs lose. But why didn’t more White Sox fans–who love nothing more than when the White Sox win AND the Cubs lose–show up for the game? Weird.
- Your umpiring crew for this series: Dan Iassogna, CB Buckner, Bill Miller, and Dale Scott. Expect fireworks at some point, and not just the stupid ones they fire off after each White Sox homer.