Game Forty-One – Cubs 1 White Sox 6
Updated – 10:12pm C.T.
Every time throughout the years that the White Sox have beaten the Cubs, it hurts….the Cubs Faithful never wants to see their team lose to the hated cross-town rival. Chicago has always been a Cubs’ town, but the Northsiders seem to be losing their grip on that title. With what happened last October, Cubs’ fans everywhere had this weekend marked on their calendar as some sort of a possible redemption for last fall. But the Cubs could manage only 2 hits against Mark Buehrle and the Sox proved, at least on Friday, who the best baseball team is in Chicago….this one seemed to hurt just a little more than in previous years.
Greg Maddux took the hill in search on win number six on the season and by the end of the 1st inning it was apparent that is was not Maddux or the Cubs’ day. Greg Maddux is arguably one of the best pitchers in Major League history, but he has never relied on an overwhelming fastball….he has never dominated a hitter, he has always been just one step ahead with pinpoint location. On Friday he could not get the calls he usually gets and was visibly taken out of his game….very un-Maddux like. After a brief 1-0 lead in the 1st Maddux went to the mound and retired Scott Podsednik on a line drive to Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez made a very good catch and kept the dangerous Podsednik off the bases to start the game. Tadahito Iguchi stepped to the plate and singled to right center and stole second ahead of the strike out of Jim Thome (Maddux only strike out of the day). Paul Konerko singled to right center to score Iguchi to tie the game and Maddux eventually got out of the inning, but not before throwing 28 pitches and falling behind 5 of the first 6 hitters of the game.
After a 1-2-3 2nd inning, Maddux walked Podsednik to leadoff the 3rd and that was the beginning of the end of the day for the Cubs. Iguchi singled and Maddux walked Thome to load the bases in front of a 2-run double by Paul Konerko. Jermaine Dye grounded out to Cedeno, who did not look Thome back to 3rd and he scored without a throw. Joe Crede then singled to score Konerko and he was tagged out when he slid past the bag at 2nd. The White Sox added the sixth and final run of the game off the bat of Jim Thome when he homered to left off of Maddux in the 5th.
Maddux was uncharacteristically behind hitters all afternoon and gave up 6 runs on 9 hits, walked 5 and struck out 1 in 5 2/3 innings of work.
On the other side, Mark Buehrle dominated the Cubs all afternoon and surrendered on 2 hits and 2 walks. Juan Pierre had an infield single in the 1st and scored on a sacrifice fly by Todd Walker for the only run of the afternoon and if not for an A.J. Pierzynski throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by Jerry Hairston they might not have scored that run. At one point Buehrle retired 12 in a row and did not allow a base runner from the 3rd inning until the 7th with 2 outs when Ronny Cedeno hit a seeing eye single up the middle. The Cubs left 4 on base against Buehrle and made him throw only 105 pitches in 9 innings….another complete game for an opposing pitcher.
The Cubs are now 7-14 on the road this season and have only scored 45 runs in the last 20 games….they are 5-15 over that span.
Rich Hill goes to the mound on Saturday, let’s hope he has a break-out performance.