Bouncing Back with a Comeback

Game Forty – Cubs 6 White Sox 3
WP – Ted Lilly (4-2) LP – Mike MacDougal (1-1, BS 2) Save – Ryan Dempster (9)

wflag.jpg ….And ironically enough it all started after a bases empty 2-out walk. Mark Buehrle had given up just 1 run on 5 hits when he retired Cesar Izturis for the second out in the 7th inning. Henry Blanco pinch hit for Ted Lilly, the only right-hander left on Lou Piniella’s bench other than Derrek Lee, and worked a walk. Ryan Theriot followed with the 6th hit of the day off of Buehrle to chase him from the game. Angel Pagan tripled on the first pitch by Mike MacDougal to tie the game and scored the go ahead run on a passed ball by Toby Hall. The Cubs scored 3 runs in the 7th with 2 outs and tacked on 2 more in the 8th to take the first game of the Crosstown Classic.

Ted Lilly recorded another quality start and picked up his 4th win of the year. Bobby Howry was perfect in the 8th inning with his best outing of the season and Ryan Dempster threw strikes and retired the White Sox in order in 9th for the save. Angel Pagan was 3-5 on the day and responsible for all 3 runs in the 7th inning.

The usual sure-handed White Sox committed 4 errors on the day with 2 errors and a passed ball coming from A.J. Pierzynski’s backup, Toby Hall. Hall made his White Sox debut on Friday after starting the season on the DL and played a big part in the final outcome of the game.

The Cubs offense did not have much luck early on against Mark Buehrle. Michael Barrett hit his 6th home run of the year with 1-out in the 2nd to put the Cubs on the board….the only hit for the Cubs the first time through the lineup. In the 4th, Aramis Ramirez doubled to right to lead off the inning but was stranded at 2nd base. Jermaine Dye robbed Mark DeRosa on a great sliding catch for the second out of the inning and Buehrle retired Matt Murton on a ground out to 3rd to end the inning.

Angel Pagan led off the 6th inning with a single to center and advanced to 3rd on an infield single to short right by Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez hit the ball off the end of the bat and Tadahito Iguchi was unable to throw out Pagan at 3rd. Barrett followed with a fly out to right but Pagan did not try to score on the strong arm of Jermaine Dye. The ball short-hopped and got away from Toby Hall….Ramirez advanced to 2nd on the throw. Mark DeRosa grounded out to 2nd to end the inning.

The White Sox added a run in the top of the 7th and appeared to be well on the way to handing the Cubs another loss. Lou Piniella made a very risky call by pinch hitting Henry Blanco for Ted Lilly….but all is well that ends well. With Derrek Lee less than 100%, Blanco was the only right-handed bat left on the bench.

After the Blanco walk and the Theriot single in the 7th, Ozzie Guillen pulled Buehrle for Mike MacDougal to turn Angel Pagan around. MacDougal could not throw strikes and gave up 3 runs, 1 earned, on 5 hits in 2/3 of an inning. Angel Pagan did not wait for MacDougal to settle in on the mound and tripled on his first offering. It appeared MacDougal did not pitch to his defense as Dye was playing well off the line in right with a left-handed batter at bat. With Alfonso Soriano at the plate and a 2-2 count, MacDougal uncorked a wild pitch (it was ruled a passed ball) and Pagan scored the go ahead run. Soriano followed with a single to center and advanced to 3rd on a throwing error by Pablo Ozuna when he tried to throw out Aramis Ramirez at 1st (Ozuna was inserted into the starting lineup after Joe Crede was hit in the face during warm-ups by White Sox coach Razor Shines). Michael Barrett struck out to end the inning.

In the 8th, Mark DeRosa flared a single into right center to lead off the inning and Murton followed with a single to center. Cesar Izturis stepped to the plate and tried to sacrifice the runners to 2nd and 3rd. MacDougal knocked Izturis down on an inside pitch on the first attempt and on the second, Izturis pulled the bat back, it was called a strike but DeRosa had wondered to far off the bag at 2nd. Toby Hall tried to pick off DeRosa, the ball ended up in centerfield and both runners advanced 90 feet….Izturis struck out. Cliff Floyd was announced as a pinch hitter and Guillen went to his pen for Boone Logan. With the infield in, Floyd hit a chopper off the plate, Uribe bumped into Murton as he went back to make a play on the ball, he threw to 3rd, Murton was called out but the ball fell out of Ozuna’s glove….DeRosa scored, runners on 1st and 3rd. Theriot followed with a grounder to Ozuna who tried to go around the horn for a double play to end the inning but Theriot beat out the throw to 1st and Murton scored the 6th run of the game for the Cubs.

Ted Lilly did his job and kept his team in the ballgame. The offense had not given Ted Lilly much support this season and on Friday they gave him back a win. When Lilly was lifted for Blanco, the Cubs trailed 3-1.

Lilly retired the White Sox in order in the 1st but allowed a lead off single to Paul Konerko in the 2nd. Iguchi walked and Lilly threw a wild pitch. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Juan Uribe hit a sacrifice fly to left for the first score of the game. Lilly retired Hall on a popup to short but walked Luis Terrero before Buehrle grounded out to Theriot to end the inning….both walks Lilly allowed in the game came in the 2nd inning.

Jermaine Dye hit his 8th home run of the season with 2 outs in the 3rd. Lilly settled down and retired 10 of the next 12 batters he faced….with help by a very good defensive play in left center by Angel Pagan in the 4th inning. In the 7th the White Sox added a run in large part due to a couple of misplayed balls in left and a missed called 3rd strike.

Toby Hall led off the 7th and Lilly appeared to throw strike three, it was called a ball and Lilly’s next offering was hit into left field, kicked by Soriano and Hall ended up with a double. Lilly struck out Terrero and Buehrle but Darin Erstad doubled over the head of Soriano in left (the ball was misplayed) to score Hall.

Ted Lilly ended the day after the 7th inning. He gave up 3 runs on 6 hits, struck out 6 and walked 2. Lilly might not have been as sharp as a few of his previous outings but he was just as effective.

Bobby Howry took the mound in the 8th and threw strikes, 8 of them to be exact. He retired the White Sox in order on just 12 pitches that included strikeouts of Jermaine Dye and Tadahito Iguchi….clearly his best outing of the season. Ryan Dempster pitched the 9th, threw first pitch strikes to both Uribe and Rob Mackowiak before striking out Ryan Sweeney to end the game. Howry and Dempster faced 6 batters and combined to strike out 4 of them.

Friday was a good win for a team in search of one….Thanks to the Patience of Hank White.

Jason Marquis is scheduled to take the mound against Javier Vazquez Saturday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver