Game Eighty – Cubs 3 White Sox 10
WP – Jose Contreras (7-6) LP – Ryan Dempster (9-3) Save – None
Anyone that thought the White Sox were not going to come out swinging after last weekend was dreaming. It was a bad day for the Cubs, but like last Saturday on the North Side, it was one big inning that was the difference in the game. Lou Piniella’s crew lost to the Sox for the first time in seven games after winning six in a row dating back to last season….the Cubs have won 8 out of the last 10 games of the city series. Now that’s out of the way….
Ryan Dempster simply did not have it and that was apparent before Nick Swisher gave the Sox a commanding 8-0 lead and chased him from the game. The Sox scored 7 of their 10 runs in the 3rd inning with the big hit being the third career grand slam by the son of the former Cubs’ catcher. Dempster gave up a season-high 8 runs on 7 hits in 2 1/3 innings with 3 walks and 1 strikeout. For as good as Dempster was on Sunday night, he was equally as bad on Friday afternoon.
The turning point in the game came in the top of the 3rd inning. With the Cubs down 1-0, the Cubs loaded the bases with only 1 out after a single by Ronny Cedeno and back-to-back walks to Kosuke Fukudome and Eric Patterson. Derrek Lee stepped in and hit into his second inning ending double play of the game, his 19th of the year, and the Cubs could not recover.
Geovany Soto and Mike Fontenot hit back-to-back home runs in the 5th, the sixth time this season the Cubs hit consecutive dingers. Jim Edmonds added his 7th long ball as a Cub in the 7th. The offense pounded out 10 hits but walked only twice and could not string together any hits.
Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen had a lot to prove and they did. The Sox made a statement and the Cubs lost one game…. The Sox took advantage of less than stellar defense by the Cubs outfield that featured Eric Patterson in left and Daryle Ward in right. The Sox ran at will on Patterson and there should be a change in left starting on Saturday. While Patterson has been adequate at the plate, his defense has really hurt the team over the past week….and Lou Piniella cannot stand poor defense.
Orlando Cabrera started the 3rd inning with a 1-out double to left and scored on A.J. Pierzynski’s single to left that Eric Patterson over ran. Pierzynski advanced to 3rd on the error and scored on a double down the right field line by Carlos Quentin. Jermaine Dye followed with a RBI single to left that plated Quentin. Patterson threw to the plate, but the throw was not close. Dempster walked Jim Thome on 4 pitches and loaded the bases with a walk to Joe Crede.
Dempster got ahead in the count to Nick Swisher, 1-2, before serving up the opposite field slam.
Ronny Cedeno turned in two defensive gems in the loss and showed how good he can be in the field.
Friday’s loss was just a single game. It always stings a little more when the Cubs lose to the Sox, but it is just one game. Lou Piniella has a good team, one that is still in first place, they have just had a bad week against a very good Sox team and a solid Orioles team. The Cubs need to just relax and play the game on the road….like they do at Wrigley.
Sean Gallagher will take the hill in game two of round two on Saturday afternoon against Javier Vazquez.