Game Eighty-One – Cubs 5 White Sox 6
WP – Matt Thornton (4-1) LP – Carlos Marmol (1-3) Save – Bobby Jenks (18)
Lou Piniella’s crew lost their third straight for the second time this season in disappointing fashion to the White Sox. The Cubs had plenty of chances to put runs on the board against Javier Vazquez but left a total of 10 on base, including the tying run at 3rd with 1-out in the 9th. Derrek Lee accounted for 5 of the Cubs 12 hits, drove in 3 of the 5 runs and doubled to lead off the 9th against Bobby Jenks. Daryle Ward advanced Lee to 3rd with a groundout to 1st but Aramis Ramirez grounded out to short for the second out of the inning. Jenks induced a groundout to 2nd off the bat of Jim Edmonds to end the game.
The White Sox hit 3 home runs, including the game winner by Carlos Quentin that accounted for 4 of their 6 runs. Jermaine Dye tied the game in the bottom of the 1st with a 2-run shot off Sean Gallagher. Alexei Ramirez hit his 5th of the year in the 4th that tied the game at 5 and Quentin’s 18th of the season off of Carlos Marmol proved to be the game winner in the 7th.
Sean Gallagher was not sharp early on. He gave up 4 runs in the first 2 innings but settled down and allowed only 1 more run over his last 4. Gallagher tied a season-high with 8 strikeouts and struck out 3 of the last 5 batters he faced after throwing his 100th pitch in the game. With the Cubs bullpen being taxed on Friday, Gallagher gutted it out and kept his team in the game after a bad start.
Carlos Marmol made only one mistake, but it was the difference in the game. Marmol elevated a fastball on a 0-2 count to Carlos Quentin that he hit just over the wall in right. The game changing play, however, came in the 3rd inning with 2 outs, the bases loaded and the Cubs down 4-2. Geovany Soto tattooed a ball that appeared destined for left field but Joe Crede made a diving catch into the hole that ended the inning.
The Cubs lost their second in a row to the White Sox and their fifth straight on the road. In the first two games of this series, Lou Piniella’s offense has left a total of 17 runners on base. They are not coming up with the big hit, on the road, when they need it. The inability to plate those runners has a big impact, not only in the final outcome….but during the game. It puts pressure on the pitcher, it adds pressure to the defense and makes a difficult game that much harder. The entire team needs to relax, especially with the bases loaded.
Kosuke Fukudome started the afternoon against Javier Vazquez the same way he did last Sunday night….with a walk. Mark DeRosa followed with a single to left. Derrek Lee drove in Kosuke with a single to right center right over the head Alexei Ramirez. With runners on 1st and 3rd and no outs, Daryle Ward blooped a single to center on a 3-2 pitch….2-0 Cubs.
Ozzie Guillen made a trip to the mound and calmed down Vazquez. He retired Aramis Ramirez on the first pitch, struck out Jim Edmonds swinging and Geovany Soto looking to end the inning.
Derrek Lee reached on a 1-out single that short hopped Orlando Cabrera and ended up in left center in the 3rd. Ward followed with a single to right. Aramis flied out to right but Edmonds walked to load the bases with 2 outs….Geovany Soto was robbed of a game-tying single by Joe Crede to end the inning.
Mike Fontenot started the 3-run 4th inning with the Cubs first extra base hit of the game, a double to right center. Fukudome walked with 1-out and Mark DeRosa singled to left center. Fontenot scored to cut the Sox lead in half, 4-3. Derrek Lee followed with what appeared to be a home run just to the left of straight away center. The ball hit off the base of the wall, Lee ended up at 2nd with a double and the Cubs took the lead 5-4. Ward grounded out to 1st, Lee advanced to 3rd but Aramis Ramirez (hitless in the series) struck out to end the inning….a big run left in scoring position.
With the game tied at 5, Jim Edmonds led off the 5th with a single to right. Vazquez struck out Soto looking and Guillen brought in Boone Logan to face Mike Fontenot. Logan struck out Fontenot but Ronny Cedeno hit a double down the left field line. Edmonds could not score from 1st and Kosuke Fukudome struck out to end the inning.
The Sox bullpen retired 8 in a row after a bloop single by Derrek Lee in the 6th.
Lou Piniella accurately summed up the loss in his post game press conference. The White Sox beat the Cubs on Saturday afternoon. What makes this one hurt more is….one, it is the White Sox and two, the way they lost in the two games leading up to Saturday.
Sean Marshall will try to salvage the series finale on Sunday night. The Cubs are 3-2 against the Sox this season and will have to beat Mark Buehrle to win the city series for the year.