Game One Hundred Thirty-Two – Cubs 0 White Sox 5
WP – Carlos Torres (1-0) LP – Ryan Dempster (8-8) Save – None
The Chicago White Sox did not win the game on Thursday afternoon the Cubs beat themselves. As Ron Santo so aptly put it, the makeup game against the South Side was “embarrassing” … and Bob Brenly described the game as “downright ugly.” Thursday was one of the sloppiest games turned in by the Cubs this season, and that is saying a lot.
The Cubs finished the 10-game homestand with a .500 record, right in line with the type of baseball that has been turned in by the Cubs this season. Lou Piniella said after the game, “5-5 we were hoping to do better.” Lou looked disgusted and frustrated.
Ryan Dempster received no support either offensively or defensively. The White Sox first three runs were unearned because of errors by Jake Fox and Alfonso Soriano. The Sox first run scored in the second inning after Jake Fox could not catch a pickoff attempt at first base. Chris Getz advanced to second and scored on a single to left on a 0-2 pitch by Alexei Ramirez.
Carlos Torres made the one-run lead hold up until the Sox broke the game open in the eighth and ninth innings. The Cubs’ approach at the plate against the rookie right-hander was downright atrocious. The Cubs did not work a single free pass against Carlos Torres in seven shutout innings. The Cubs managed only two three-ball counts on the afternoon … both by Ryan Dempster. Carlos Torres notched his first big league win after throwing 98 pitches in seven innings and allowing five hits.
The Cubs had only two scoring chances … once in the fourth and again in the seventh. Aramis Ramirez was hit in the hand on the first pitch by Torres to start the fourth. Jake Fox reached on a one-out single to left center. Ramirez advanced to third with one-out. Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging for the second out and Jeff Baker grounded out to second to end the inning.
Jake Fox led off the seventh with a double to right center. After Soriano struck out swinging for the second time, Jeff Baker singled to right. Mike Quade sent Jake Fox and DeWayne Wise delivered a strike to A.J. Pierzynski to preserve the Sox one-run lead. With the tying run on second, Koyie Hill struck out swinging to end the inning.
Alfonso Soriano committed his 11th error of the year in the eighth that put the game out of reach. Gordon Beckham led off with a single to center. A.J. Pierzynski followed and appeared to hit a rather routine fly to left. Soriano overran the ball, tried to put on the brakes, slipped and fell to the ground … along with the baseball. Beckham scored the game’s second run as Pierzynski ended up at third on the error. Paul Konerko singled to left on the next pitch from Dempster, Pierzynski scored and the game was over.
Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging for the third time on the afternoon for the final out of the game. D.J. Carrasco threw three pitches, Soriano swung at all three with every pitch further and further from the plate.
The Cubs were shutout for the eleventh time this season on Thursday, only the Pirates with fourteen have been shutout more than Lou Piniella’s crew this year.
Ryan Dempster turned in a decent outing. At times he lost concentration and he gave up too many two-out hits. Tom Ricketts has a lot of work to do this winter to return the Cubs to one of the top teams in the National League.
Derrek Lee proved his value to the team with his absence on Thursday. Lee’s wife gave birth to their second child on Thursday. Lee will rejoin the team at some point in New York over the weekend.
Chris Getz reached on a two-out single to right on a 2-1 pitch in the second inning. Ryan Dempster made a routine throw over to first but Jake Fox took his eye off the ball. Getz advanced to second and scored on a single to left on a 0-2 pitch by Alexei Ramirez.
Both teams began swinging early and often at that point … it only took an hour and 30 minutes to get to the seventh inning stretch.
The White Sox final two runs came in the ninth inning off of Sean Marshall and Justin Berg … and more horrible defense.
Scott Podsednik reached on a double to left. Gordon Beckham singled to right and the Sox had runners on first and third with one out. A.J. Pierzynski then hit a weak grounder to Jake Fox at first. Fox thought about going home but waited too long then could not get the out at first. Podsednik scored, 4-0 White Sox.
Mark Kotsay hit a grounder back to the mound. Sean Marshall threw high to second. Ryan Theriot made a nice catch, tagged the bag but could not complete the double play … Pierzynski took out Theriot with a legal slide.
Justin Berg replaced Marshall and gave up an infield single up the middle to Carlos Quentin. Ryan Theriot kept the ball in the infield but could not make the throw to Jeff Baker. Beckham scored, 5-0 White Sox.
The two runs in the ninth by the Sox ended a streak for the Cubs. Those were the first two earned runs scored against the Cubs’ pitching staff in 30 innings.
The Cubs have thirty games left on their schedule … hopefully they’ll show up to play every game over the final month of the season.
Carlos Zambrano will face Bobby Parnell at new Citi Field on Friday night.