Game Seventy-Four – Cubs 2 White Sox 3
WP – J.J. Putz (4-2) LP – Andrew Cashner (0-1) Save – Matt Thornton (3)
For the first time during Lou Piniella’s tenure, the Chicago Cubs find themselves 10 games under .500. The Cubs lost another one-run game (11-17 on the season) after Paul Konerko hit the game winner off Andrew Cashner in the bottom of the eighth. Cashner set the Sox down in order in the seventh and gave up only one hit in two innings … unfortunately the one he served up left the building. Cashner was hung with his first big league decision, a loss.
The Cubs offense out hit the Sox, 8-4, but again not when it counted. The Cubs were a miserable 2-for-6 with RISP, left four on base and Xavier Nady hit into a big double play in the sixth. Alfonso Soriano ended the game by grounding into the Cubs second twin killing of the night.
Aramis Ramirez tied the game at two in the seventh with his first homer since June 5. Ramirez also ended the Cubs’ extra base hit drought. Ramirez’s longball snapped a string of 30 consecutive innings without an extra base knock.
Alfonso Soriano followed with a double, the Cubs last hit of the game, but Geovany Soto and Ryan Theriot could not push across the run.
Carlos Silva put together another quality start and received a no decision. Silva left after throwing 109 pitches in six innings. Silva surrendered two runs on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Silva also hit three batters … Carlos Quentin twice and Juan Pierre.
Silva’s only walk cost him a run in the sixth. Silva walked Paul Konerko to start the frame then hit Carlos Quentin for the second time. Mark Kotsay flied out to center, Konerko tagged and advanced to third. Alexei Ramirez drove in Konerko with a sac fly to right. The Sox scored a run without the benefit of a hit … and showed the Cubs how to play fundamental baseball.
The White Sox won their 11th in a row for the first time since June of 1961 with only four hits … four.
With Saturday night’s win, the White Sox won the first Crosstown Cup. As for the Cubs, when will Jim Hendry realize changes must be made? Saturday night was, once again, a microcosm of the Cubs season. Very good pitching, no clutch hitting and errors in the field … both mental and physical.
Carlos Silva did just about all he could and kept his team in the game. The White Sox broke through in the third. Gordon Beckham led off with a triple to right on a 0-1 pitch. Juan Pierre popped out and Omar Vizquel lined out to short.
Alex Rios delivered a single to center that plated Beckham with the game’s first run.
Ryan Theriot led off the sixth with a single to left center, the Cubs’ fourth hit of the game. Lou called for the hit and run, Theriot broke for second as Fukudome hit a weak grounder up the first base line. Freddy Garcia threw out Fukudome at first.
Marlon Byrd reached on an infield single to third and Theriot advanced to third on the play. Derrek Lee then singled to center on a 0-1 pitch. Theriot scored and tied the game at one.
With runners on first and second with one out, Xavier Nady hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Nady was ahead of the count 2-0.
The White Sox took the lead right back in the bottom of the sixth. After Konerko walked and Quentin was hit for the second time, Carlos Silva limped off the mound and received a visit from Mark O’Neal and Larry Rothschild.
Silva stayed in the game and retired Mark Kotsay on a fly out to center. Konerko tagged and advanced to third on the play. Alexei Ramirez drove in the Sox second run with a fly out to right. Konerko tagged and scored as Fukudome’s throw missed the cutoff man. Quentin advanced to second but Silva retired Ramon Castro on a fly out to right.
After Aramis Ramirez tied the game at two, Alfonso Soriano doubled to left. Starlin Castro sacrificed him to third. Geovany Soto ran the count to 2-2 but looked at strike three. In a tied game on a 2-2 count, one out, the infield in and the go ahead run at third, the player must swing the bat. It is better to go down swinging than looking.
Ryan Theriot grounded out to short on the third pitch of the at bat (1-1 count) to end the inning.
The Cubs had a team meeting before Saturday’s game … and they managed two runs. Two!
Ryan Dempster will face John Danks Sunday afternoon in the season finale versus the White Sox.