The Sox Pen is Mightier than the Cubs – Cubs 2 White Sox 3

Game Seventy-Three – Cubs 2 White Sox 3
WP – Jesse Crain (3-2, BS 2) LP – Jeff Samardzija (5-3) Save – Sergio Santos (13)

Tuesday night was really two games in one … before the rain and after the rain. The Cubs and Sox played for two hours and 51 minutes but waited around for an hour and 44 minutes to complete the second game in round one of the City Series.

Matt Garza started the game and really made only one mistake in his five innings of work. Garza served up a solo shot to Paul Konerko in the second that gave the Sox an early lead. The other run off Garza came on a safety squeeze in the third. Unfortunately for the Cubs, Mark Buehrle was on the hill and he was just a little better than Garza during his 5 1/3 innings.

The Cubs managed only two hits off Buehrle in the first four innings. Carlos Pena (1-for-4 with a home run) broke up the shutout with a long home run in the top of the fifth … Pena’s second homer of the year off a lefty and just his fourth hit off a southpaw.

The Cubs started the sixth with back-to-back singles off Mark Buehrle as the rain began to fall. With the Cubs down 2-1 and runners on first and third with no outs, Jeff Baker struck out looking … and the game was delayed for an hour and 44 minutes.

When play resumed, both starters were lifted and the game was turned over to the bullpens. That played right into the hands of the Chicago White Sox.

Aramis Ramirez tied the game with a sac fly to left off Jesse Crain but Q’s offense managed only two hits off Ozzie Guillen’s pen over the final 3 2/3 innings.

The Sox took the lead in the bottom of the seventh off Jeff Samardzija. Alexei Ramirez led off the inning with a double to left. After an infield single by A.J. Pierzynski and a pop out by Alex Rios, Brent Morel drove in Alexei Ramirez with a sac fly to left … two of the Sox three runs Tuesday night scored on sacrifices.

Sergio Santos picked up a four-out save to nail down the win for the Sox. The Cubs put only one ball in play and Santos made quick work of the Cubs … four outs on 15 pitches, 14 for strikes.

The Cubs tallied just as many hits as the Sox but did not work a single free pass on Tuesday night. Q’s offense was 0-for-4 with RISP and left five on base in a one-run loss. Jeff Baker had a rough 30th birthday. The usually dependable Baker was 1-for-4 with four left on base … all of his at bats came against lefties.

Matt Garza did his job Tuesday night and put together a good outing. Garza allowed two runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts in five innings. Garza threw 72 pitches, 51 for strikes. Garza was taken off the hook when Aramis Ramirez drove in Reed Johnson with a sac fly when play resumed.

Tuesday night was the 10th time this season the Cubs have been delayed by rain.

With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs slipped back to 13 games under .500 with a 30-43 record …

Matt Garza started his night by retiring the White Sox in order in the first on just nine pitches, seven for strikes. Garza threw the ball extremely well and sat down the aggressive White Sox.

The Cubs did nothing against Mark Buehrle in the second … and after two innings, the Cubs had just one hit off Buehrle, a two-out single in the first off the bat of Jeff Baker.

Paul Konerko led off the bottom of the second with a tape measure shot off Matt Garza. Konerko launched a 1-0 pitch about 420-feet over the wall in left. Konerko extended his homer streak to five games.

Garza retired Dunn (strikeout), Ramirez (lineout to second) and Pierzynski (ground out to second) to end the second … but the Sox had a 1-0 lead with Mark Buehrle on the mound.

After the Cubs went quickly and quietly in the top of the third, the Sox tacked on a run in the home half of the third.

Alex Rios led off the third with a double to left on a 1-1 pitch. Alfonso Soriano appeared to just jog after the ball and Rios made it to second rather easily. Brent Morel followed with a line drive single to right. Rios held at third with no outs.

Juan Pierre dropped down Garza’s first pitch to the first base side of the mound. Garza threw out Pierre at first as Rios scored the Sox second run on a safety squeeze. Garza struck out Vizquel swinging and retired Quentin on a grounder to third to end the inning.

At the end of three, the Sox led 2-0.

Aramis Ramirez tallied the Cubs second hit of the game, a two-out double in the fourth but Geovany Soto stuck out swinging to end the inning.

The Sox looked like they would tack on at least one run in the bottom of the fourth after Paul Konerko led off the inning with a double to left. Garza struck out Adam Dunn looking and Alexei Ramirez swinging. Pierzynski grounded out to short to end the inning. Starlin Castro made a fine barehanded pick and throw to just nip A.J. at first to end the inning.

Carlos Pena broke up the shutout with his second longball of the year off a lefty. Pena launched a 1-2 pitch well up into the bleachers in right center … it was just Pena’s fourth hit of the season off a southpaw.

Pena’s 13th homer of the season made it 2-1 White Sox after four and a half.

Garza worked around a leadoff walk to Alex Rios in the fifth and did not allow the White Sox to add on to their 2-1 lead.

With thunder and lighting in the background, Reed Johnson led off the top of the sixth with a bloop single to left. Starlin Castro followed with a bloop single into right center on a 0-2 pitch. Johnson advanced to third as the rain started to fall.

With runners on first and third with no outs and the tying run on third, Jeff Baker struck out looking on three pitches.

At that point, the game was put into a rain delay.

After a one hour and 44 minute delay, Aramis Ramirez stepped in against Jesse Crain. Ramirez lined a 2-1 pitch into left. Johnson tagged and scored … game tied at two.

Geovany Soto struck out swinging to end the inning. Matt Garza was taken off the hook after very good rain-shortened start.

Jeff Samardzija retired the Sox in order in the bottom of the sixth … and Jesse Crain did the same to the Cubs in the top of the seventh. Crain threw only 18 pitches, 13 for strikes, in 1 2/3 innings.

Alexei Ramirez led off the bottom of the seventh with a double to left center on a 1-2 pitch from Samardzija. A.J. Pierzynski followed with an infield single on a ball ticketed for centerfield. D.J. LeMahieu made a nice diving stop to keep the ball in the infield.

With runners on first and third with no outs, Mike Quade brought his infield in and Alex Rios popped up Samardzija’s first pitch to LeMahieu at second. Brent Morel stepped in and ripped a 2-2 pitch into centerfield. Ramirez tagged and scored the go ahead run … 3-2 White Sox.

Juan Pierre tried to bunt his way on but Aramis Ramirez made a nice barehanded pick, threw to first and Carlos Pena cleaned up the low throw with another excellent scoop. But the Sox took the lead and turned the game over to the backend of their pen.

Mike Quade sent Kosuke Fukudome up to hit for D.J. LeMahieu to start the eighth. As soon as Fukudome was announced, Ozzie Guillen went to his pen for Matt Thornton. Fukudome put together a very good at bat that resulted in a single to right. Fukudome worked the count to 3-2 before leading off the inning with a hit on the 10th pitch of the at bat.

Reed Johnson flied out to right center. Starlin Castro followed with an infield single to third but Jeff Baker could not deliver against the southpaw and popped out to Vizquel for the second out of the inning.

Guillen went back to his pen and brought in Sergio Santos for a four-out save.

Aramis Ramirez struck out swinging to end the inning.

For some unknown reason, Rodrigo Lopez took the hill to start the eighth with the Cubs down by only one run. Omar Vizquel popped out to short on a 3-2 pitch for the first out. Carlos Quentin ripped Lopez’s first pitch into left. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and Quentin ended up at second.

Lopez intentionally walked Paul Konerko and Quade brought in John Grabow to face Adam Dunn. Dunn popped up a 1-1 pitch to Carlos Pena near the mound for the second out of the inning.

Alexei Ramirez grounded out to second to end the inning.

The Cubs went down in order in the ninth against Sergio SantosGeovany Soto struck out, Alfonso Soriano popped out to right and Carlos Pena struck out to end the game.

When will this team stop giving away at bats? Right now, it’s just a way of life for the Chicago Cubs.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Doug Davis against Jake Peavy in the finale Wednesday night.

Quote of the Day

"It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself." - Eleanor Roosevelt
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  • Tony_Hall

    The Cubs are sinking under wishy-washy owner?
    by Gene Wojciechowski

    If Tom Ricketts has a plan to turn his franchise around, Cubs fans would love to hear it
    http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/columns/story?columnist=wojciechowski_gene&id=6689555

    Come on media, keep piling on.  Sooner or later, Tommy Boy, has to understand that wholesale changes are needed.

    • BosephHeyden

      As of right now, he’s allowed a hall of famer who had outstanding success managing at every level of the minors (one who was only managing so he could eventually help THE CUBS get to the World Series, mind you) get away in favor of a third base coach who did good when there was nothing on the line, kept a GM who thought Milton Bradley was going to repeat a fluke year and was worth every single one of his red flags over going with guys like Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn, and a slew of other outfielders that we all knew would have success that year and proceeded to blow Bradley away, and has tried to convince the city of Chicago, which can’t really afford anything anyways, to spend money on his stadium so, basically, he doesn’t have to.

  • BosephHeyden

    Also, just out of curiousity, did anyone not see this loss coming?  Nothing to do with management or anything, but rather the sheer fact the Cubs can’t sweep a series that’s more than 2 games long.  That streak will continue this series as well, unfortunately.

    • paulcatanese

      I see a loss coming every time a platoon team takes the field. As I had mentioned many times this means that the bench is depleted one way or another. Last night the Cubs were lucky when Quade brought Fukodome in to hit. As usual, the opposing manager brings in a pitcher to negate that hitter and Quade usualy burns a player at that time, as he is completely convinced in the platoon system. Well maybe last night he learned something when he left Fuko in and he got a hit. But I fear if he was pinch hitting a lesser player he would burn that player in that situation.

      I try to figure out why the Cubs cannot sweep a series to answer your’e question Boseph, but cannot as I feel that the total belief of Quade and his platoon system is putting us in a position to fail. Lets face it the Cubs do not have a bench, and a team is only as good as it’s bench.Any opposing manager simply knows what lineup is going against them and adjusts their bullpen accordingly. The Cubs are so predictable its no longer funny.The lineups are a direct result of Quade, and he needs to know that he is not Casey Stengel and the Cubs are not the Yankees of those years.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    There is a chance that Hanley Ramirez is available in a trade according to mlbtraderumors.com. If that is the case would anyone think that a trade with Castro as the center piece is a good idea? I think it depends on how fast you want to be a winner.
    There is a lot of baggage with Ramirez and he is owed a lot of money (11 million this year but he is under contract through 2014) but no one can question his talent. Ramirez also has the one thing the Cubs have been missing SPEED.
    Not saying I would make a trade for him or not because the variables are too high at this point. I just wanted to get a conversation started about ways to improve this team.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Me, I’m not trading Starlin Castro for Milton Bradley. Sure, Rameriz is talented–so was Bradley. But I don’t want all the baggage that comes with him unless it is for free (meaning I’d pay his contract but not throw in any players except maybe Brad Synder). 

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        I agree that Hanley’s value is going down more and more when ever he opens his mouth and pulls his stunts. I do not think that Snyder will get it done yet Rip. Let him do a true Bradley and start talking about himself in the 3rd person and then we will be getting to the right value.

    • Aaron

      It was an interesting question you just posed, but there’s absolutely no way they should ever do a trade like that.

      First of all, Hanley Ramirez is the second coming of Alfonso Soriano. He loafs, doesn’t hustle, and generally looks indifferent. While Soriano has never been slammed by his teammates in public as Ramirez has….they are two very similar players on the field.

      Castro is exciting to watch, because he doesn’t have a big ego…at least right now. Ramirez came into the league as a hot shot rookie with a ton of publicity before he was even traded to the Marlins from the Red Sox. He also came along with baggage, as supposedly he didn’t take to coaching very well in the Red Sox system. 

      As for Castro, he’s been a humble guy thus far, taking to coaching very well, and even compiling a diary that was suggested to him by Fleita, documenting what he needed to work on, etc., to reach his goal of getting to the big leagues. Apparently Castro took this very seriously, and was one of the few minor leaguers that actually put in the time with the diary.

    • paulcatanese

      I was against Pena coming to the Cubs,because of money,SO and an injury,but as it turned out as a person Pena was ok,the deal still too much.As far as Hanley goes I think JH will jump on it because he is owed a ton of money. Seems that JH thrives on that sort of transaction, money thats owed,character issues,and a just an all out bad situation, but JH loves to spend Ricketts money and hope that it turns out.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        If Berkman would have agreed to defer half of his money he would have been paid the same thing. Knowing how they both started off this year would you say that would have been a bad deal?

        Think of it like this IF we can get someone to take the deferred money on Pena’s contract we rented him for less than 2 million for 3 months (thinking the trade would have to happen before July 1st). I know that is a big IF but you never know. Lets see how Pena plays out before we automatically say it was a horrible deal for a take a chance player. You never know if someones need is great enough we may still end up ahead on this one.

        Now if we end up paying that 5 million that is owed to him next year we then are going to be having to get a crap load back just to break even.

        • paulcatanese

          Actually Richard, I think Pena will be re-signed for next year, and thats just a statement not a wish either way. Where we are right now Pena and Soriono are the only legitmate home run threats the Cubs have, and thats not saying much, but its the sad truth.  At this point,things may change who knows.

          • studio179

            I do not put anything past this regime bringing back Pena or a player everyone thought was gone after this year.

    • gocubs

      If theres any way of using some other pieces in the trade and moving Castro to 3rd Id do it for sure.   

      • gocubs

        Imagine if we could get Ramirez, move Castro to 3rd, and sign Fielder….

        Jackson RF
        Castro 3B
        Ramirez SS
        Fielder 1B
        Szczur CF
        Soto C
        Soriano LF
        Barney 2B

         

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        Actually according to Buster Olney there are a lot of questions on weather Ramirez has out grown short stop. I think he is still a dynamite talent there but I would be more willing to move him to center and let Castro stay at short.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Question: can any Rameriz show up to work on time and actually hustle on the job?  

    Hanley can’t.
    Aram can’t.Manny can’t. Does the last name “Rameriz” mean “One who dogs it” in Spanish? These guys live up to the name.

    • studio179

      Soriano in some country must mean Ramirez when translated, too.

  • Aaron

    Tom,

    I don’t know if you’re around looking at the site today, but I’d like to ask you a question about something you posted last night. 

    You said during the Boise broadcast, the announcers were saying the Cubs put them on notice that moves were going to be made.

    Could you expound on that?

    I don’t see how moves can be made already from Mesa to Boise, so I can’t see that happening. Additionally, I don’t see any moves being made from Boise to Peoria or Daytona in terms of players being promoted.

    Additionally, guys that aren’t signed from the draft this year, already  have missed significant time, meaning even if they sign soon, the likelihood of them starting off in Boise is not very probable.

    I read somewhere that 15 of our 29 signings, including 5 of the top 10 occurred during 6/19/2010-6/22/2010…..In 2009, it was basically the same interval, and in 2008, almost the entire class was announced on 6/26/2008.

    Therefore, I believe my prediction might be spot-on, with the Cubs signing around 40% of their draft, meaning just 20 draft picks. If you look at recent drafts, the Cubs didn’t select that many high schoolers, which means that this year’s draft haul will more than likely be exceptionally poor.

    Again, here’s the list of guys I believe the Cubs need to sign:
    Javier Baez *already had pre-draft deal worked out with Milwaukee for slot, which would be around $1.6-1.8 million
    Dan Vogelbach *wants around $1.65 million
    Ezekiel DeVoss *eligible sophomore=difficult sign
    Tony Zych *wants 1st round money
    Neftali Rosario *unknown what he wants
    Tayler Scott *already said he’ll sign, but got lit up against tougher competition right around draft day in California, so the Cubs might not even sign him now.
    Trevor Gretzky *would take 2nd round money (think $800k) to sign him away from San Diego State
    Daniel Lockhart *supposedly because his dad Keith is a scout for the Cubs, they’ll lock him up….but if that’s the case, then why haven’t they signed him already?
    Shawon Dunston Jr. *scholarship to Vanderbilt…will be tough to pry him away from that one…like Gretzky, think 2nd round money to do so
    Darien Martin *friends with Lockhart. I could see him signing if Daniel does
    Dillon Maples *wants 1st round money to give up scholarship to UNC where he’s set to play baseball and football. Cubs might be able to give him a nice bonus, and spread it over 5 years because of the dual-sport thing, but they’ll only do it if they think he’ll be top notch, and not another Samardzija head case
    Justin Marra *unknown what he wants
    Bradley Zimmer *California boy…unlikely to sign
    Rock Shoulders *already said he’s going to USF, unless the Cubs make offer he can’t refuse….supposedly he has still has yet to hear from them
    Michael Jensen *doubt they’ll sign him. Indications are he’ll stay in school
    Jay Calhoun *this guy would be a cherry on top if they could sign him. He’s a high school two-way player that pitched PHENOMENALLY well this year with 127 K’s in 74 IP
    Steven Maxwell *don’t know why he hasn’t signed…he has little leverage as a senior, and is old at that 23 yrs old
    Ricardo Jacquez *wants 2nd round or higher money, meaning $800k-1 million+. Cubs are doing a draft and follow with him this summer, and will make an offer if he retains mid-90’s velocity
    Austin Urban *wants top 10 round money to sign (where he originally thought he’d go), which means anywhere from $100k-800k

    In case you’re counting, that’s 19 players, which would mean, along with the 12 already signed, the Cubs would have a draft class of 31 signees, for a little over 60% of their class (which, if you recall, is about league average).

    So….because almost all of the players listed are in high school, I could easily see their signings dragged out up to the August deadline. I just don’t see what the announcers for Boise were saying about moves coming soon, unless they were talking about the big league club blowing things up, in which case, there would be an enormous amount of player movement all around.

    Tom, hopefully you can shed some light on this.

    Additionally…one final comment I have regarding the above draft class…..It sure looks to me that the Cubs might only sign 8 or 9 of those players, in which case it would be an EPIC fail on their part, and would make the Ricketts family look even more like a bunch of clowns running an asylum. 

    Here’s the HUGE problem I have with their draft haul thus far….If Ricketts really told Wilken to go out and make the risky picks, because he’ll shell out the cash to sign him, then either:
    a) The Cubs scouting department did a piss poor job of identifying signability and likely demands
    or
    b) Ricketts was full of sh$t to begin with, and had absolutely no idea the amount of money it’d take to sign some of their risky picks

    Most teams in MLB right now have signed almost 1/2 their picks. The Cubs have signed 24% of their picks right now….That should tell you ALL you need to know about Ricketts proclamation. As I’ve said ever since they purchased the team, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

    They sure talk a big talk, but as Tony pointed out with Wojiciechowski’s article….the ownership has done absolutely NOTHING……N O T H I N G !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to inspire confidence from their fan base. 

    I think Gene was spot-on with that article, and I’m starting to wonder if he reads this site, because he’s saying almost verbatim what I’ve been writing for a very long time.

  • paulcatanese

    Neil,on your’e previous post, you had indicated that Barney was now hitting off a tee, If you know,how serious was or is his knee? the idea of being fitted for a knee brace dosen’t sound too good to me, and may seriously limit him with lateral movement. Is  their a clear concise explanation available?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I have not heard any other details. I was a little surprised about the brace after what little was made about the injury. I have heard/read it was a Grade 1 and a Grade 3 strain, so I’m not really sure which one it actually is.

      • paulcatanese

        Neil,thanks for the response,had to be gone for a while and just walked in.

  • Bryan
    • paulcatanese

      I read it also and Bryan I respectivly have to dis-agree. I don’t believe in booing players on the field for their failures. The contracts that they recieved came from management and every ballplayer out on the field has the same arraingement in that they did not make the contracts up, it was that they were offered. If any boo’s are to be heard they should be directed at the people who gave them the deal in the first place.
      I have no problem with qualified displeasure being voiced by fans but only if it goes in the right direction.  In the Cub case the direction should be focused on the owners the general manager and down the line to the manager and frankly I have heard no boo’s being directed at any of them. They are the ones that have created this mess to begin with. I really cannot blame Soriono or Dunn for their actions and think the reaction should be in the proper direction, Management. I know I’m going to get flak for this post. but thats my opinion. 

      • cc002600

        Yea, I understand your point. But when fans are paying $50 to $100 a ticket and $7 to 8 / beer so the players can make $18M / Year, so sorry, but you have to be able to be a big boy and take the heat. This isn’t tee ball.  

        And oh, is it too much too ask of a guy like Soriano to hustle all the time and to be able to catch routine fly balls that my 5 year old daughter could catch ???   Please.

        • BosephHeyden

          I still really don’t understand ALL the Soriano hate.  For what he was when he was signed, he was worth every penny.  He wasn’t a center fielder (like they signed him to be), but at the same time  it isn’t like if the guy has the ball hit to him he drops it every time.  He makes plays a very good amount of the time and, more importantly, the man has a laser arm.  The ball that was hit into the ivy in left center against the Yankees in the 8th on Sunday was a pretty bad play, but at the same time I can understand where confusion may come in when the center fielder (the captain of the outfield, mind you) is also rushing and arrives at the same location as you do, and then proceeds to call the ball unreachable before it pops out of the ivy.

          Is Soriano playing to the money he was signed for?  No, not even a little.  But at the same time,  maybe they should have had an out for the money in a situation like this where he isn’t coming close to another 40/40 season.  I will not fault Hendry for signing him even a little; it’s the one thing I can’t blame him for, because he was the best player available.  It’s a combination of bad luck, aging, and Wrigley’s odd field dimensions.

          And it isn’t like Soriano being signed for how much he was is the reason why ticket prices are as high as they are, either.  That’s all on poor Tribune ownership combined with two playoff seasons that all the Cubs management continue to think means something three years later.

          • cc002600

            You can’t be serious. Do you watch the games ?  Seriously.

            He has to be the worst LF that I have ever watched and I’ve been watching the cubs since 1970, so I have seen a lot of bad ones.

            There are sooooooooooo many balls that he either misplays or takes the wrong route, etc that NEVER get recorded as an error, its a joke.  I would say its not a stretch to say he makes a bad play almost every game, its really pathetic.

            And the comment about high ticket prices and Soriano’s salary was more of a general statement about pro sports. Ticket prices are a lot higher now than they were 20 years ago, which is a DIRECT correlation to the rising salaries of players, like Soriano.  I went the cub-sox game the other night and paid the ridiculous sum of $114 per ticket (face value) for a box seat. You’re telling me that has nothing to do with players making millions of dollars ?  What planet are you from ?

          • paulcatanese

            I guess you must think the price is ok,if not,why go? their is no way I would pay that kind of money to watch either or any other game.The people that pay that amount are the first ones to complain about the cost. Just say no,period.

          • cc002600

            well, someone in my family was responsible for getting tickets to the game in which a bunch of us were to take my 80 year old father to the game for father’s day.  Had I known the tickets were going to be that high before they were puchased, I would have said no. But under the circumstances, I could not, but i was not happy about it.

          • paulcatanese

            I can appreciate that. I live close to the Giants and the A’s but unless the tickets are comped I refuse to go. I don’t know how a family of even three or four can possibly afford the price of admission + parking and concessions,it’s like golf, a rich mans sport.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs’ Kasper signs five-year extension http://dlvr.it/XPLwG 

    • cc002600

      Oh Great. 

      5 more years of excuse-making and falling asleep listening to the games.

      Sorry, but not a fan of this guy.