Never a Dull Moment When the Cubs and Sox Get Together – Cubs 2, White Sox 3

Game Thirty-Nine – Cubs 2, White Sox 3
WP – Matt Thornton (2-3, BS 3) LP – Jeff Samardzija (4-2) Save – Addison Reed (4)

It is an understatement to say there were plenty of fireworks at the old ballyard Friday afternoon.

Three of the game’s five runs were scored in the first inning. Jeff Samardzija hit Paul Konerko, Phil Humber threw over the head of Bryan LaHair, both benches were warned, the second base umpire made a game changing mistake, Dale Sveum was ejected, Jeff Samardzija tied the game in the seventh with his first hit of the year, Gordon Beckham gave the Sox a one-run lead with a little help from the wind and for the second game in a row, the Cubs had the tying run in scoring position in the ninth but couldn’t come up with a clutch hit.

And, Kerry Wood announced his retirement after striking out the only batter he faced swinging then was greeted by his son as he left the field to a standing ovation with the crowd chanting ‘Kerry! Kerry!‘ and ‘My Way‘ playing in the background. Wood made one last curtain call …

Jeff Samardzija did all he could to end the Cubs slide, both on the mound and at the plate. Samardzija put together quality start but two of the three mistakes he made left the yard and accounted for all of the White Sox runs.

After allowing only two home runs the entire season prior to Friday, Samardzija served up a two-run shot to Paul Konerko in the first and a solo shot to Gordon Beckham that ended up being the game winner. Samardzija’s third mistake was when one got away and hit Paul Konerko on the side of the face in the third.

Jeff Samardzija allowed three runs on six hits (two home runs), with two walks and eight strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Samardzija threw 113 pitches, 78 for strikes. At the plate, Samardzija was 1-for-3 and his first hit of the year drove in the tying run in the seventh.

The Cubs offense was pretty much non-existent. The Cubs pounded out eight hits and had plenty of chances but could not deliver a run scoring hit (2-for-9 with RISP, seven left on base).

Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a RBI and a sac fly) drove in the Cubs’ first run with a sac fly in the first inning but twice the Cubs had a runner on third with less than two outs Friday and failed to put the ball in play.

David DeJesus (2-for-4 with a double and a run scored) had another good day and was involved in the game changing play at second base in the fifth that led to Dale Sveum’s second ejection of the season. DeJesus hit a ball into left center and slid in safe at second but Gordon Beckham’s momentum knocked him off the bag and Eric Cooper changed his call from safe to out.

The Cubs were given a chance to tie the game in the ninth when Alex Rios lost a ball in the sun that allowed Darwin Barney (2-for-4 with two doubles) to reach on what was ruled a double. Reed Johnson struck out swinging and for the second day in a row Johnson made the final out of the game with the tying run in scoring position.

The rumors started Thursday night that a big announcement was expected from the Cubs within 24 hours. The news leaked Friday morning that Kerry Wood would announce his retirement from Major League Baseball following one more appearance. Kerry Wood struck out Dayan Viciedo then made the official announcement he was retiring from the game after the 3-2 loss. Wood had a magical moment for one final time on a baseball field … and one that will not soon be forgotten.

With Friday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to a season-low nine games under .500 with a 15-24 record …

Jeff Samardzija struck out Alejandro De Aza to start the game. Gordon Beckham then reached on an infield single to the hole at short off Ian Stewart’s glove. After Adam Dunn flied out to right, Paul Konerko gave the Sox a two-run lead. Konerko launched a 1-0 pitch well over the wall in left. Samardzija struck out Alex Rios to end the inning.

David DeJesus led off the bottom of the first with a double off the wall in left. Friday was the fifth time in seven games that DeJesus led off a game with a hit, four of those have been doubles. Tony Campana reached on a bunt single. DeJesus advanced to third.

With Starlin Castro at the plate, Campana stole second. Starlin Castro cranked a 0-1 pitch to deep right center. DeJesus tagged and scored, 2-1 White Sox. With Campana at third, Bryan LaHair struck out swinging and Alfonso Soriano flied out to right to end the inning.

A.J. Pierzynski led off the second with a bloop single to left. Samardzija fell behind Alexei Ramirez but eventually got him to ground out to third. Pierzynski was running and advanced to second on the play. Samardzija then walked Eduardo Escobar. Phil Humber bunted back to Samardzija, Pierzynski was forced at third for the second out. De Aza ended the inning by grounding out to short on Samardzija’s 34th pitch of the game (22 strikes).

The Cub did nothing in the second.

Samardzija retired Beckham and Dunn on fly outs to left to start the third … but a 2-2 pitch got away from him and he hit Paul Konerko on the side of the face. Konerko hit the ground. Konerko was able to leave the field under his own power and was replaced by Dayan Viciedo at first (Viciedo ended up playing left field with Dunn moving to first base). Rios grounded out to second to end the inning. Samardzija threw 47 pitches, 31 for strikes, in the first three innings.

Adam Dunn took over at first in the bottom of the third.

Jeff Samardzija reached on a throwing error by Ramirez to start the Cubs’ third. DeJesus flied out to deep left then Campana hit a grounder to Ramirez at short. Campana beat the throw to first. Castro grounded out to third to end the inning.

Samardzija retired the Sox in order in the fourth.

Bryan LaHair stood in to start the fourth and the first pitch from Phil Humber sailed over his head. Both benches were warned and LaHair ended up walking. After Soriano popped out to second, Ian Stewart walked. Welington Castillo struck out swinging and Darwin Barney grounded out to second to end the inning.

Samardzija sat down the Sox in order in the fifth … and after five he had thrown 64 pitches, 45 for strikes.

Jeff Samardzija grounded out to third to start the Cubs’ fifth. David DeJesus then hit what appeared to be a double to left center. DeJesus hustled out of the box and slid in safe … but Beckham tackled him while holding the tag. DeJesus was called out. Dale Sveum argued and was tossed from the game. Instead of the tying run being in scoring position, it was two down and Campana popped out to left to end the inning.

Adam Dunn struck out swinging to start the sixth. Viciedo and Rios reached on back-to-back singles. A.J. Pierzynski hit a 3-2 pitch to Castro for a 6-3 inning ending double play … 78 pitches for Samardzija after six, 56 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the bottom of the sixth … and Samardzija retired the Sox in order again in the seventh (93 pitches, 66 for strikes).

Ian Stewart led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to center off Phil Humber. Castillo popped out to shallow left. Darwin Barney followed and pulled a double into the left field corner. Pat Listach waived Stewart around but at the last minute put up the stop sign. Stewart just made it back to third safely.

Robin Ventura made the slow walk and went to his pen for Matt Thornton.

Jamie Quirk left Samardzija in and let him hit with runners on second and third with one out and the Cubs down by a run … Cubs’ pitchers (currently on the active roster) were 1-for-67 on the season.

Jeff Samardzija hit the first pitch from Thornton into left. Stewart scored and tied the game at two. Barney held at third with one out. David DeJesus popped out to short on the first pitch and Tony Campana popped up a bunt that Pierzynski caught in foul ground to end the inning.

Jeff Samardzija started the eighth by striking out De Aza swinging but Gordon Beckham deposited a 0-2 pitch into the first row of the bleachers in left … and just like that the Cubs were down 3-2. Samardzija walked Dunn and Jamie Quirk made his way from the dugout.

Kerry Wood replaced Samardzija and jumped ahead of Dayan Viciedo with a 96 MPH fastball. Viciedo fouled off a 76 MPH curveball then chased a 77 MPH curveball in the dirt. Wood struck out Viciedo swinging on three pitches. Quirk made his way back to the mound. Wood hugged his teammates, acknowledged Adam Dunn then left to the crowd chanting ‘Kerry! Kerry!‘. Wood’s son greeted him and created a special moment to end his career.

James Russell took over for Wood and retired Rios on a fly out to left to end the eighth.

Starlin Castro led off the eighth with a single to left off Nate Jones. After Bryan LaHair struck out swinging, Alfonso Soriano grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Blake Lalli replaced Welington Castillo behind the plate in the top of the ninth. Russell issued a one out walk to Alexei Ramirez but that was all … and the Cubs went to the bottom of the ninth trailing 3-2.

Addison Reed made quick work of Stewart and Blake Lalli to start the ninth. Darwin Barney then hit a routine fly to right that Rios lost in the sun. Barney ended up at second with two outs. Reed Johnson struck out swinging on the fourth pitch of the at bat to end the game.

The Sox took game one of round one …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Ryan Dempster is scheduled to face John Danks on Saturday night.

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  • CubsTalk

    It is a New Era….Kerry Wood is gone….half of the Cubs loses have come from pitchers who are on the DL, in Iowa or who have retired….. 

    The Cubs need a leader in that clubhouse…..right now, there are no players on this roster that fills that position…….

    There have been talk that the Cubs might go after Josh Hamilton this off season……really?….Josh Hamilton and Wrigleyville is a bad combination for a drug/alcohol abuser.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Ricketts will not spend that kind of money for a player. 

      And if it is a Albert Pujols/Carl Crawford/Prince Fielder/Albert Dunn sized contract, neither should he. Big contracts weigh heavy on the mind. 

    • cubtex

      Where in the world did you hear that? Cubs are rebuilding and that makes no sense for where this team is at.

      • Texcubnut

        He didn’t see it anywhere. It’s easy to make things up.

  • cubtex

    Zambrano won tonight on the day Volstad was sent to AAA. He has a sub 2.00 ERA. How does that trade look now? Z had to go but for those that were saying what a great trade it was……it wasn’t.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I WAS SURPRISED by the Kerry Wood retirement. Sure, he wasn’t pitching well, but I thought he’d stick out his contract.

    I WAS SURPRISED that Geo Soto is going to have to have knee surgery. Sure, he wasn’t hitting his weight, but then I attributed it to his love for his girlfriend. I wonder how he hurt himself. Some say it happened when he weeded his garden. 

    I WAS SURPRISED that Chris Volstad was shipped off to AAA Iowa. Sure, everybody knew he wasn’t pitching well, but then, they knew that when they traded for him. What’s the rush now? A mere 18 game losing streak? Since 2000 the record is 28 starts in a row without a win. I thought they could at least try for it. This move just destroys any trade value Volstad had……

    I WAS SURPRISED to hear that Randy Wells is headed to Wrigley. Sure, I know they pay him enough millions to pitch in the bigs, but then, they pay Chris Volstad just as much, and he’s not in the majors anymore. 

    I WAS SURPRISED that Blake Lalli was called up. Sure, we need a catcher, but is all that we have in the minors is a 29 year old career MiL with a BA of .178? I mean, Koyie Hill is hitting .212.
    KOYIE HILL!!!!

    • cubtex

      Volstad doesn’t have any trade value at all regardless of where he pitches at. But to say something positive……He is 6’8 and looks like a pitcher….he just doesn’t throw like one :)

      • Ripsnorter1

        He looks good in his uniform, too. 

        The Iowa uniform.

    • Tno13

       “He wasn’t pitching well”? You’ve ripped into him all season and now that he retires you pussyfoot around with terms like that?
      Was he washed up? Yes Did his body finally give out? Yes
      Did he show tremendous loyalty, heart and character? Yes.

      And what do you show? You show that you can now rip Soto, Volstad, Wells and Lalli. And after that you’ll rip hundreds more in the months and seasons to come. Good for you!

      You’re an anonymous gutless smart ass.

      • Brp921

        That’s pretty harsh, and anonymous…

      • paulcatanese

        Gutless? I guess you can’t handle the truth.I didn’t see anything posted that was contrary to that. Ease off, I think you’re better than that.

  • Marvin Ferguson

    Samardzija pitched a pretty good ball game through 7 innings. Of course, pitching the gofer ball to a couple of White Sox didn’t help matters, especially when they included the winning runs. But where were the Cub bats when they needed them most? It could of been different if some timely hits were made by the Cubs, especially when it was a one run ball game to begin with (Corner Lots Baseball) Go Cubs go! Tonight is another game.