Game Thirty-Two: Cubs 3, White Sox 8
WP – John Danks (3-2) LP – Travis Wood (2-4) Save – None
Travis Wood made the 100th start of his big league career on Wednesday night at the Cell and it ended up being one of his shortest outings in two seasons as the White Sox pounded the Cubs to win the season series … and the Crosstown Cup for 2014.
Travis Wood did not have it on Wednesday and gave up a season-high eight runs on eight hits with a season-high five walks and three strikeouts in four-plus innings. Wood did not get the calls he needs in order to be successful and the White Sox lit him up.
Travis Wood avoided serious injury in the fourth inning when he broke Moises Sierra’s bat. The barrel sailed out toward the mound and hit Wood in the abdomen. Wood stayed in the game but two batters later, after he did not get the call on a 3-2 pitch that would have ended the inning, Gordon Beckham hit a three-run homer and gave the Sox a 4-1 lead. After the Cubs cut the Sox lead to 4-3 in the fifth, Paul Konerko ripped a bases clearing double in the fifth that gave the Sox a 7-3 lead and knocked Wood out of the game.
After Rick Renteria made the pitching change in the fifth, the Cubs’ skipper was ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes with homeplate umpire Tom Woodring. Wood was not receiving the same calls as his counterpart and two of Woodring’s missed calls changed the course of Wednesday night’s game.
Brian Schlitter allowed an inherited runner to score that closed the book on Travis Wood. Carlos Villanueva and Wesley Wright kept the White Sox from adding on to their big lead over the last three innings.
The Cubs offense continues to struggle. While the Cubs put three runs on the board, for the third straight game the offense totaled only four hits. The Cubs approach, with the exception of the two run scoring innings, was non-existent again. The Cubs managed only two walks while striking out 11 times.
Luis Valbuena (1-for-3 with a double and a RBI) doubled in Starlin Castro (0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored) with the tying run in the second inning. Mike Olt (1-for-4 with a home run) cranked his fifth longball of the season in the fifth that cut the Sox lead to 4-2. Emilio Bonifacio (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) doubled in Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with a run scored) with the Cubs’ third and final run of the game. The Sox staff retired 11 in a row after Bonifacio’s double in the fifth and the Cubs managed only a Starlin Castro walk in the ninth inning over the last four innings of the game.
The Cubs have lost four games in a row and with Wednesday’s defeat the Cubs dropped to 11-21 on the season.
The Cubs did not change their approach in the first inning against John Danks and the first three hitters in the lineup went down in order on 12 pitches, seven for strikes, to start the game.
Travis Wood retired Gordon Beckham (grounder to short) and Alejandro De Aza (lineout to third) rather quickly to start his outing. Wood jumped ahead of Jose Abreu 1-2. Abreu pulled a 2-2 pitch into the left field corner. Wood walked Dayan Viciedo (3-2 pitch) and put two on for Ramirez. Alexei Ramirez drove Wood’s first pitch into center. Abreu scored, 1-0 Sox. Paul Konerko walked. With the bases loaded and two down, Moises Sierra chased a 2-2 slider well out of the strike zone to end the inning. Wood threw 29 pitches in the first inning, 17 for strikes, and the Cubs were down 1-0 after one inning.
Starlin Castro led off the second, worked a full count and ended up at first with a walk. Welington Castillo (3-2 pitch) flied out to center and Mike Olt struck out swinging. Luis Valbuena worked a full count before doubling to left center. The ball one-hopped the wall and Castro scored from first, game tied at one. Darwin Barney fouled out to Abreu near the sidewall before he fell into the stands to end the inning. The Cubs made John Danks work in the second inning (39 pitches, 23 for strikes) and the right approach led to a run.
The game remained tied at one until the bottom of the fourth inning.
Paul Konerko led off the fourth with a fly out to deep center. Moises Sierra shattered his bat, the barrel flew out toward the mound and hit Wood. Luis Valbuena fielded the ball but threw it away. Sierra ended up at second and Wood issued a four-pitch walk to Marcus Semien. Welington Castillo picked off Semien from first base after a 1-2 pitch to Nieto. Wood appeared to catch Adrian Nieto looking but he did not receive the call. Gordon Beckham launched a 1-0 pitch into the stands in left center … and the Sox took a 4-1 lead. Wood struck out De Aza looking to finally end the inning. Wood recorded four outs in the fourth inning and it took Wood 77 pitches, 44 for strikes, to complete four innings.
The Cubs tried to make a game of it in the fifth inning. Mike Olt led off the fifth with a booming homer to left. Olt’s fifth longball of the season cut the White Sox lead to 4-2. Valbuena grounded out to first base for out number one. Darwin Barney singled to left. Ryan Kalish chopped a 0-2 pitch toward first. Jose Abreu fielded the ball and threw to second base. Barney hustled and beat the throw. Abreu’s bad decision put runners on first and second with one out for Bonifacio. Emilio Bonifacio pulled a 1-0 pitch down the third baseline. The ball went off Semien’s gloved and rolled into foul ground. Barney scored, 4-3 as Bonifacio ended up at second with a double. With runners on second and third with one down, Lake struck out swinging (2-2 pitch). Anthony Rizzo appeared to take ball four on a 3-1 pitch that was well outside. The pitch was called a strike and almost an identical pitch was called for strike three to end the inning.
The Sox chased Wood from the game and blew it open in the bottom of the fifth. Jose Abreu led off the fifth with a single to left. Dayan Viciedo hit a grounder to the hole at second. Barney was shading Viciedo up the middle and tried to make a diving stop. The ball went off his glove and ended up in shallow right. Abreu went to third with no outs. Wood waked Ramirez to load the bases for Konerko. Paul Konerko ripped a double into the left field corner. And his three run double made it 7-3 White Sox.
Rick Renteria made his way to the mound after Konerko’s double and went to the pen for Brian Schlitter. On his way back to the dugout, he gave homeplate umpire Tom Woodring an earful for his awful, one sided strike zone. Renteria was ejected from the game, his third ejection of the season. Sierra grounded out to second, Konerko advanced to third and scored on a single to left by Marcus Semien. Schlitter caught Nieto looking and Beckham lined out to right to end the inning.
At the end of five innings, the Cubs trailed 8-3 and both Wood and Renteria were done for the evening.
The Cubs managed only one baserunner after the fifth inning. Starlin Castro walked in the ninth and was erased on a double play.
Jake Arrieta and Scott Carroll square off in the finale of the Crosstown Series on Thursday night (7:10pm CDT) at the Cell.