Cubs 8, White Sox 4: At least they made it interesting

It was rainy at the scheduled first pitch today at Wrigley, which led to a 2 hour, 15 minute rain delay before things got underway at 3:35 pm Central Time. Things once again went poorly from the start, and, at first, Sox fans likely wished the rain had continued.

The Cubs picked up where they left off yesterday, jumping on James Shields immediately. Javier Baez led off for the Cubs, and wasted no time tripling into right field. He might have been dead to rights at third, but Trayce Thompson couldn’t get a handle on the ball, allowing Baez to reach safely.  A walk to Kris Bryant put runners on the corners for Anthony Rizzo, who hit a line drive blast to left-center field for the three-run home run and a 3-0 lead for the Cubs.

After a Willson Contreras line drive to right for the first out, Kyle Schwarber walked. Leury Garcia then couldn’t get to a sinking line drive to left off the bat of Addison Russell to put runners at first and second. Albert Almora, Jr. struck out for the second out, but second baseman David Bote dumped a single to left to bring in the fourth run. Mercifully, Jon Lester ground out to second for the final out of the inning. This marked the second game in a row the Sox allowed all nine men to come to the plate in the first inning.

The Sox didn’t help their own cause in the second, which allowed the Cubs to tack on. With Javier Baez leading off, the Sox had the shift on. Evidently Shields was unaware of the shift, though, so when Baez ground a ball directly to Abreu, he was slow getting over to cover first, which allowed Baez to reach. After a Bryant flyout to center and with Anthony Rizzo up, Baez stole second. A strong throw by #BeefCastle easily beat Baez to the base, but Tim Anderson didn’t make a good tag, putting the glove into the ground which Baez avoided by lifting up his arm and swimming safely into second. Rizzo walked, and Willson Contreras singled past Anderson, bringing home Baez and making it 5-0 Cubs.

Shields was able to limit the damage further, though, getting Schwarber to ground to second for the fielder’s choice and Addison Russell to flyout to center to end the inning. This marked a run of 12 straight that Shields retired, and 13 of 14 overall. After looking like it would be an early exit for James, he managed to make it 6 innings, actually a third of an inning longer than Jon Lester, who was pulled after 5 2/3. Shields’ line:

6 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K.

Unfortunately, the bullpen continued to be an issue for the White Sox. Chris Beck started things in the seventh, and his command wasn’t there. Beck walked Kris Bryant to begin the inning, and after a Rizzo groundout, Willson Contreras continued his assault on Sox pitching with a 2 run bomb. A Schwarber groundout got the second out, but Beck then issued back-to-back walks to Russell and Almora, Jr. before getting pulled in (questionable) favor of Aaron Bummer. Bummer continued to bum, walking David Bote, and then walking in another run (Mark Zagunis, for those counting at home) to make it 8-1 Cubs, before getting Baez for the third out.

The Sox’ offense, meanwhile, had trouble getting things going when opportunities presented themselves:

  • In the third: men on first and second with two out, but Tim Anderson flied out center to conclude the inning.
  • In the fourth: men on first and second with one out, but Jose Rondon ground into a double play.
  • In the sixth: the Sox scored their first run of the game, getting Engel home from second (after a leadoff double!) with an Anderson flyout and an Abreu groundout. Davidson walked, and Castillo singled to put men at first and third, but Rondon ground weakly into a fielder’s choice for the third out.

The Sox would stay competitive, though, via some later inning hits. Carl Edwards, Jr. began the eighth for the Cubs and promptly gave up a single to Adam Engel. After an Anderson strikeout, Jose Abreu doubled to put men on second and third with just the one out. Matt Davidson followed up with a no-doubt three run home run to make it 8-4. Edwards stuck around to ground Castillo out and Jose Rondon struck out against Mike Montgomery to end the frame.

Then, in the ninth, some more hope: Leury Garcia hit an infield single to third. Trayce Thompson then hit a fly to right that popped out of Bryant’s glove, putting men at second and third. Brandon Morrow came on in relief of Montgomery to record back-to-back pinch-hit strikeouts by Yolmer Sanchez and Daniel Palka. Tim Anderson walked to load the bases, and hope was alive! Alas, Jose Abreu grounded out to end the threat and the game.

Bullet points:

  • Adam Engel was, oddly, in the leadoff spot this afternoon, despite a .163/.244/.213 line. Naturally, he went 3-4 with a double and 2 runs scored.
  • Jose Abreu had another good game: 2-5 with a double, a run scored and an RBI.
  • Willson Conteras continued his hot hitting: he has 10 RBIs in two games against the Sox this season.
  • This is the White Sox worst start to a season, ever, beating out the 1948 White Sox for the dubious record (10-26 for the ’48 squad). They are on pace for the worst record in MLB history.

Record: 9-27| Box Score

 

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Ted Mulvey
Ted Mulvey

White Sox fan, homebrewer, academic librarian. Not necessarily in that order, but quite possibly.

Articles: 309
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Anohito

might as well go for the league record
dont do anything halfassed

MonicaMG

I’m afraid to look up what’s the record

MrTopaz

I went and saw Infinity Wars. Which was pretty good. You might say it was infinitely better than watching this game.

Also, in hindsight, with the overall difficulty this franchise has had in putting together consistently high levels of play, we really should have been expecting at least a couple months of the worst case scenario.

Greg Nix

It would be unreasonable to expect one of the worst starts in major league history. The Sox have been awful but they’ve also been unlucky (injuries, bullpen, even batted ball luck).

I don’t know when or how the brutal play will end, but this team has established major leaguers like Abreu, Castillo, and Jones plus better than expected starts from Moncada, Davidson, Anderson, and Sanchez. They should not be in contention for worst record in history. 

I’m not saying “look on the bright side,” because right now there is no bright side. I’m just saying this kind of baseball should never be expected. 

Greg Nix

Some good news. 

Gutteridge70

yea

35Shields

Any word on Hansen?

ImmortalTimeTravelMan

If they get the MLB record than I want us to do one of those parades that the Cleveland Browns did.

asinwreck

They shoot horses, don’t they?

StockroomSnail

This is the purest misery.

pelfdogmillionaire

I know it doesn’t matter but any thought to just letting Engel hit rather than Palka? 

pelfdogmillionaire

Also wow to Thompson BA I didn’t know it was that bad 

Amar

Lol I never put the White Sox miserable play in historical context. Aside from Timmy and Moncada gelling together, I don’t see how run prevention is going to improve over the course of this season. Gio and Lopez (and eventually Kopech) will continue to take their lumps.