Rick Renteria said Ryan LaMarre lost it in the lights.
So did Ryan LaMarre, except he admitted he broke the wrong way first.
Whether you call it a misplay or misfortune — I pick the former, because he didn’t have a bead on it before freezing — Daniel Murphy’s line drive “double” over the head of LaMarre in the top of the fifth decided the game. Instead of two outs, two on and the game tied at 2, the Cubs took a 3-2 lead and had runners on second and third. Ben Zobrist drove them both in with a single through the middle, and the Cubs had all the runs they needed.
Perhaps the Cubs would’ve won this one regardless. The Sox made Jon Lester work, throwing 102 pitches and allowing eight hits and three runs (two earned) over five innings. But the Sox were held hitless by the Cubs’ bullpen, while Rob Scahill caved in during the ninth inning to put the game out of reach and lock down the Crosstown Cup for another year.
Lucas Giolito deserved better, especially in the earned run column. He gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks over 6⅔ innings, and he might’ve only deserved the first two, when Zobrist singled and Javier Baez homered on consecutive pitches with one out in the first. Outside of his typical immediate struggles, his secondary stuff looked crisper, and he was a lot more aggressive with his curveball than in previous starts.
He probably outpitched Lester, if you had to pick one. He had to deal with his own error, as Javier Baez’s throwing error gave Yolmer Sanchez an extra base in the first, and Avisail Garcia cashed him in with a single.
Tim Anderson tied it up two innings later, whipping an inside-corner cutter just inside the left-field foul pole for a 20/20/20 season. The last column is for walks, and he might get to 30, as he drew his 29th tonight.
After the Cubs’ crooked number in the fifth, Anderson put the Sox one closer. He reached on a fielder’s choice, with Adam Engel helping make the double-play turn awkward. Two batters later, Anderson went to third on Garcia’s single and scored on Matt Davidson’s.
Welington Castillo grounded out to end that threat, and the Sox didn’t summon another one. They could only muster a pair of walks against the Cubs’ bullpen over the final four innings.
Anderson provided the only action when Joe West ejected him in the top of the ninth inning. Anderson threw wide on his attempt to turn two, and the Sox challenged to see whether Baez’s slide into second was legal. The replay showed Baez sticking out his arm, but not making contact, and Yoan Moncada’s brief bobble might’ve thrown off his timing more.
The challenge upheld the original call. The camera showed Anderson chatting with West on the way back to their positions. The Cubs cameras showed West turning to and stepping toward Anderson to continue their conversation before Jeanmar Gomez threw the next pitch. They also showed West doing it again after the pitch, then ejecting him, causing Anderson to explode.
The Sox broadcast didn’t show any of it. Hawk Harrelson simply reiterated his second rule of baseball (“Don’t mess with Joe West”), and the production didn’t investigate the matter further. It seems like it would’ve been in the interest of the club to see the broadcast cover its side of the argument, especially given Anderson’s candor after the game.
Tim Anderson on umpire Joe West: "Everybody knows he's terrible." https://t.co/A4QJslSqUK
— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) September 23, 2018
Record: 61-93 | Box score
And FWSBP (hint: Broadcast Production)
I didn’t see the game, but West is never one to turn away from an argument. He pursues it. That’s the mark of a very bad umpire. He should be out of baseball. Good for Timmy to say what he did, though I imagine he’ll pay a price.