Just when the Chicago White Sox get back to .500 and appear to be hitting their stride, they lose three games to their cross-town rival Chicago Cubs. The neighbors from the north dominated the three games, and a rain-out on Tuesday may have prevented them from sweeping the four-game season series. The White Sox played very sloppy defensively, and they could not get anything going against the Cubs’ starting pitchers.
Here’s what happened in the 2013 installment of the Crosstown Classic:
Monday, May 27th – Cubs 7, White Sox 0
Jeff Samardzija was brilliant. The White Sox’ hitters had no chance against him as he pitched a shutout on just 108 pitchers. The “Shark” struck out eight batters, while allowing just two hits and two walks on the evening. Alexei Ramirez and Conor Gillaspie registered the only hits on the night. There’s not much you can do when a starter is dealing like Samardzija was, so you just have to tip your cap and accept the loss.
Jose Quintana got the start for the Sox and he was just OK. Quintana went six innings, giving up four runs on four hits, three walks, and five strikeouts. The start marked the fourth consecutive time “Q” has gone at least innings, and he seems to give the Sox a chance to win just about every time he is on the mound. The loss moved Quintana’s record to 3-2, with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.
Wednesday, May 29th – Cubs 9, White Sox 3
The White Sox offense had another quiet day off of Cubs’ starter Scott Feldman. Feldman allowed just two runs on six hits in his six innings of work while striking out seven hitters. Jeff Keppinger, Alexei Ramirez, and Tyler Flowers provided most of the damage, with the trio combining for seven hits on the day. Ramirez also added two stolen bases, giving him 10 on the year. After back-to-back hitless games, Keppinger racked up three hits to continue his hot streak over the last couple weeks. Keppinger now has a hit in 11 of his last 14 games, raising his average from .177 to .223.
John Danks made his second start of the season, and he really struggled with his command. Danks lasted just four innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits and a walk. The lefty struck out two batters and allowed a pair of home runs to Dioner Navarro. Navarro would later add his third homer of the game off of Brian Omogrosso, giving the Cubs a commanding 9-2 lead. Hopefully Danks can get back to throwing more strikes and getting ahead of hitters his next time out versus the Seattle Mariners.
Thursday, May 30th – Cubs 8, White Sox 3
Once again, the White Sox offense had a hard time getting anything going off of the Cubs’ starting pitching. Travis Wood turned in the third straight quality start for the Cubs, with the Sox only able to score twice on five hits. Alejandro De Aza and Paul Konerko were responsible for all of the offense by each player tallying two hits and combining for three RBI. Konerko’s two RBI increased his total to 21 on the season, while De Aza now has a surprising total of 22 RBI for a lead-off man.
Jake Peavy was on the mound for the Sox, and he turned in arguably his worst start of the season. Peavy could only complete four innings, giving up six runs on eight hits on the afternoon. Peavy struck out three and did not issue a walk, but he served up a grand-slam to his counterpart Travis Wood that would seal his fate. The poor outing marked only the third time all year that Peavy allowed more than three earned runs in a game, giving him seven quality starts in his ten games started. With the loss, Peavy fell to 6-3 on the season, while seeing his ERA balloon from 2.97 to 3.62. Peavy should get back on track with his next scheduled start at Seattle next week.
Record: 24-27, 3rd place in AL Central (4.5 games back)
Up Next: The White Sox head out west to take on the Oakland Athletics (31-24) for a three-game series that starts tonight.
Friday, May 31st at 9:07pm CT: Dylan Axelrod (3-3, 4.21 ERA) vs. Bartolo Colon (5-2, 3.82 ERA)
Saturday, June 1st at 7:07pm CT: Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.75 ERA) vs. Dan Straily (3-2, 5.08 ERA)
Sunday, June 2nd at 3:07pm CT: Chris Sale (5-2, 2.53 ERA) vs. Jarrod Parker (3-6, 5.40 ERA)
Prediction: The White Sox have had their fair share of problems in Oakland in the past, and Oakland is playing very well right now. Oakland is sending two starting pitchers with ERAs north of 5.00, but both Straily and Parker have been much better in their last few starts. This should be a very competitive series as both teams boast strong pitching staffs, so don’t look for a sweep either way. I’ll give the A’s a slight advantage since they are at home and have a better record. Oakland takes two of three.
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