The White Sox beat the Cubs today 8-3 in what was the final game ever between these two teams at Hohokam Stadium. Not surprisingly the game was played in front of the largest crowd at Hohokam this season, with 10,647 fans turning out. This attendance figure is still off from most recent years when you could pencil in a Windy City clash in Mesa, to be sold-out.
The Cubs put one run across the plate in the first inning thanks to a David DeJesus lead off double and a Nate Schierholtz triple. Over the next seven frames the Cubs had a total of two hits (both singles), one of those by pitcher Barret Loux. The Cubs didn’t break through with a run again until the ninth inning, when Christian Villanueva hit a 2-run HR to left-center. Javier Baez hit a double in ninth inning, just missing a HR to left-center as the ball hit the wall just below the top of the fence. Baez and Brad Nelson were left stranded on second and third in the ninth when Steve Clevenger grounded out to end the game.
The Sox scored most of their runs off the previously mentioned Barret Loux, who gave up 5 runs in 1 and 1/3 innings in the sixth inning, which included HR’s to Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko. Dunn’s was a serious mash. The only question being, would it be fair as it sailed past the right field foul pole. Konerko had already homered off of Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva in the fourth inning. As for Villanueva who started the game, he gave up 2 runs in 4 innings on 6 hits. He struck-out 3 and didn’t walk a batter. The other pitcher who gave up a run was Carlos Marmol in the 7th. The current Cubs closer didn’t exactly help pump up his trade value in this outing. Marmol was…well, Marmol, allowing a hit, two walks, and a wild-pitch in his 2/3 of an inning work. Zach Putnam, Frank Batista, Robert Whitenack, and Jensen Lewis all pitched short stints for the Cubs in today’s game without allowing a run.
Welington Castillo made an outstanding defensive play catching a pop-up backhanded on the edge of the Sox dugout while spinning. Luis Valbuena continues to flash strong leather, making a couple nice picks on grounders and strong throws to first base. Jorge Soler made a nice running catch after coming into the game replacing Nate Schierholtz in RF.
The Cubs play a night game against the Reds tomorrow in Goodyear, but the forecast is not favorable. All indications from the weather reports say it’s about a 90% chance of rain tomorrow and the temps plunging 20 degrees off the 78 degree high of today.
Photos by John Antonoff.