Double-play ball, strike outs haunt Cubs
Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.55 ERA) turned in his third consecutive stellar out, extending his scoreless innings streak to 22 1/3 by holding the Chicago White Sox to just five hits with no walks and seven punch-outs in Friday’s Crosstown Classic series opener.
Both pitchers brought their best to the mound and held their own, but it would be the South Siders who would steal Game 1 of this three-game set at Wrigley Field by the final score of 1-0.
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The White Sox, who have struggled in nearly every possible category on both offense and defense, turned a handful of double-plays today to limit the little damage Cubs hitters were able to do.
Rodon (3-2, 3.80 ERA) held the Cubs to only two hits in six innings but managed to issue six walks and six strikeouts.
Former Cub utility man, Emilio Bonifacio entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter for White Sox starter, Carlos Rodon. Bonifacio would end up being hit by a pitch that was delivered by reliever Hector Rondon, who was called on to take over for Hendricks.
Bonifacio later stole second base, but once the replay slowed down the footage, it was shown that shortstop Starlin Castro was able to tag him on the arm before his back leg touched the bag.
The Cubs (46-39) had themselves and opportunity to grab the lead earlier in the game but fell victim to yet another double-play. Hendricks recorded his team’s first hit of the game with one out during the bottom half of the third inning and found himself in scoring position after advancing on a passed ball by catcher Tyler Flowers with Addison Russell in the batter’s box.
Russell soon took first base on a free pass with lead-off man, Dexter Fowler due up next.
Fowler would send the third pitch of the at-bat out to right field where a diving Avisail Garcia made a fantastic grab. Garcia let the ball get away from him when he pulled it from his glove, hoping to double off Russell, who was trying to make his way back to first base.
Garcia’s throw to got away from the man covering first, leaving it up to Flower to field the ball and make the toss over to Alexei Ramirez to double off Hendricks, who was standing on third unsure of the ruling.
The strikeouts, on the other hand, were another issue aside from the double-plays. Today against the White Sox (40-44), the North Siders whiffed a total 12 times compared to the visiting team’s five.