Alejandro De Aza stood in the box for about 10 seconds after Manuel Corpas drilled him in the hip to start the eighth inning. He believed the pitch was ordered, and he mulled over the event long enough to catch the attention of home plate umpire Bill Miller, who, in turn, had a prolonged dialogue with Dale Sveum and the Cubs' bench afterward.
It did take place right after Alex Rios tried to steal in the bottom of the seventh with the Sox leading 6-0. It helped the Sox stay out of a double play when A.J. Pierzynski grounded to second, and Rios came around to score on Alexei Ramirez's single.
That's one of the sillier unwritten rules in the game, especially since the Sox led by six runs at the time. If you recall, that's the exact same amount of runs the Cubs scored in the seventh inning on Monday to blow the game open. A running Rios could be a sign of respect, if the Sox think the Cubs' offense is good enough that lead-padding is required, and since the Cubs don't have tails, there's no easy way to tell when they're submitting.
But maybe there was also some lingering resentment over Jake Peavy's comments about the Cubs after the 2-1 loss on Tuesday:
"I don’t mean any disrespect, but a team playing the way the Cubs have been playing, we got to beat those teams. Please don’t take that out of context because the Cubs are a big-league team, and you got to show up every night because any team can beat anybody. But teams that we feel we should beat that aren’t playing that well, we got to show up and take advantage of these opportunities."
To a civilian like myself, there's nothing objectionable about these comments. But I didn't see anything wrong with Rios running, so I might not know anything. And given how heavily he prefaced it, it seems like he knew it could get him in trouble no matter what. Dale Sveum said he understood the reasoning behind Peavy's comments, and David DeJesus said it didn't matter, but maybe Rios' supposed faux pas was a bridge too far.
Either way, the hit-by-pitch allowed De Aza to reach for the fourth time on the evening, along with a single and two walks. His OBP bounced back to .374, which is terrific. And it gives people something to talk about as the BP Crosstown Cup scrambles for relevance, and some people are probably happy about that, too, I guess.
On the subject of non-championship trophies for interleague play, MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince realized that the trophy the Indians and Reds supposedly played for -- the Ohio Cup -- hadn't been seen in quite some time. So he went to great lengths to track it down, resulting in a chilling tale for all.
That's the diagnosis that Adam Dunn and Jeff Manto decided upon in response to his mini-slump (they're all mini-slumps compared to last season). Sure enough, with runners on second and third, Dunn was able to reach out and poke an outside pitch to left field for an RBI single.
Even though Eduardo Escobar played a great game in his place on Wednesday night, it appears Orlando Hudson will return to the lineup on Friday. That's hard to stomach from a performance perspective, but it's probably best for Ventura to keep his word. Hopefully, Ventura hasn't made any calls for Saturday and Sunday yet.
Also, Ventura called Escobar "Escy," which is as awkward to hear as it is to say.
And I thought this was interesting: