The beginning of the Sox-Cubs series had a promising feel to it. The White Sox got a leadoff single from Leury Garcia, followed by a Jose Abreu single and James McCann walk. Eloy Jimenez got his first shot to show something to his former team with the bases loaded.
The result? A 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. It’s OK, though. He followed his next two at-bats with a single, walk and ... a go-ahead, two-run home run in the ninth inning off of Pedro Strop. OK, cool. That’ll play.
Jimenez broke his bat, but that didn’t matter against the Cubs’s closer (for now). His Bleacher Deposit put the Sox up, 3-1.
The Sox brought closer Alex Colome in to secure the save. 1-2-3 ... no problems.
Lucas Giolito gets the ball tomorrow night, too, for what it’s worth.
Overall, a nice win for the South Siders tonight. The storyline is just wonderful. The Cubs signed Jimenez in 2013 out of the Dominican Republic and traded him to the Sox for Jose Quintana in 2017. This was his first major league game in Wrigley Field. Awesome stuff.
I sound like a broken record, but Mr. Jimenez’s patience is a scary thing for MLB pitchers to see. Now, granted, he does not have any protection with Jose Rondon sitting behind him, but the walk rate is certainly encouraging. When pitchers have to challenge him (like with a runner on in a tie game), he won’t disappoint too often.
The game-winner was Jimenez’s 12th home run of the season. His average is up to .254, with an OPS of .807.
The Cubs needed just one pitch to get off to a 1-0 lead, but that was the only run they would get. Kyle Schwarber took an Ivan Nova fastball over the heart of the plate and crushed it over the left field wall.
But let’s give Nova some credit tonight. He was solid the rest of the way, going five innings and giving up just four hits and two walks. He struck out only one, but his defense was magnificent behind him. Yolmer Sanchez made some impressive plays at second base, and Tim Anderson was smooth at shortstop again.
The Sox got their first run of the night thanks to Javy Baez, famously known as “El Mago.” Baez used his magical powers to overthrow Anthony Rizzo at first base after a Tim Anderson single, leading to Leury Garcia to score from second base.
The Sox bullpen once again looked good, too. Aaron Bummer threw two scoreless innings, Jace Fry faced one batter and struck him out, and Evan Marshall got the win with his 2⁄3 of an inning pitched.
Let’s get the sweep tomorrow with Giolito on the mound! Ali White, who you might say was a bit excited during the course of pregame, ballgame, postgame tonight, takes the coverage on Wednesday: Sox broadcast on NBCSCH, radio on WGN, game time 7:05.