Chicago Cubs vs Chicago White Sox?
More like Cory Blaser, home plate umpire, vs. Chicago White Sox.
Tonight, Blaser was just absolutely all over the place. Lucas Giolito got knocked around tonight for some runs, to be sure, but Blaser was no help. Obviously we can’t blame the ump for everything, as Giolito didn't have his command tonight, but Blaser was beyond inconsistent.
Just as Kyle Schwarber was first-pitch hunting last night, Leury García was first-pitch hunting tonight, and gave the White Sox a quick 1-0 lead. (Spoiler alert, it didn't last long.) I guess the key to winning the Crosstown games is to not hit a first-pitch, lead-off home run.
Lucas Giolito struggled in the first inning, immediately giving up a rocket double to Schwarber. Giolito’s command escaped him as he walked Anthony Rizzo and Javier Báez. That loaded the bases for Willson Contreras as he hit a grand slam into the left field basket, giving the Cubs a 4-1 lead. That wouldn't be the last dinger for Contreras, as he touched Gio for a solo shot in the third, tacking on another run for a 5-1 lead.
James McCann, James McAll-Star, James McGOAT, whatever you prefer to call him, started the the fourth off with a solo shot. Eloy Jiménez drew a walk from Jon Lester and advanced to second off a wild pitch, which allowed him to score as Yoán Moncada doubled him home. Moncada is back! (pun intended) His back must be fine, as he had a strong offensive night with a double and a triple. McCann and Moncada’s slugging helped the South Siders slice the deficit to 5-3.
In the fourth, David Bote answered with a solo shot, the last run of the night off Giolito. Our ace’s final line for the night would be 4 1⁄3 innings, six ER, three walks, nine strikeouts. Gio’s stuff was there tonight, but the command just was not. Tonight was Giolito’s shortest start since April 6, if we are not counting when he pulled his hamstring on April 17.
Both offenses were silent until the Cubs scored one more run in the eighth inning. José Ruiz came in for the eighth and allowed a single to Addison Russell, and then Schwarber doubled him home to arrive at the final score of 7-3.
Zack Collins pinch-hit for Ruiz in the ninth for his major league debut. He put together a nice first at-bat and was able to draw a one out walk. Collins was stranded there as García and Tim Anderson weren't able to get on base, ending the game.
Tonight’s game seemed an impossible win from the start, thanks to Blaser. McCann jawed at him in the eighth inning after Blaser rang him up on a pitch that was indeed a ball. Mind you, this was just one of several horrible calls tonight.
No worries about Giolito, a bad outing was bound to happen eventually. Was it ideal that it came against the Cubs, when the White Sox were angling for a mini-sweep? No. But the only player on the Cubs who was really able to figure Giolito out was Contreras, who knocked in five of the six runs Gio surrendered.
The White Sox get a day off tomorrow, and they travel to Texas for a three-game series with the Rangers. It is looking like Reynaldo López will be starting against Ariel Jurado on Friday to kick things off.
Good night to everybody — except Cory Blaser.