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The long way home: White Sox 5, Cubs 4 (12 innings)

South Siders win the series, but suffer the devastating loss of Tim Anderson

Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox
Tim Anderson is helped off the field after sustaining a groin injury.
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox avoided the sweep against the Chicago Cubs this afternoon on the South Side, taking the finale by a score of 5-4 in 12 innings.

Like a pair of suburban dads arguing with each other over who will pick up the check at Applebees, each team took turns during the late innings coughing up the lead. It was a sloppy battle mired in mediocrity, but at the end of the day, a win is a win. The Sox are now back to the .500 mark and remain five games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins.

The fans at sold-out Guaranteed Rate Field were treated to a good old-fashioned pitching duel. White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease, coming off his worst outing of the season, rebounded nicely in today’s game. Cease harnessed the late May heat and put it on his fastball, striking out five Cubs and allowing a measly two hits in seven innings.

Unfortunately for the Sox, Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman matched Cease nearly pitch-for-pitch. Stroman held the South Siders down, allowing just two hits during his scoreless seven innings of work.

Unfortunately, Sox fans won’t be able to bask in the glow of Cease’s positive rebound. All eyes are currently on shortstop/leadoff hitter/team barometer Tim Anderson, who exited the game in the fifth inning with a strained right groin.

It seems like TA7 will be headed to the injured list, but the length of stay remains to be seen. As White Sox fans don their sackcloth and offer up burnt sacrifices, Anderson will undergo further evaluation of his injury tomorrow.

Until the bottom of the ninth inning, the only run to have scored was the result of a Jake Burger error, and belonged to the Cubs. Then, with runners on the corners, Tony La Russa brought Yoán Moncada off the bench to pinch-hit, and the stage was set for some game-tying heroics. Moncada was saved the trouble when an old friend (and possible double-agent) David Robertson threw a wild pitch to score the tying run.

After that, this game flat-out refused to go quietly into that good night. Each time the Cubs took the lead over the next few innings, the White Sox fought right back. Nico Hoerner and Chris Morel tag-teamed for two RBIs in the top of the 10th. Andrew Vaughn and José Abreu answered back with the same in the bottom half. Alfonso Rivas drove in a run in the 11th for the Cubs, but then Adam Engel did the same for the Sox.

Then, with the team out of gas and out of options, Jake Burger strode to the plate in the bottom of the 12th inning with a shot at redemption. On the first pitch of his at-bat, Burger delivered.

Today’s game is clouded by Anderson’s injury, but at least fans can take a little solace in the win over their Crosstown rivals. The team will enjoy a much-needed off-day tomorrow, and Lucas Giolito will take the mound for the South Siders — minus two of their ranks, unvaccinated and barred from traveling north — in Toronto on Tuesday.

Get well soon, Tim. We’re all rooting for you.

Today’s scorecard “highlight”:

  • In the 10th inning, I couldn’t take it anymore. The 2022 White Sox have stolen my joy.
Baseball nihilism