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Cubs 7, White Sox 3: North overwhelms South

The Good Guys allowed four home runs and five stolen bases, and they fell to 20 games worse than .500

Getting the job done: Eloy Jiménez reached base safely three times during the loss.
| Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to an abundance of power hitting and an excellent start by Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs (49-51) beat the White Sox (41-61) in the first game of this year’s Crosstown Showdown.

White Sox starter Michael Kopech could not prevent the North Siders from making sharp contact in the second inning. After a scoreless first frame for both sides, the top of the second was troublesome for the South Siders. Seiya Suzuki led off the inning with a soft grounder just to the right of shortstop Tim Anderson. Anderson got to the ball, but his throw to first was low, and Andrew Vaughn could not make the play. Suzuki was safe at first, and Anderson was charged with an error.

Next up to the plate was Dansby Swanson, who signed a nine-figure contract (as a White Sox fan, I do not know what that is) this past offseason. Swanson got a fastball to his liking and launched it over the left field wall. That made it 2-0, and the Cubs had more offense on the way that inning. Christopher Morel was the next batter, and he got a slider near the middle of the plate that he did not miss. Morel’s 400-foot blast gave the Cubs a three-run lead.

Swanson was not done taking Kopech deep. In the fourth, Kopech fell behind 2-0 to Swanson, and he threw a fastball on the inside edge. Although this pitch was located well, Swanson put a good swing on it, and he launched it out to left field. That made it 4-0, and given the way Hendricks was pitching, the lead felt safe for the Cubs.

Hendricks retired the first 12 batters he faced, and the White Sox struggled to square up any of his pitches. Early on, the only balls with a high exit velocity against him were either popped up or beaten into the ground.

In the fifth, Nico Hoerner led off with an infield single on a grounder to third that was placed very well. Hoerner stole his second base of the game, and he advanced to third on a fly ball by Ian Happ. Then, on a close play at the plate, Hoerner scored on a sacrifice fly by Cody Bellinger. The White Sox challenged the play, but the umpires correctly confirmed the call, and the score was 5-0. Kopech finished with the following line: five innings, five runs (four earned), nine hits, one walk, and five strikeouts.

Eloy Jiménez broke up the perfect game when he led off the fifth with a sharp double. Yoán Moncada advanced Jiménez to third with a ground out, and Andrew Vaughn drove Eloy in with another productive ground out. The White Sox were on the board, but they were still down by four.

Jesse Scholtens relieved Kopech, and he pitched a scoreless sixth. However, the seventh inning did not go as smoothly. Hoerner led off that frame with a solo shot that just made it into the White Sox bullpen to make it 6-1. After Hoerner’s home run, Happ singled and stole second. Swanson picked up another RBI, as his single extended the Cubs’ lead to six.

In the bottom of the seventh, Anderson led off with a single to center. Luis Robert Jr. followed with a ground-rule double, and suddenly, the White Sox had runners on second and third with no outs. Jiménez drew a six-pitch walk to load the bases, and Moncada drove a fly ball deep to right. That fly ball appeared to be on its way into the stands, but Suzuki had other ideas. Suzuki made an excellent catch to take a grand slam away from Moncada, and although Anderson scored easily from third, instead of the score being 7-5, it was 7-2. The next batter, Andrew Vaughn, picked up an RBI on a soft single, and that was it for Kyle Hendricks. However, that was also it for the White Sox offense that inning, as no further damage was done.

In the bottom of the ninth, the White Sox had some life. Robert drew a leadoff walk, and Jiménez singled for his second hit of the day. However, Adbert Alzolay took over on the mound for the Cubs, and he struck out all three batters he faced to end any dream for a comeback.

The White Sox are scheduled to face the Cubs again tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. Central. Lance Lynn (6.18 ERA, 5.28 FIP, 0.6 fWAR) and Marcus Stroman (3.09 ERA, 3.51 FIP, 2.5 fWAR) are the probable starters. As usual, NBC Sports Chicago and WMVP 1000 AM will cover the game.

Poll

Who was the White Sox MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    Eloy Jiménez: 2-for-3, 2B, BB, +8.7% WPA
    (61 votes)
  • 1%
    Luis Robert Jr: 1-for-3, BB, +3.5% WPA
    (1 vote)
  • 15%
    Tanner Banks: 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K, +1.1% WPA
    (11 votes)
73 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    Michael Kopech: 5 IP, 5 R (4 ER), 9 H, 1 BB, 5 K, -24.9% WPA
    (66 votes)
  • 0%
    Andrew Benintendi: 0-for-4, -5.6% WPA
    (0 votes)
  • 10%
    Yasmani Grandal: 0-for-4, K, -8.3% WPA
    (9 votes)
  • 7%
    Yoán Moncada: 0-for-3, RBI, 2 K, -10.0% WPA
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Jesse Scholtens: 2 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 3 K, -2.3% WPA
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    Jake Burger: 0-for-3, K, -6.4% WPA
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Oscar Colás: 0-for-3, K, -3.6% WPA
    (0 votes)
84 votes total Vote Now

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