The Crosstown Classic is a series always preceded by much anticipation. Even though both Chicago baseball teams are having a slow start, the heated rivalry between the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs is usually enough reason for fans to turn on the TV to support their team.
Unfortunately for the Southside fans, Monday’s game was not the nail-biting, dramatic game they had hoped for.
The White Sox were crushed 7-0 thanks to a dominate performance by Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija. Matching their largest margin of defeat this season, the Sox only managed two singles through Smardzija’s complete game. These came from Conor Gillaspie in the third and Alexei Ramirez in the ninth. Other than that, Samardzija used his 108 pitches to strike out eight Sox batters, walking only two.
As if only getting two hits wasn’t enough, Sox fielders did their part in making this a difficult game as well. Alexei Ramirez (who is usually infallible at his position) failed to cover second on a stolen base attempt by Soriano, blowing a potential third out. Later in the game, Tyler Flowers’ throwing error allowed Ryan Sweeney to reach base after a strikeout. Capping it off was Alejandro De Aza misjudging a fly ball in center which eventually turned into a triple.
On the mound for the Sox was Jose Quintana (3-2). Despite only letting up four hits over six innings, the Cubs offense managed four runs off the young starter. This was mainly due to the fact that some of those swings were big ones. Julio Borbon took Quintana deep for a two-run homer in the fifth. This was followed by Anthony Rizzo’s two-run triple the next inning.
After his departure, Nate Jones promptly gave up three runs in the seventh, putting this game well out of reach for the struggling White Sox.
Even though it’s never fun to get owned by the rivals, the Sox have been on a small surge lately. Before Monday’s debacle, the Sox had won five of their last six, while keeping opponents to four runs or less in all of those victories. This streak included a sweep of the Marlins (one club that has been making every opponent look great) and a series win over the Boston Red Sox.
On Tuesday, the Sox will send Chris Sale (5-2) and his 23-inning scoreless streak to the mound. Sale has been cruising lately and will hopefully provide the arm the Sox can get behind in order to split this shortened series. Former Sox pitcher Edwin Jackson (1-7) will start for the Cubs and has been struggling this year, posting a 6.11 ERA.
At a time when all of Chicago is standing together in support of the Chicago Blackhawks going to Game 7, it is good to see the rivalry still alive in the Crosstown Classic. Hopefully tonight’s game proves to be a bit more exciting.