It’s not cruel enough for the White Sox to simply be the worst offense in the American League; they have to inject comical misfortune into otherwise nondescript, run-deprived losses to below-average teams.
Rather than be remembered for failing to improve upon their dismal 3.6 runs per game average, the headlines of the White Sox 8-3 loss Wednesday at Wrigley Field will focus on little things like no one catching an infield pop-up to the pitchers’ mound, more outfield foibles for Dayan Viciedo, or perhaps Cubs’ starter Travis Wood hitting a grand slam.
Fresh off a day on the pine, Paul Konerko was the only Sox hitter who could fend off Wood’s relentless attack on the inner half of the plate against right-handers. Right after Alex Rios was jammed high-and-inside for a double play ball in the third inning, Konerko salvaged the inning by pulling an RBI single to left-center on a similarly placed offering. He again turned on a ball to left for an RBI double with no outs in the sixth inning, only to be stranded there once more.
Wood got through six quality innings with only 88 pitches of work and those two marks against him, a garbage-time run with two outs in the ninth accounted for the only other White Sox tally and a once-piping hot Dayan Viciedo and Conor Gillaspie combined for an 0-8, five strikeout day. It was a really awful offensive performance, but the hijinks were more distracting.
Four-straight two-out hits in the second inning built the Cubs a quick 2-0 lead they would never come to the point of relinquishing, but that was borderline conventional compared to the way things disintegrated in the fourth.
A harmless infield pop-up by Welington Castillo apparently got pitched around by the huge gusts of wind that whipped through the city all day, which is a limited excuse for why it was allowed to drop behind the pitcher’s mound with only Conor Gillaspie in the general vicinity. After another single, Peavy loaded the bases by plunking Darwin Barney, leading to possibly the worst moment of the season.
Travis Wood has been hitting very well this season (which constitutes 26 plate appearances) and Jake Peavy has been a reliable starter this season, but good luck focusing on either one for the next week without reliving the shame of Peavy floating a cutter to a darn pitcher and watching it be golfed into the left field bleachers for a grand slam.
With no reason to try to squeeze anymore quality innings out of him for a lost cause, Robin Ventura pinch-hit for Jake in the next inning, giving way to his corps of relievers he uses when the game is lost.
Nate Schierholtz and Luis Valbuena added solo home runs for the Cubs, who won the season series outright for the first time since 2007.
Team Record: 24-27
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