Judging by the way they play against the Sox, it’s hard to imagine that the Cubs aren’t a playoff contender, let alone 10 games under .500. It’s also hard to remember that tonight’s make-up game against the Cubs was actually tied in the eighth inning, before the Cubs’ onslaught that led them to am 8-2 victory over the White Sox.
Those floodgates were given a chance to open because of a questionable decision by White Sox manager Robin Ventura. Ventura elected to go with Matt Thornton to start the eighth inning to face Anthony Rizzo. On the surface, nothing is wrong with that move. But the fact that Alfonso Soriano, who already homered and Dioner Navarro, who is hitting over .500 from the right side of the plate were due up after Rizzo is what was perplexing with Ventura’s move. Add in that the one player that Thornton was truly brought into face, Rizzo, had just two hits last week.
Low and behold, Thornton got the ice-cold Rizzo on a pop-up, but then proceeded to walk Soriano and give up a single to Navarro. Noted White Sox killer Luis Valbuena then doubled home both Soriano and Navarro and the game was as good as over.
The two bright spots of the game for the White Sox was rookie Josh Phegley’s home run off of Cubs starter Matt Garza in his very first plate appearance at U.S. Cellular Field. Gordon Beckham also stole home in the sixth inning to tie the game at two, after Dioner Navarro inexplicably tried to throw out Alex Rios stealing second with only one out.
The White Sox drop to 34-52 in what’s fast becoming one of the worst seasons in recent memory. Serenity now!
Follow Kevin Wallace on Twitter @kwallace23