When John Danks gave up a one out double to Alfonso Soriano in the 5th inning, he hadn’t allowed a baserunner. After that, Danks didn’t fall apart, but he looked noticeably less sharp. A “rough” 6th inning was the only true blip on his pitching performance Saturday night, as he was removed in the 7th after throwing only 83 pitches and allowing no runs. It was the Sox bats that did the most talking, scoring 7 runs and leading the team to victory. Win streak, y’all.
White Sox (20-21): 7
Cubs (15-25): 4
Dayan Viciedo hit well enough to become a suspect in the Paul Konerko beaning. “Cui bono?” you must ask. Dayan was set to be relegated to the bench this series, but stepped in after Paulie was removed following a splitter to the eye in Friday afternoon’s game. Tank made the most of the starting bid Saturday, knocking in the Sox first 3 runs. One in the first, driving De Aza home with a hard single to center and two more in the 4th floating a homerun into the basket in left center. Wrigley’s favorite, A.J. Pierzynski would follow with a homerun of his own. They call that “back to back” in the baseball biz.
Dempster lasted nearly as long as Danks, but a bit more roughly. He once again failed to earn the win, but this time it was his own doing. 4 runs on 7 hits with 3 walks (all to Adam Dunn) for the guy with the wiggly glove, who put in 6 innings of work.
Then came an interesting 8th inning for the Cubs bullpen. James Russell opted to pitch to Adam Dunn for once, and Adam Dunn decided that he’d like to hit another homerun off of a left hander, launching a shot into the right field seats. An inexplicable intentional walk of Rios to get to Alexei followed an AJ double, and Alexei would single Pierzynski home as a thank you. Next up Eduardo Escobar hit a groundball to third that Joe Mather couldn’t field cleanly. James Russell would hand the ball over to Blake Parker so that he could face Brent Lillibridge with bases loaded. Lillibridge would strike out, then Parker was removed from the game due to injury after going 3-0 to De Aza. His replacement, Michael Bowden would throw a first pitch ball to walk in a run. A Gordo K would end the inning.
In the bullpen, Nate Jones and Hector Santiago would do their jobs, and Zach Stewart would have a rough go of it in the 9th, giving up a 2 run HR to Alfonso Soriano and a 2 run HR to Joe Mather. Though, if you’re going to give up them, give them up with a cushion.
Plus: That’s a big fat Adam Dunn game, right there. 1 for 1 with a HR and 4 walks. Adam-12 in the house!
Minus: De Aza getting caught stealing again irked me a bit, but really the Soriano blast off of Zach Stewart was really annoying and the Joe Mather dinger just plain uncomfortable.
Dayan Viciedo’s HR that put the Sox up 3-0 was worth a 19.1% shift in win expectancy. It was all Sox from there on out.