White Sox Take Series
The Chicago White Sox were able to come away with a series win this week after the Chicago Cubs took the first game of a three game set at U.S. Cellular Field. The series was an overall success and enjoyable for the 35,000+ fans that attended each night. Mother Nature was constantly threatening throughout the week, but she only affected game 2 for a little over an hour on Tuesday night. A packed stadium was a sight for sore eyes for both White Sox and Cubs fans I'm sure. Consistent low attendance has been plaguing both teams this year as they both began their seasons struggling. It was soothing to the soul to see that Chicago still has its passionate fans out there somewhere, so I give a big salute to all of you who came out to cheer for your teams this week.
Game 1: June 20, 2011 (Final: Sox 3, Cubs 6)The first game started off with a bang....specifically on a home run from the bat of Paul Konerko to give the White Sox an early lead. The Cubs pushed back behind their rising star Starlin Castro who fueled the team with a two-run single as well as a solo home run. Carlos Pena also chimed in with a three-run shot later in the game - he made a lot of noise this series. The White Sox were looking to get under the skin of Cubs' ace Carlos Zambrano. After a shaky first inning, I thought that every flavor of Gatorade in the dugout would not see the end of the third. However, the veteran locked in and settled down to pitch 8 strong innings. The White Sox were unable to get any more offense going and failed to score in the 9th, stranding 2 runners in the final inning. Gavin Floyd struggled to find the strike zone all night, and Carlos Marmol nabbed the save.
Game 2: June 21, 2011 (Final: Sox 3, Cubs 2)Game two was slightly more dramatic. It stretched deep into the night after an hour and 44 minute rain delay. Konerko hit another early home run extending his streak to five in five games. Carlos Pena followed suit by taking another ball out of the park for the Cubs. The game was more of a pitching duel than anything else, with both teams' bullpens having to get the job done after the starters were knocked out by the rain delay. The White Sox bullpen looked very good as they kept the lead intact, and Sergio Santos pitched a perfect 9th to close it out.
Game 3: June 22, 2011 (Final: Sox 4, Cubs 3)Game three was another nail biter with both teams battling for the lead throughout. Jake Peavy made his return from the 15-day DL, and the White Sox jumped out to an early lead behind A.J. Pierzynski's two-run triple in the fourth inning. I'm sure Cubs fans were fuming at his success. Carlos Pena hit his third home run in three nights, and the Cubs were able to chase Jake Peavy in the sixth inning behind consecutive hits from DeWitt, Soriano, and Baker. In the end it came down to the White Sox bullpen, they pitched effectively ending threats in the sixth and eighth innings. Santos once again had a perfect ninth to close the game. His save also secured the win for Peavy.
Fourth of July WeekendThe next series between the two teams will be July 1st - 3rd at the friendly confines. The seats, bleachers, rooftops, and bars will surely be packed as the Cubs look to save face and, at the very least, even up the season series. A lot of pride is at stake in these Crosstown Classic games if not just for the teams themselves, but also for us fans who need these games to get through a year where expectations are not being met for either team.
Photo Source: MLB.com