MLB: Both Chicago teams cool down a bit

By Cat Garcia
Contributor

Hot starts in baseball are always fun to witness, especially in Chicago when both sides of town seem to be off to one. But exciting starts are always due to cool off eventually, and it seems that both sides of the Windy City experienced a bit more of a turbulent week than they’ve been used to this season.

On the north side of town, the Cubs faced a tough homestand in which the weather got the better of them. After a rainout on Monday, the Cubs came away with a close win on Tuesday night against the San Diego Padres. The Cubs won Tuesday’s contest by only one run in an 8-7 victory after reliever Justin Grimm gave up three earned runs, and Adam Warren gave up one.

The Padres would then sweep the Cubs’ doubleheader at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, handing the Cubs their first back to back losses of the season. Kyle Hendricks went 6.2 innings in the matinee game, allowing six hits but only two earned runs coupled with an impressive eight strikeouts. In the night cap, John Lackey pitched eight innings of three hit ball, only allowing one earned run with seven strikeouts.

After a day off on Thursday, the Cubs welcomed the highly touted division rival Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cubs scored eight runs off of Pirates’ starter Francisco Liriano in just 4.2 innings on Friday, and scored one final run off of Pirates’ closer Arquimedes Caminero. Jason Hammel got the start on Friday for the Cubs, allowing just one earned run with eight strikeouts during his 6.2 inning outing.

Cubs’ ace Jake Arrieta took the mound on Saturday afternoon against Pirates’ starter Jeff Locke. Arrieta recorded a season high 11 strikeouts during his eight-inning outing, while the Cubs offense scored eight runs on the Pirates including two home runs off Locke in the bottom of the fourth. Cubs won 8-2.

The Cubs dropped the last game of the series and the homestand to Pittsburgh on Sunday, with Pirates’ pitcher Gerrit Cole just slightly out-pitching Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a brilliant pitchers duel on Sunday, and a rare low scoring affair for the Cubs as well as the Pirates, who have had a strong offensive start to the season. The final score was just 2-1.

The Cubs are on the road for a nine game road trip, starting off with Milwaukee before heading out west to San Francisco and returning back to the Midwest to finish off the road trip with a three game series at St. Louis.

Southsiders

The White Sox had similar fate as the Cubs last week, facing both the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees. The White Sox beat Texas in impressive fashion during the first game of the series, before dropping the final two games to Texas. Starter Mat Latos had one of his more turbulent outings of the season, giving up five earned runs to Texas on Wednesday along with five walks and no strikeouts.

The White Sox then headed to the Bronx on Friday and sent Chris Sale to the mound against Yankees’ starter Luis Severino, who the White Sox hot offense quickly rocked with seven earned runs in just 2.2 inning of work.

Jose Quintana suffered his second loss on the season on Saturday after going seven innings and only allowing two earned runs with five strikeouts. The Yankees doled out their exceptionally talented bullpen tandem of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman on the White Sox, quickly silencing their bats and making Saturday’s contest a close call loss for the south siders with a final score of 2-1.

And finally the White Sox dropped the final game of the series before heading back to Chicago, on the back of a shaky start from new pencil-in rotation addition Miguel Gonzalez. Gonzalez allowed three earned runs and five walks in 4.2 innings of work.

The White Sox superior bullpen has had a bit of a rough road trip, giving up a total of 14 earned runs and seven walks over six games. The White Sox are back at U.S. Cellular Field after an off day on Monday to take on the Houston Astros in a three game set before hosting the Kansas City Royals this weekend.

In a recent roster move, the White Sox acquired OF Jason Bourgeois from the Cincinnati Reds for cash consideration late Monday evening. Bourgeois has reported to Triple-A Charlotte and will remain an outfield depth option should a need arise.

Cat is a Staff Writer for BP Wrigleyville and BP Southside, Baseball Prospectus’ blogs covering Chicago baseball, and a Contributor for Hardballtimes.com. Follow her on Twitter: @TheBaseballGirl.

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