I predicted the White Sox would do a little something against Roy Halladay and they did, scoring five runs off him without the benefit of a homer, which is encouraging rather than not. The final was 6-5, so the Sox just got by a hot Jays team, but more on that later.
A.J. and B.A. both had key two-out, run-scoring hits, and the Missile and Thome kept the line moving, too. Best of all, Buehrle was smooth, quieting a Blue Jays line-up that had won 10 in a row, and putting the Sox in position to split the series. The game only got terrifyingly close when Jenks gave up 3 runs in the top of the 9th. B.A.'s two-out insurance RBI turned out to be the difference. Jinxie's blow-up was not terribly re-assuring as the season winds down, though he struck out a great hitter, Alex Rios, with the tying run on 3rd to end it.
A supposed closer also gave the Cubs a scare/ Don't worry, the Cubs finally won 4-3 Wednesday night, though Woody came perilously close to guiding the Cubs to what would have been their 3rd straight bottom-9th loss. Woody was definitely throwing some heat, but a lot of it was right over the middle of the plate. He looked angry and in a hurry, and after giving up a double and a HR to Pujols and this year's unforseen star, Ryan Ludwick, he got the next batter, No-Name Phelps on a high fly that Phelps really could have smashed out of the park, such was the plate location of Woody's pitch.
I'm not complaining... not about the win at least. A win is a win is a win, Yogi should have said, and we'll take it. The Cubs again only managed to score in one inning early on, the 2nd, and didn't have any hits after the 5th inning. Also, two errors by Felipe Lopez actually helped the Cubs to 3 of their 4 runs, so a disturbing trend of a quiet offense continues. A-Ram is hitting well, though, and had 2 hits. Al-So threw out a man at home. Nice.
Someone else who looked angry and in a hurry was Ted Lilly. For the most part, that worked for him, as he got Cards hitters to swing into outs quickly, often early in hitters' counts. Lilly also pulled a Butkus move on Yadier Molina, trying, apparently against coach's advice, to score from 3rd on a grounder to 3rd in the 2nd inning. Not sure why Lilly took off--maybe he wanted to get back to the dugout and get ready for his next inning--but he was a dead duck. Unfortunately for Molina, he (Molina) stood square in front of the plate, probably expecting from Lilly a kindly acceptance of a gentle tag. Instead, Lilly leveled him, and the talented Molina later left the game.
Lilly was great through 8 IP, and a quick, confident performance was exactly what the Cubs needed from their starter, but curiosity lingers: Is anger the Cubs' new act? Is that the way you get back on track toward the World Series? I'm not so sure...
Cubs, Reds continue weekend series
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