Things we saw and heard Wednesday at Game 2 of the City Series, which the Chicago White Sox won 4-3 to sweep the mini-series. Ozzie Guillén arrives at Wrigley Field in good time, beaming after a talk with Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker about Baker’ s 2000th career win. Frank Thomas is stuck in traffic. Guillen says he’ s thankful the brutal conditions Tuesday…
Things we saw and heard Wednesday at Game 2 of the City Series, which the Chicago White Sox won 4-3 to sweep the mini-series.
Ozzie Guillén arrives at Wrigley Field in good time, beaming after a talk with Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker about Baker’s 2000th career win. Frank Thomas is stuck in traffic. Guillen says he’s thankful the brutal conditions Tuesday prevented them from having to come to Wrigley Field for the White Sox pregame show. “I know for sure now there is a God,” Guillén says.
An ivy update from a Cubs ground crew member: Not yet … “but hopefully soon.”
Yoán Moncada may be back next homestand, Sox manager Tony La Russa tells reporters in the dugout before the game. “I was hoping there would be some miracle and he would be there for the weekend (in Boston),” La Russa says. He should know by now Moncada doesn’t do miracles.
Does La Russa like these two-game mini-series? “I like being in the majors and whatever that schedule says,” he replies. “I like the day off (Thursday) tomorrow, too.”
Sox general manager Rick Hahn and La Russa convene on the field for a pregame conversation, topic unknown. Both are seen laughing, so it wasn’t about pitching to Byron Buxton with the game on the line and first base open.
A flyover during the national anthem? A weak attempt at trying to make an early May, midweek crosstown series look more important than it is.
Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti reflects on Tuesday night’s game: “It was like playing in a car wash.”
The Sox telecast on NBC Sports Chicago shows Dylan Cease mic’d up on Tuesday, calling Tim Anderson’s opposite-field home run and even predicting it would land over the Sloan sign in right. “I can die a legend now,” Cease says. “That’s all I can say.”
The Cubs telecast on Marquee shows Ian Happ mic’d up on Wednesday. “Hey,” “Hey,” and “Yeah” were among the utterances.
Happ removes the ball from the vines on Luis Robert’s fourth-inning double, which leads to a lively discussion between Benetti and Steve Stone on the ivy rule. If there was ivy, Stone points out, Happ would be better off leaving the ball there for a ground rule double rather than risk dropping the ball and watching it turn into a triple.
Sox first baseman Gavin Sheets singles through a big hole between third and second, driving in the tying run in the fourth and providing evidence against banning the shift.
Benetti discusses the “Angry Lucas” Giolito that sometimes shows up in the course of a start. “Usually it’s bad for the townspeople,” he says.
Cubs analyst Jim Deshaies points out the top four Cubs hitters are a combined 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts.
In a taped postgame interview from Tuesday, Sox closer Liam Hendriks is shown looking at a printout in the bullpen before entering the game. Hendriks explains it’s a heat map of Cubs hitters showing their strengths and weaknesses in the strike zone. “What are you looking for?” Benetti asks Hendriks. “Where they suck,” Hendriks replies.
Guillén and Thomas are shown back in the NBC Sports Chicago studios wearing blankets and pretending they’re shivering. Or maybe they really are. Hard to tell with these guys.
Deshaies points out an umpire’s call in the outfield on a diving attempt by Robert was not called until Nick Madrigal was called out trying to extend the hit to a double.
Sox left fielder AJ Pollock bloops one into right field that Madrigal can’t reach after shifting to the left side, proving more evidence against banning the shift.
Cubs broadcaster Jon “Boog” Sciambi cites a stat on the disappearing pitch counts of modern starters: only 14.2% of starters were allowed to eclipse 100 pitches last season. But Sciambi adds the Sox were second in the category. “He rode his guys,” he says of La Russa and his starters.
Every other ballpark in baseball has padding in the outfield, Stone points when Robert runs into the brick wall in center to rob Willson Contreras of a hit to end the sixth. Stone says Robert made the catch despite being “hit by the bricks.” During the replay, Deshaies says: “All in all, just another brick in the wall.” For Pink Floyd fans only.
After Madrigal steals second with two outs in the eighth, Happ is called out looking at a four-seam, 94 mph fastball from Matt Foster after two straight changeups. “Exactly the way Lucas pitched him in his first at-bat,” Deshaies says. Giolito caught Happ looking in the first on a four-seamer after a 1-1 changeup.
Hendriks comes in to close out a White Sox win for the third straight night. A fan near a field mic can be heard on the Cubs telecast telling the ump to call strikes. “It’s cold out here,” he says. Benetti says it was a game that “reminds you why you love baseball.” After the win, it’s back to the studio, and Guillén pretending he’s Stone crying.
The series resumes May 28-29 on the South Side. Hopefully it’ll warm up by then.