Cubs bats disappear as Sale, White Sox halt winning streak


Cubs bats disappear as Sale, White Sox halt winning streak

All good things come to an end.

It's not like the Cubs were going to keep winning for the rest of the season, and there are worse ways to lose a winning streak than being dominated by one of the game's top pitchers.

The Cubs (67-49) struck out 18 times against Chris Sale and two White Sox relievers as they lost for the first time in 10 games, 3-1, in front of 39,475 in the season's Crosstown Cup finale.

Sale struck out 15 in seven innings, but Cubs hitters forced him to throw 116 pitches, knocking him out of the game after the seventh inning.

"He was outstanding," Maddon said. "The best thing we did was we got his pitch count up enough to get him out of there before the ninth inning. His changeup was spectacular, his fastball was good. He had command of all of his pitches. He's a tough guy for us right now. He's a tough guy for a lot of teams, but he's really tough for us."

[MORE CUBS: Kyle Schwarber finds out what Cubs-White Sox is all about]

The Cubs had just five baserunners and one hit (a Dexter Fowler single in the sixth inning) before Jorge Soler took Sox closer David Robertson into the right-field bleachers with two outs in the ninth and then Addison Russell followed with an infield single.

The young Cubs admitted it was actually kind of fun to face Sale today, despite the result. Both Russell and Anthony Rizzo made it a point to say how much they enjoy the challenge of facing one of the best pitchers on the planet.

"He just kept batters off balance with such a fast pace," Russell said. "It's good to face him. It's good to see what it's like to see that A+ pitching."

Dan Haren gave up solo homers in three straight innings — to Jose Abreu, Alexei Ramirez and Melky Cabrera — to account for the White Sox offense on the afternoon. Haren now leads the National League with 27 homers allowed.

"I knew coming into it I'd have to be close to perfect, but obviously I wasn't," Haren said. "I made a few mistakes."

[MORE CUBS: Addison Russell arrives ahead of schedule for red-hot Cubs]

This is only the Cubs' second loss since July 28. The offense averaged 5.13 runs per game during that 16-game span.

Maddon and the Cubs said they aren't worried about losing the streak right before an off-day and instead are just looking forward to recharging the batteries before playing 16 straight days starting Tuesday.

"Oh yeah. Listen, you're not gonna win them all, man," Maddon said. "That doesn't happen. We've been playing really well. We'll continue to play really well. Today we just ran into a good pitcher, and that was the difference in today's game. I could not be happier with our guys."

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 12th + 13th homers in 1998


Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 12th + 13th homers in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

An off-day did nothing to slow down the 1998 National League MVP as Sosa collected his second straight 2-homer game May 27 of that season.

He went deep in the eighth and ninth innings of a Cubs' 10-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field, driving in 3 runs. 

The first homer - off Darrin Winston - was an absolute blast, traveling an estimated 460 feet. The second shot was tame in comparison with only 400 feet as a recorded distance.

In a matter of two games, Sosa raised his season OPS from .930 to .988 and his slugging percentage from .521 to .577 thanks to a pair of 2-homer contests.

Fun fact: Doug Glanville - former Cubs outfielder and current NBC Sports Chicago analyst - was the Phillies leadoff hitter that day in 1998, collecting three hits and scoring a pair of runs.

Yu Darvish back on the DL for Cubs with triceps tendinitis


Yu Darvish back on the DL for Cubs with triceps tendinitis

Yu Darvish now has more trips to the disabled list in a Cubs uniform than wins.

The Cubs place their 31-year-old right-handed pitcher on the DL Saturday evening with right triceps tendinitis. The move is retroactive to May 23, so he may only have to miss one turn through the rotation.

In a corresponding move, Randy Rosario was recalled from Triple-A Iowa to provide Joe Maddon with another arm in the bullpen. Tyler Chatwood will start Sunday in Darvish's place.

Thanks to two off-days on the schedule last week, the Cubs should be fine with their rotation for a little while. Jon Lester could go on regular rest Monday, but the Cubs would need to make a decision for Tuesday given Kyle Hendricks just threw Friday afternoon.

That decision could mean Mike Montgomery moving from the bullpen to the rotation for a spot start, or it could be the promotion of top prospect Adbert Alzolay from Triple-A Iowa.

Either way, this is more bad news for Darvish, who has had a rough go of it since he signed a six-year, $126 million deal with the Cubs in February.

Between issues with the weather, the concern of arm cramps in his debut in Miami, leg cramps in Atlanta, a trip to the disabled list for the flu, trouble making it out of the fifth inning and now triceps tendinitis, it's been a forgettable two months for Darvish.

He is 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 49 strikeouts in 40 innings with the Cubs.

Over the course of 139 career starts, Darvish is 57-45 with a 3.49 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and has averaged 11 strikeouts per nine innings.