Cubs offense absent in 'non-fortuitous' Crosstown opener


Cubs offense absent in 'non-fortuitous' Crosstown opener

Well, Cubs hitters were certainly patient, but it didn't matter much.

The Cubs walked seven times, but managed just three hits in the Crosstown Cup opener Friday, losing to the White Sox 1-0 in front of 41,580 fans at Wrigley Field.

Forget the home plate umpire's strike zone (which had Cubs hitters frustrated all day), the North Siders still didn't do anything with the bats against Sox rookie Carlos Rodon, who walked six hitters in six innings of work.

The Cubs hurt themselves, hitting into five double plays on the afternoon, the first time they've done that since Sept. 4, 2007.

"A little non-fortuitous today in certain moments," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "That just happens. We'll show up tomorrow, I promise. We'll be ready to play again.

"Tough loss - two in a row. But that's how this thing works sometimes."

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Kyle Hendricks was spectacular for the Cubs on the mound, tossing seven shutout innings, allowing just five hits. He also collected one of the three Cubs hits with a third-inning single to right field.

"We couldn't get any luck," Hendricks said. "Couldn't push a big hit across there at any point. It happens. We have those kinds of days, but I can only focus on what I can control."

Hector Rondon allowed the only run when he hit Emilio Bonifacio with a pitch and Bonifacio then stole second, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a fly ball to the outfield.

Apart from Hendricks' single, Jorge Soler had an infield single and Chris Coghlan had a pinch-hit single to right field to represent the rest of the North Siders' offense.

Dexter Fowler struck out looking three times as both he and Starlin Castro had several instances where they thought they had drawn a walk, but wound up striking out instead, adding to the Cubs' offensive woes.

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"Oh, you're always frustrated when you don't get a job done," Maddon said. "There's always that sense of frustration, but we'll be fine."

Fowler never actually called out the umpire in his brief postgame media stint, but it didn't take a Rhodes scholar to read between the lines.

"I dunno, man. Just trying to go out and take good ABs and take it one AB at a time," he said. "You know, whatever happens, happens.

"I looked at the video. But he made the call, so whatever he calls, that's what goes. ... We've hit the ball hard. Just really haven't had any luck. We just gotta keep swinging."

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