Lucas Giolito flirted with a no-hitter, the Cubs bullpen faltered twice against the Rangers, the Bulls got a late-season feel good story and the Blackhawks' playoff hopes are on life support. Here are some of the stories you may have missed from the weekend in Chicago sports.
After winning the season opener, the Cubs dropped two games in Texas highlighted by bullpen struggles in both games. On Saturday, Yu Darvish struggled to the tune of seven walks and Carl Edwards Jr. was at the heart of a bullpen implosion in the eighth inning.
Cole Hamels got the start on Sunday and started well, but gave up five runs in the fifth inning and downplayed the importance of a tight strike zone from the umpire. The Cubs kept coming back on offense (Randy Rosario's hat catch on a Kyle Schwarber home run ball is wild), but the bullpen gave up another lead, this time in the seventh. The Rangers won 11-10 on a walk-off wild pitch from Pedto Strop.
The White Sox split the final two games of the opening series in Kansas City, losing two out of three in the series. Eloy Jimenez got his first two MLB hits in an 8-6 loss on Saturday, but the offensive star was Yoan Moncada. Reynaldo Lopez struggled on Saturday, but Lucas Giolito came through in a big way on Sunday. Young pitchers on the White Sox staff, like those two, have bigger expectations for 2019.
In desperate need of points, the Blackhawks only got one in LA on Saturday. The Kings got a goal with less than five minutes left in the third period and then got the game-winner in the final minute of overtime. The 3-2 overtime loss leaves the Blackhawks six points out of the final playoff spot (the only one they can still attain). With four games left, the Blackhawks have no more room for error and need help from the Avalanche, Coyotes and Wild ahead of them.
The Bulls are limping to the end of the season with several of the team's best players out with injuries. On Saturday, they lost for the fourth straight game, 124-101 to the Raptors. Walter Lemon Jr., a 26-year-old making his Bulls debut and playing in just his sixth NBA game, notched career-highs across the board. He finished with 19 points, six assists and four steals in 31 minutes. The shorthanded Bulls are struggling down the stretch, but Lemon gives fans something to cheer for in the final few games.
Jim Boylen also reacted to Fred Hoiberg getting the job at Nebraska.