The White Sox defeated the Cubs 4-1 in the opener of the Cross-Town Classic at Wrigley Field. John Danks pitched into the 8th inning and stymied the over-matched Cubs hitters all game long. Danks gave up only 1 ER on 5 hits and picked up his 5th win of the 2009 MLB schedule. Danks had 9 strikeouts and did not walk a batter in only 99 pitches.
As we’re getting used to, the Cubs blew way too many early opportunities early in the game – 1st and 2nd nobody out in the 2nd inning and 1st and 3rd nobody out in the 4th inning. The Cubs came away empty-handed each time and then started pressing the rest of the way, swinging at way too many 1st pitches and not forcing Danks to work deeper into counts. The Cubs got their only run on an Alfonso Soriano RBI groundout in the bottom of the 8th inning, but by then the game was aleady in the bag.
Ryan Dempster pitched OK, but did not have the control that has kept him in so many ballgames over the years. He labored through 104 pitches in 6 innings, giving up 3 ER on 4 hits and 6 walks. He had 4 strikeouts but it was really not a typical solid outing from Dempster. The loss dropped him to 4-4 on the season. The Cubs are now back under .500 at 30-31. They trail the Brewers by 4.5 games in the NL Central race.
The Cubs and White Sox play the abbreviated finale on Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Carlos Zambrano takes the bump for the Cubs against Gavin Floyd of the White Sox.