Hello sports fans, welcome to the latest Windy City Sports Report. In today’s spot, do the White Sox still have a hold of first place? How are the Cubs’ kids faring? How are the Bears looking so far in the preseason?
The Sox opened the week with a 2 game lead in the AL Central over the Detroit Tigers. They had a 4 game series against the Toronto Blue Jays. They dropped a tough opening game 3-2 in extra innings. Starter Jake Peavy pitched well, allowing only 2 runs over 8 innings, but could only get a no-decision. The only offense for the Sox was Adam Dunn, who hit 2 solo home runs.
The Sox did not get any home runs in the next game, but they used a 3-run 5th and a sparkling 6 2/3 innings to escape with a 3-2 victory.
The Sox won the third game on Dunn’s 399th career home run in a 5-run 7th inning to give Gavin Floyd a rare road victory.
In the last game of the series, the Sox used their power in hitting 5 home runs (4 solo and an Alex Rios 3 run blast) for all their runs in a 7-2 win. It gave Nelson Liriano his first win since coming over to Chicago. The Sox won 3 out of 4 games to make things difficult for the Tigers.
After the successful trip out of the country, the Sox went to Kansas City to face the dreaded Royals. Yes, to the White Sox the Royals are dreaded. They always find a way to hurt the Sox. Last week they won 2 out of 3 in Chicago. The Sox were looking to set things straight.
Things did not turn out well. The Royals swept the 3 game series and continued their mastery over the Sox. In the opener, Chris Sale could not get his 15th victory of the season, and the Sox dropped a 4-2 decision. In the 2nd game, Adam Dunn got his 400th career home run, and Kevin Youkilis got his 1,000th career hit, but the Royals scored 4 8th inning runs to get a 9-4 victory. In the final game, Jeremy Guthrie was working on a no-hitter, but it was broken up in the 7th. The Sox scored 2 runs in the 8th to tie the game, but the Royals came through again in the bottom half of the inning, scoring 3 for a 5-2 victory.
The White Sox finished the week with a 3-4 record, but their lead in the Central only dropped by a half game, to 1 ½ games. This week, they come back home and face the New York Yankees in a big 3 game series. Then the Seattle Mariners come to town for 3 more. We will see how much the Sox have after facing the Bronx Bombers, who own the best record in the American League.
Over at the daycare center that is the Chicago Cubs, the kids are still taking their lumps. They opened the week against a team that is WORSE than they are in the Houston Astros, and they took advantage of it. They won 2 out of the 3 games, scoring 15 runs. The pitching, though, allowed 13 runs.
After playing Houston, the Cubs went to Cincinnati to play the Reds in a 4-game, 3-day series. Seeing as how the Reds are the 2nd best team in baseball, the result should not be surprising – the Cubs lost 3 out of the 4 games. They did split the Saturday doubleheader, ending their 9 game road losing streak. Also, on Saturday, Alfonso Soriano hit a 2-run homer to give him 1,000 RBI for his career.
Up next for the Cubs are 3 games in Milwaukee against the Brewers then back home for 3 against the Colorado Rockies.
High hopes are rising for the Chicago Bears. Yes, they lost 31-3 against the Denver Broncos, but their key starters did not play in the game. This week they played the Washington Redskins with RGIII, and the starters played most of the first half in a 33-31 victory.
Cutler played in his first game since breaking his thumb and basically ending the Bears’ hopes of going to the playoffs last season. He wasted no time in showing off his new toys. On the first play of the game for the offense, Cutler connected with Brandon Marshall for 41 yards. “That combination is going for a lot of yards, a lot of catches, and hopefully a lot of touchdowns,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said.
He connected again with him for 23 more yards, and then connected with rookie WR Alshon Jeffery for 17 yards. Newcomer RB Michael Bush finished the 6-play, 82 yard drive with a one yard TD run.
The Bears defense harassed RGIII throughout his time on the field. He went 5-8 for 49 yards, was sacked 3 times and lost a fumble in one half of play.
In addition to the running and passing games playing well, the line did well. In the time Cutler (7/13 122 yards) was in there, he was not sacked.
The Bears carried a 20-10 lead at halftime with most of the starters. They extended it to 30-10 in the 3rd quarter before handing the game off to the guys on the bubble.
Some of those bubble guys got burst in that 4th quarter. The Redskins put in Kirk Cousins and he went wild. He went 18/23 for 264 yards, most of it in the 4th. He also threw for 3 touchdowns, all in that quarter.
Suddenly, late in the game, the Bears found themselves down 31-30 with less than 2 minutes to go. In comes Matt Blanchard, the guy I wrote about last week, and he runs the 2-minute drill nearly to perfection. He went 3/9 for 41 yards and got the offense to the point where Robbie Gould would need to make a 57 yard field goal. He did and the Bears escaped with their first preseason win.
Next up for the Bears is a tough test against the Super Bowl Champion-New York Giants. It is the 3rd game of the preseason, and usually starters are extended to get them ready for the season opener.
Well, until next week, enjoy some Deep Dish Pizza!