Cubs’ Offense Knocks It Out of the Park… Literally
A slow start for the Cubbies signaled Game 4’s outcome might have fallen in line with the first three. Each team only snagged two hits in the first inning, but the White Sox shined in the second. Scott Carroll led the Sox’ defense, allowing no hits, but sent Olt walking after a wild pitch. A strikeout by Junior Lake put the Cubs back on the field. Jake Arrietta allowed three hits and the Sox earned two RBIs, giving them a two-run lead.
However, the third inning seemed to bring a whole new North side team. Sparked by a two-run homer in the top of the third by Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs’ offense continued to deliver. Starlin Castro sent one deep into the center field bleachers giving the Cubs a 6-2 lead in the top of the fourth.
Arrieta struggled, allowing four hits and two runs decreasing the Cubs’ lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the fourth frame. In his four innings on the mound, Arrieta gave up nine hits and four runs in 81 pitches. However, he gets a hall pass since it’s only his second appearance, and for the memorable performance in his debut against St. Louis.
Pitching changes were the highlight of the sixth and seventh innings, and Maikel Cleto grazing Welington Castillo with a pitch, took up most of the action in the top of the eighth. That was until Mike Olt came to the plate. With two outs, bags loaded, and a full count, Olt smashed one over the fence sending both Cubs and Sox fans to their feet. Cubs fans, to celebrate the now 11-4 lead. Sox fans, to catch the first train home.
Bleachers clear out after Olt grand slam (Photo/Jaclyn Driscoll)
A couple RBIs, one for each team, finalized the score at 12-5 after a 4 hour, 7 minute, fairly flawless performance by the North Side.
After only 12 hits, 22 baserunners, and five runs total from the previous THREE COMBINED games, the player of the game is awarded to the Cubs’ offense. In the series finale, the Cubs managed 15 hits, at least one from each player, and 26 runners. It was a standout performance by Olt, who is proving to be a vital asset with six homers and 16 RBIs.
Still, fending off a sweep by the neighborhood rivals hardly puts the Cubs where they need to be. Now, 9.5 games back and a .364 winning percentage reinforce that Renteria and his gang have some work to do. But for the sake of not being swept let’s all join in song, shall we?