White Sox 1, Cubs 0
Phil Humber had to make the Chicago White Sox’s roster in spring
training. Then he was expected to be a rotation fill-in while Jake
Peavy was on the disabled list. Now, he’s emerged as the team’s
Humber pitched seven shutout innings Saturday and the White Sox
reached .500 for the first time since April 16, beating the Cubs
Humber got some good defense behind him and needed it in a duel
with the Cubs’ Matt Garza, who gave up just four singles in a
Garza held the White Sox hitless for 5 1-3 innings before Juan
Pierre hit an RBI single in the sixth.
”I’m very fortunate,” Humber said after his first career
appearance against the Cubs.
”I was behind in the count a lot and just was able to throw
something down in the zone when I needed an out. They made some
great plays,” he said.
”(Garza) was on his game. He’s got great stuff. We knew it was
going to be tough against him, but our guys battled and scratched
across a run.”
Humber (8-4) allowed five singles and is now 5-1 in his last six
”If Phil Humber isn’t on the All-Star team – and he deserves to
be on the All-Star team – then there shouldn’t be an All-Star game
because he’s been that good for us, stepping in for guys who have
been hurt and being the guy who’s pitched well for us from day
one,” White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said.
Cubs manager Mike Quade was ejected in the second inning for
arguing a call at second on one of three double plays turned by the
White Sox in the first three innings. Quade was tossed by second
base umpire Paul Emmel after protesting that White Sox second
baseman Gordon Beckham didn’t touch the bag on a pivot before
relaying to first.
Matt Thornton pitched a perfect eighth and ninth for his third
save in seven chances.
”I wasn’t too happy. One of those things I was out of the
dugout when the play was developing,” Quade said. ”I don’t
manufacture stuff. To me I just thought he was way off the base.
That shouldn’t be given.”
The White Sox have now beaten the Cubs 15 times in their last 20
meetings and are 4-1 this season.
Beckham worked a walk leading off the sixth, moved up on
Humber’s sacrifice and made it to third on Garza’s wild pitch.
After a close 1-2 pitch was called a ball, Pierre slapped a single
to left over a drawn-in infield for the White Sox’s first hit and
the first run of the game.
”I thought it was inside, but I was definitely holding my
breath when he made the call,” Pierre said.
”I was mad,” Garza said of the pitch that wasn’t called a
strike. ”Big situation, a big moment right there. I wanted that
pitch. … I should have put Pierre away.”
Pierre said Garza was as tough as he’s ever seen him.
”I haven’t seen him that much, but his fastball was at 95-97
with three other pitches to go along with it. We scrapped, but it
just goes to show you how good Humber was for us today,” Pierre
”He was just as effective, Thornton coming in and closing it
out. That’s been the key this last week here is the pitching and
bullpen just being lights out for us.”
Pierre, who’d been criticized for his uneven play this season,
came up with his third key hit in three games. He delivered a
tiebreaking single to spark an extra-inning win over Colorado on
Thursday and had a go-ahead two-run triple Friday in the White
Sox’s 6-4 victory.
”Opportunities have presented themselves and I’ve put a couple
good swings on balls. That’s about it,” Pierre said. ”About two
or three weeks ago I was leaving guys on and now I’m getting the
hits. … It’s a long season.”
The Cubs grounded into double plays in each of the first three
innings, spoiling any chance of an early offensive outburst against
”We had pitches to hit and didn’t hit in some of those
situations,” Quade said.
They got the first two runners on in the first and second
innings only to be turned away. And then in the sixth, Darwin
Barney led off with an infield single off Humber’s glove and
Starlin Castro reached on a slow roller up the third baseline,
again putting two runners on and no outs.
Humber then retired Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena on pops,
threw a wild pitch to advance the runners and then retired Marlon
Byrd – who came off the disabled list before the game – on a
Byrd returned to the lineup for the first time since he was hit
near the left eye by a pitch from Boston’s Alfredo Aceves on May
21, causing multiple facial fractures.
Byrd wore a protective flap over the left side of his batting
”Whatever happens, happens. Can’t go out there with fear, not
in this game,” Byrd said. ”The game is too fast.”
He drew a four-pitch walk from Humber in his first at-bat in the
second, following a leadoff single from Pena, who foiled a
defensive shift with a bunt down the third base line. Byrd then
rolled hard into Beckham who still got off the throw to first after
Alfonso Soriano’s grounder to third. That brought Quade racing out
of the dugout to argue.
Castro hit into two double plays in the first three innings.
Notes: Game-time temperature was 93 and it dropped 15 degrees in
the first five innings with the wind blowing in. … Adam Dunn got
the start in right field in the NL Park. He went 0 for 4 with three
strikeouts and is now 2 for 33 with 19 strikeouts over his last 10
games, with his average plummeting to .168. It was his second game
in the outfield this season.