Keegan Thompson held the Sox offense to one run in five innings, the Cubs got terrific bullpen work and the offense, led by Patrick Wisdom and Frank Schwindel, scored enough for a satisfying 5-1 victory on the South Side.
The Cubs scored in the first inning — again. This has become habit, and it’s a good one. The Cubs have outscored opponents in the first inning 39-20 this year. If only they could keep up that score ratio the rest of the game.
Christopher Morel singled on Johnny Cueto’s first pitch. Two outs later, and after Morel had stolen second, Wisdom looped an RBI double to right [VIDEO].
The Cubs added a run in the second. Nico Hoerner led off with a single and was singled to third by Rafael Ortega.
Andrelton Simmons, who was playing second base for the first time in his professional career, was next [VIDEO].
So the Cubs took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the second. Yasmani Grandal walked with one out and A.J. Pollock singled him to third. After a fly to center, Jake Burger singled, but... this happened [VIDEO].
Grandal is... slow. He was out by 20 feet.
That’s the only chance the Sox had to score until the fifth inning, when Thompson hung a curveball to Burger. I don’t often show highlights from the Cubs’ opponent, but you’ve got to see how hanging this curveball was and Thompson’s reaction after he threw it [VIDEO].
Pretty sure Thompson was uttering a game thread word there, but that was the only mistake he made in five solid innings. He allowed five hits, including the homer, walked one and struck out four. He threw a season-high 77 pitches and ended the outing with a 1.58 ERA. With 40 innings, Thompson is five innings short of qualifying for the league ERA lead, but if he had enough innings with that ERA he’d top the leaderboard (Joe Musgrove leads with 1.86).
The Cubs put two more on the board in the seventh. Simmons singled, and one out later advanced to third on a double by Willson Contreras. Cueto ran the count to 3-0 on Ian Happ, then Happ was intentionally passed to load the bases.
The Cubs tried to execute a double steal after that, but Wisdom was thrown out at the plate to end the inning [VIDEO].
The Cubs bullpen did an outstanding job after Thompson departed. Scott Effross, Rowan Wick, Mychal Givens and David Robertson combined for four shutout innings, allowing two hits and two walks, with four strikeouts. I wasn’t real happy seeing Robertson throw 19 pitches in a non-save situation, especially with the doubleheader Monday, but after a leadoff walk in the ninth, he retired the next three hitters in order.
One more Sox highlight — Adam Engel stealing a home run from Contreras [VIDEO].
You can see Willson tipping his helmet to Engel after the play, a nice gesture. And look at how hard that ball was hit and the xBA on it:
A couple of thoughts about this game: The full house on the South Side was pretty mellow, given that there have been issues during Saturday night Cubs/Sox games in the past. I didn’t see any fights and the area where I was sitting down the LF line was quiet all night, and once the Cubs added the two runs in the seventh, a lot of folks left early.
And though since I was at the game, I didn’t watch the broadcast, I did watch the highlights shown above (and others), and Len Kasper is so good calling games, and it has to be odd for him to be calling a Cubs game as a neutral Fox-TV announcer, but he did his usual excellent work.
Here’s what Thompson said about his outing:
Keegan Thompson on what worked for him tonight after holding White Sox to one run in 5 innings: "Honestly, not much of anything. I feel like I was kind of all over the place and not really hitting a ton of spots. I just got really lucky."— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) May 29, 2022
He’s being too modest. I thought he really hit his spots well and apart from the hanging curveball to Burger, he shut the Sox down well, especially Tim Anderson, who’s their best hitter and the only guy in their regular lineup who’s really hitting at all right now.
Sunday, the Cubs go for a sweep — something they haven’t had at all this year, even in a two-game series. Marcus Stroman will start for the Cubs and Dylan Cease gets the call for the Sox. Game time is 1:10 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network (and NBC Sports Chicago with the Sox announcers). The game preview here will post at 11:30 a.m. CT.