Eleanor Sheahan – 23 Sports

On Friday, the Chicago Cubs headed south of the city to battle the neighboring White Sox in a three-game series, finishing the 2020 MLB regular season. Heading into the series both these crosstown rivals were determined to show the citizens of Chicago who was the better baseball team. 

There are always two sides to every story, game and city. For some Chicago baseball fans, game one of this series was an entertaining blow out and cause for celebration. Others however, may have been embarrassed, disappointed and losing hope in their team. Baseball fans in the city of Chicago were either one or the other on Friday night. 

For baseball fans on the south side of Chicago, it was not the game they had hoped for. The White Sox added another game to their losing streak. Losing game one against the Cubs extended their losing streak to six games in a row. Poor pitching performances from Dylan Cease, Jimmy Cordero and Gio Gonzalez put the White Sox significantly behind the Cubs. Not only did the White Sox pitching give up five home runs, they also caused three people to be ejected from the game.

It all started when White Sox pitcher Cordero hit Cubs catcher Willson Contreras on the first pitch after his home run. The umpires analyze the situation, throwing Cordero out of the game. Manager Rick Renteria and pitching coach Don Copper, were also thrown out after arguing with the umpires on what they thought was an accidental pitch. This was not the White Sox proudest baseball game, to say the least. 

As for Cubs fans, well they were feeling confident and proud. The north Chicago team dominated game one of the series. The Cubs hit five home runs, had huge pitching performances, and got one game closer to clinching the NL Central. The Cubs offense swung for the stars. Both Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez hit solo home runs. Teammate Contreras showed them both up with a monster three-run homer, followed by a picture perfect bat flip. Victor Caratini took notes and then showed off with a two-run home run. The Cubs were rolling over the White Sox 9-0. To top it off, in the ninth inning, Contreras got his second home run of the game, and increased the total team home runs to five. The Cubs shut out the White Sox 10-0 in game one.

Game two finally brought victory for the White Sox. Beating the crosstown rivals is always good for the White Sox, but ending their own six-game losing streak is even better.

Game two started off rocky for the White Sox. An overthrown ball from White Sox second baseman Nick Madrigal allowed a run to score for the Cubs. Hoping to get a double play, Nick Madrigal put too much speed on the ball and over threw first baseman José Abreu. Cubs Kris Bryant was able to run to home plate and score the first run of the game. 

White Sox catcher James McCan responded with a solo home run to tie the game 1-1. Luis Robert hit an RBI single and the White Sox took the lead 2-1 for the first time this series. 

Bryant was not done yet. After running into home plate earlier in the game, Bryant continued to run around the bases when he absolutely demolished a grand slam into left field. The grand slam from Bryant put the Cubs ahead of the White Sox 5-2 in the top of the third inning.

It is not easy to follow a grand slam, but the White Sox needed to end their losing streak. After the grand slam, the White Sox pitchers threw a great game and allowed no more runs to score. In the bottom of the fourth, the White Sox offense finally clicked. Abreu hit a three run RBI followed by a two-run homer from Yoán Moncada to help the White Sox build a lead. The White Sox continued to dominate Game 2 offensively. The Sox beat the Cubs 9-5 and finally secured a win after losing six straight.

The series was split at one game apiece. Game three would determine the winner of the Chicago crosstown town battle.

The Cubs stacked up six points in the top of the second inning. Bryant kicked it off with a solo home run. David Bote followed with a two-run homer, next up a two-run RBI from Cameron Maybin, and lastly Billy Hamilton slid safely into the home plate to extend the Cubs lead 6-0. With continuous outstanding performances from Hamilton, Bryant and Javier Baez the Cubs stretched their lead to 10-1 going into the bottom of the eighth inning. 

The Cubs took a substantial lead in the beginning of the game, but the White Sox were not going down without a fight. In the bottom of the eighth inning the tides turned and the Chicago luck would favor the White Sox as they fought for a comeback. 

Yasmani Grandals started the inning with an RBI groundout which allowed a run to score. A single from Luis Roberts allowed another run to score and the White Sox only trailed 10-3. Nomar Mazara hit an RBI double and a single from Adam Engel drove in three more runs. Thanks to a late offensive surge from the White Sox, the Cubs only led by four runs after the eighth inning. 

At the bottom of the ninth inning the White Sox tried to force extra innings and keep the comeback alive. Yasmani Grandals destroyed a two-run homer into right field. The White Sox only trailed by two points. There were two outs and the pitch count was two balls and two strikes, it’s all on the line for the White Sox. Cubs pitcher Andrew Chafin got the third strike to seal the Cubs win over the White Sox 10-8. 

The White Sox fell just short of a comeback. The Cubs won game three of the series and were crowned the crosstown rivalry championship team for the city of Chicago.  

This Sunday marked the last game of the modified 2020 MLB season for both the Chicago teams. In the American League, the White Sox finished (35-25) while the Cubs ended with a similar record of (35-26) in the National League.

On Tuesday the White Sox will play the Oakland Athletics in a three-game wild card series. The Chicago Cubs will take on the Miami Marlins in the National League Wild Card round. The Cubs won the National League Central Division title so they will play the three-game series at Wrigley Field, in Chicago. 

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