The Chicago Cubs traveled across town on Monday night to face their American League counterparts in the first game of the 2016 Crosstown Cup, designed to help encourage a “friendly rivalry” between two teams that take hometown pride very seriously. While no brawls broke out in Monday’s game, the drama remained almost tangible as the Sox managed their third consecutive walk-off victory after the Cubs threatened a 9th Inning comeback. Jake Arrieta pitched through 18 batters, but the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner’s performance wasn’t enough to secure the victory in US Cellular Field.
Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox
After two scoreless innings, the White Sox got on the board in the bottom of the 3rd when Adam Eaton had an RBI single that drove in Tyler Saladino, as reported by MLB.com. Then, in the bottom of the 6th, Arrieta gave up the only Sox homer of the night to Todd Frazier, who knocked it out of the park with two men on, giving the White Sox a 4-0. A two-run homer in the top of the 7th by Javier Baez put the Cubs back in the game. Dexter Fowler and Anthony Rizzo both had RBI singles in the top of the 9th. However, as they had done in their last two games, the Sox earned the walk-off win on Monday, this one provided by Tyler Saladino’s RBI single in the bottom of the 9th.
As the Cubs try to win one back from the Sox on Tuesday, they will put right-handed pitcher Kyle Hendricks (9-6, 2.27 ERA) on the mound. The White Sox will respond with a right-hander of their own, James Shields (2-5, 6.00 ERA).
The Chicago Cubs (59-39) continue to be the most dominating team in the National League, although they certainly aren’t running away with the pennant the way many fans thought they would be. After the dust had settled in the MLB on Monday night, the Cubbies still held a 7-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals (52-46), the largest margin between the first and second place teams in any division in Major League Baseball. If the playoffs started today, the New York Mets (52-45) and Miami Marlins (53-46) of the East would have a one-game play-off to see who advanced to face Chicago. Meanwhile, the NL West leaders San Francisco Giants (58-41) would begin a series against NL East Division leaders, Washington Nationals (58-41).
On the American League side of things, the Windy City isn’t doing so well. With a record of 49-50, the Chicago White Sox are in third place in the AL Central, just a half-game ahead of the Kansas City Royals (48-50). The Cleveland Indians (56-41) are leading the division with the third best record in the AL. The Baltimore Orioles (58-40) lead both the American League and the AL East, while the Texas Rangers (58-42) lead the AL West. Just like the National League, if the regular season ended today, both Wild Card teams would come from the East: the Boston Red Sox (55-42) and Toronto Blue Jays (56-44).
Chicago Cubs Acquire Aroldis Chapman From New York Yankees
As the Cubs try to end their World Series curse this year and remain the most dominant team in Major League Baseball, they acquired a major asset from the Yankees before Monday’s game against the Sox. As reported by Chicago’s official website, closer Aroldis Chapman will join the Cubs as pitcher Adam Warren and three prospects are now under contract with the Yankees organization. Able to reach speeds of 105 mph, Chapman has 44 strikeouts in 31.1 innings this season. His current ERA is 2.01, and he’s earned 20 saves for New York in just 21 attempts.
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Where To Watch Cubs Vs. Sox
Game 2 of the Crosstown Cup will also be played at the US Cellular Center in Chicago. It is scheduled to begin at 6:10 p.m. CT and will air on CSN Chicago and ESPN. A few seats are still available for purchase through the Chicago White Sox website to see Tuesday’s game live.
For Wednesday’s and Thursday’s games, the Cubs and White Sox travel across town to Wrigley Field. Wednesday night’s game will air on WGN and ESPN, while Thursday night’s game will air on CSN Chicago. Both games at Wrigley Field are scheduled to start 7:05 p.m. CT. Tickets for the Cubs/Sox games at Wrigley Field are available through the Chicago Cubs official website, for fans who wish to see the final two games of this year’s Crosstown Cup live.
[Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]