Chill out: White Sox top Cubs, win second straight
There was a scrap in left field bleachers during the fourth inning.
And after Keegan Thompson opened the fifth by hitting consecutive White Sox hitters -- Josh Harrison in the back and Tim Anderson in the left elbow -- it looked like a fight was brewing on the field after Anderson had some words for the Cubs' relief pitcher.
Overall, it was too cold, too windy, too wet and too miserable at Wrigley Field Tuesday night to expend any extra energy.
The Sox were happy to settle for a 3-1 win over the Cubs in the first of a two-game interleague series.
"I give a lot of credit to the two teams," White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. "And I was watching our team, there wasn't one guy that was backing off from competing. It was really amazing to see. It was hard out there for hitters, defenders, pitchers.
"I mean, I just can't give the two teams enough credit for just really competing. It was unrelenting. It was really an amazing exhibition from both teams."
In 132 games as a major-league player and 2,831 as a manager, La Russa said the weather conditions at Wrigley Tuesday were in his Top 10 for bad.
With a game-time temperature of 45 degrees and the wind blowing in from the north at 23 mph, the Sox made the best of it.
"It's Chicago," right fielder Gavin Sheets said. "You have to embrace it, go out and play hard in it. That's all you can do."
Michael Kopech started for the White Sox and scattered 4 hits and 2 walks over 4 scoreless innings. The right-hander also had 5 strikeouts.
"The wind was the main thing," Kopech said. "The wind was changing direction every inning. It can frustrating but that's part of the game. Sometimes it works with you, sometimes it works against you. Today, I felt like I was able to work with it for the most part. It wasn't too terrible."
The Sox took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on Jake Burger's infield single and Reese McGuire's safety squeeze bunt that scored Adam Engel from third base.
Tim Anderson completed the scoring in the third, somehow hitting an opposite-field home run to right.
"Hitting is hard enough, but Tim's got some kind of power that way," La Russa said. "I am not complimenting his off-field power because pretty soon he'll be trying to do it and he won't hit his .300. Let him hit .300 and he's going to hit enough home runs. But he's just got a live bat."
With reliever Jose Ruiz on the mound in the sixth inning, Nico Hoerner drove in the Cubs' lone run with a double that scored Ian Happ.
Wednesday's forecast isn't much better, and Lucas Giolito is set to start for the White Sox. Even though he's a California native, Giolito has plenty of experience dealing with lousy conditions.
"I think for me personally, we've played in the cold weather for a number of years now and in these early months and there are certain things that you do, little shifts of the routine to make sure you get your nice and warm before, you stay warm in between innings," Giolito said. "You have to expect that maybe the velocity would be down a little bit. It's harder to move as quickly in the cold weather so you plan for that accordingly.
"The thing about cold weather is it's not fun for pitching but it's not fun for hitting, either. So you find ways to be able to kind of exploit what makes it not fun out there. Looking forward to some warmer weather but for the time being you keep doing it with what we've got."