A Shutout For Chicago

The cubs had a wild win Wednesday night, after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 in the 2015 National League Wild Card Game at PNC Park. Lead by pitcher, Jake Arrieta, who struck out 11 players in his first ever playoff game, Chicago fans went home overzealous with joy. Tonight, the Cubs will continue in the playoffs, facing the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Alan Rasof, Jake Arietta

According to a recent article published by SB Nation, “Cubs manager Joe Maddon put what he called the team’s best offensive lineup up against Pirates ace Gerrit Cole, and it paid off to the tune of four runs in five innings,” (Stephen, Cubs vs. Pirates 2015 Final Score). Dexter Fowler and Kyle Schwarber proved to be leading players in Wednesday’s game, with major plays on top of their home runs. The article explains both players’ remarkable impact during the game: “The center fielder Fowler had three hits on the night and scored three runs from the leadoff position while Schwarber, playing in right field and batting second, drove home three runs,” (Stephen, Cubs vs. Pirates 2015 Final Score).

Cubs pitcher, Jake Arrieta, has been showing strength since June 16th, during a game that started his reputation for not allowing more than three runs during a game. Wednesday night was no exception, as the four-run lead did not show any worry on Arrieta’s face whatsoever.

The game as a whole, however, kept tension high until the end, when Arrieta was hit by a pitch while batting after hitting a pair of Pirates earlier on in the game. The teams proved to be evenly matched, with a combination of 195 wins during the regular season, but Arrieta proved to be the leader in bringing the Cubs home with a win. The Cubs will play on Friday in St. Louis.

Chris Sale’s Success

Alan Rasof, Chris SaleThough the Chicago White Sox lost to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, August 26th, White Sox pitcher Chris Sale’s proved his dominance on the field, delivering seven scoreless innings without a whole lot of support from his team.

According to ESPN.com, “The beauty of Sale is that he still knows enough tricks of the trade to not only get by without his best stuff, but also to hold an opponent scoreless into the late innings,” (Chris Sale Finds a Way, But White Sox Can’t). Sale entered Wednesday’s game coming off a 15-strikeout game on August 16th against the Cubs, followed by a 14 strikeout game against Seattle. Though the Red Sox would not give left-handed Sale the ability to become the second pitcher in the MLB’s modern era to strike out in 14 consecutive games, Sale kept his team afloat, delivering a great game.

Though Sale did have a bit of trouble with his fastball for the Red Sox’s right-handed hitters, he was able to adapt throughout the game. After the game, Sale stated:

“I was throwing a lot of pitches; they were spitting on some good ones. But I wasn’t really Alan Rasof, Chris Salehelping myself out. The arm-side fastball kind of got away from me a little big. I made some in-game adjustments. We talked in between innings to get that a little bit tighter,” (Chris Sale Finds a Way, But White Sox Can’t).

As we know, team communication plays a huge role in the outcome of a game. So though Sale was very vocal about switching up his pitching style, the White Sox as a whole must work on ways to communicate more effectively.

Overall, a round of applause for the way Sale has been pitching lately, but the lack of team effort definitely needs to be worked on amongst the White Sox.