Watching both the Cubs/Mets game and the White Sox/Twins game at once, I quickly saw a theme unfold: That theme was ugly baseball. The interesting thing was that the teams suffered through their ugliest inning simultaneously.
When the Cubs started the eighth inning at Shea, the Sox took the field to start the seventh in the Roller Dome, er, Metrodome. Jeff Samardzjia quickly loaded the bases for the Cubs, and then walked in a run. At the same, A.J. Pierzynski overthrew Orlando Cabrera on the steal attempt. Samardzjia's walk tied the Cubs game. Pierzynski's overthrow didn't garner any runs, but showed that the White Sox swagger just isn't there any more.
The difference between the two teams is how they tried to clean up their messes. The Sox simply fell apart, going down in succession in the top of the eighth. On the east coast, Cubs reliever Bob Howry got out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth, forcing extra innings. From there Derrek Lee batted in Mark DeRosa to put the Cubs ahead, and Aramis Ramirez added insurance by hitting out a two-run HR in the top of the tenth.
The Sox need to do something to stop this skid, or Chicago's dreams of a Red Line series will be dashed. For the Cubs, this win really does nothing for them, except for this. Twenty-six different players took the field for the Cubs on Wednesday night. Lou Piniella took advantage of the evening by making sure that many different players are getting loose and ready for the real show.