Game 99 – Annoyance Theater: White Sox 2 – Cubs 7

These Cubs-Sox series are annoying enough, at least to me. They bring out the worst in both fanbases and media, far too much is put on the results, and everything gets blown out of proportion. When you throw in annoying general baseball stuff like today, and it’s an occasion that would have been better off not happening at all. Even with the Cubs win, but that at least softens the blow somewhat.

As you might have guessed, I hate “unwritten” baseball rules. They’re juvenile, they’re stupid, and they don’t actually achieve anything. That’s the problem. If there was a tangible result from all this, I could probably at least see some understanding. These things, I can’t.

Here’s what the White Sox should know. John Lackey sucks this year. In his pursuit of sucking hardcore, one thing that’s gone out the way is his control. So while the gameplan is to pitch Jose Abreu inside, Lackey no longer can execute that regularly. I’m guessing Lackey knows this despite his gaping-may-bravado, and hence overcompensated by going inside instead of daring to miss out over the plate where Abreu assuredly would have turned one of his fastballs into plasma. Hence he misses, Abreu gets hit. Same thing with Moncada.

Lackey isn’t throwing anyone, even though I could totally see who you might think he’s such an asshole he would do it just for the fun of it. He’s got a lead, he just can’t pinpoint.

Hey, getting hit with baseballs sucks. No one enjoys it. I get it if players get pissed off. I’m sure they don’t like getting in the box against a pitcher who clearly can’t control what he’s doing and hence puts their health in danger. That creates anxiety and where there’s anxiety there tends to be anger. I can get that.

So how does plunking Ian Happ do anything about it? Does it make Lackey suddenly have better control? Is he going to throw everything right over the plate because he’s so disappointed that he offended someone? What’s the endgame here? Does it take away the bruises on Abreu? I guess if they plunked Lackey I could see it, just because that might feel good. But again it doesn’t solve the problem of Lackey not having control of his pitches.

Hockey’s unwritten rules are no less dumb, except that when team tries to calm down an opponent who’s gotten overly physical they’re dealing with him directly and trying to solve whatever the perceived problem  is.

Anyway, dumb.

-My other annoyance is carrying 13 pitchers. I get that the Cubs’ pen has been a tad worked lately, and a lot of it isn’t all that trustworthy. But after he completely couldn’t find the plate, Lackey still had to hit because the Cubs had to dig into their short bench to replace Bryant. By inserting Jay, the Cubs only had Caratini (whom they won’t use), Heyward and Schwarber left on the bench. At a time in the game where anything could happen. One has to think that Grimm is headed for a demotion at some point soon here so this doesn’t happen again. At least it didn’t matter.

-I’m also annoyed by Javy’s five strikeouts. Sometimes it feels like when he gets hot, he feels a bit invincible at the plate and it’s hack-a-thon. Hopefully he’ll pull it out of it soon.

-Other than that, it’s a win and that’s good enough. Willson Contreras rules. That is all.


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