Chicago White Sox and Cubs start strong, Bulls and Blackhawks wind down

April 5, 2013

Sox starters shine

The first week of the season is peppered with mostly day games because of the time of year. The White Sox opening day was a sell-out and the seats were filled despite the frigid temperatures.

The next two games, both played in the afternoon, had sparse crowds. The Sox won the first two games against Kansas City with solid starting pitching (and the long ball) in that series. Yesterday they dropped the series finale 3-1 to the Royals. Sox starter Gavin Floyd gave up three runs. One was unearned. The offense was pretty much handcuffed by Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie and the bullpen.

Sox starters Chris Sale, Jake Peavy and Floyd had good outings. Tyler Flowers boasted the game winning solo homer in the opener and another home run in game 2. Sox fans will be following Flowers progress since he replaced AJ Pierzynski. The Sox defense was a bit shoddy the past two games. The weather may get the blame for now. Tonight the Southsiders host the Seattle Mariners, the first of three games at U.S. Cellular Field.

Cubs’ cold offense

There were a ton of empty seats in Pittsburgh, where the Cubs had success against the Pirates. They took two out of three, including a 3-2 win in yesterday afternoon’s series finale. Cubs lefty Travis Wood had a nice outing for his first start of the year. Wood shut out the Pirates for six innings and gave up just one hit before turning the game over to the bullpen.

The question was on the back end, as Carlos Marmol almost squandered away a 3-0 lead and was aided by a double play to end the game. Just like the weather, the offense was cold for both teams.

After a weekend series in Atlanta, the Cubs will have their home opener Monday afternoon against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. The Chicago Sun Times is reporting a deal has been worked out for the rehabbing of the ballpark with the city, team and neighborhood. According to the report, the agreement will be announced on Monday. Nothing is for certain until the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed.

Bulls beat Nets

What can you say about the Bulls? They came back to beat the Nets in Brooklyn 92-90? Carlos Boozer put the depleted Bulls team on his back and scored 29 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. It was an incredible effort considering Taj Gibson re-injured his knee and joins the long list of injured players on this Bulls squad.

Tom Thibodeau’s team had to claw and scratch to dig out of a 16 point deficit and held on to beat a team they may meet in the playoffs. After the win, the Bulls climbed up to the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. The Nets are in the fourth spot. The standings are still fluid with a handful of games left. Tomorrow the Bulls return to the United Center to play the Orlando Magic.

Blackhawks lose to Blues

Last night at the United Center, the Blackhawks lost in a shoot-out to the St. Louis Blues 4-3. The Hawks did pick up a point and remain on top of the NHL with 58 total points this season.

The Hawks may be concerned with giving up a leads in the third period. They had a 2-1 advantage going into the final period and the Blues were able to score twice against Corey Crawford. With less than five minutes left, Viktor Stalberg tied up the game for the Hawks with his seventh goal of the season. However, in the shoot-out the Blues outscored the Hawks 4-3.

There are only a dozen regular season games left on the schedule the Blackhawks. Thoughts of the playoffs are getting closer and at least Marian Hossa returned from his injury and Patrick Sharp is expected back soon. Next up, an away and home series against Nashville this weekend.

Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CRayeStout and Facebook Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame