FIRST INNINGSox top: Oh, no. What happened to small ball? Scott Podsednik walked on four pitches but Willie Harris wasn't asked to sacrifice and Podsednik was picked off.
Cubs top: Carlos Zambrano was smokin'. You could hear the pop on his pitches. So far, so good, but you worry about his elbow letting the bullpen in too early.
Sox bottom: When Jose Contreras throws strikes and forgets about nibbling, he usually has a good game. After the quick, tidy 1-2-3 inning, it looks like a good game.
Cubs bottom: Derrek Lee hasn't had a hit yet in this series after bouncing out. If he is starting a slump, the offense is in deeper trouble than it's in one already.
Sox top: Will that first inning, when two walks were wasted, come back to haunt? Some encouraging news: A.J. Pierzynski hit one to the ivy.
Cubs top: Zambrano still is over 95 m.p.h. and hasn't clutched his elbow one time. Whew. Juan Uribe didn't have a chance on the high heat for strike three.
Sox bottom: Carl Everett is starting in right field, but the ball hasn't found him yet. It's nice to have his bat in the lineup but his glove could be costly in low-scoring game.
Cubs bottom: The encouraging news for the offense is Contreras hasn't struck anybody out yet. The bad news is that the wind is blowing in from right field.
Sox top: Hey, wasn't Zambrano supposed to be hurt? He looks awful good so far. Looks like it may take some patented small ball to win--if he lets another guy on base.
Cubs top: Zambrano seems to be all business today, not as animated on the mound as he has been in the past. That's good, because Sox could use that as motivation.
Sox bottom: Thank you, wind. It's good to see it blowing in. In fact, without it, Jason Dubois' fly ball to center would have made the basket easily for a homer.
Cubs bottom: They say Zambrano's elbow injury was caused by swinging the bat. If so, he might be hurting soon. He sure didn't get cheated when he swung wildly at strike three.
Sox top: Wait a minute. Zambrano hits two batters and the umpires issue a warning to both teams? Shouldn't Contreras get at least one free shot at retaliating?
Cubs top: There's no way Zambrano was throwing at anybody intentionally. And why is Pierzynski allowed to wear protective elbow armor? That's really weak.
Sox bottom: Now Contreras has to go the rest of the way without pitching inside for fear of being thrown out. Maybe it affected him because he didn't look as sharp.
Cubs bottom: Sox aren't the only team that can play small ball. Single, stolen base, single, stolen base. One run. Nice to see Dusty Baker "stealing" a page from the Sox.
Sox top: This is getting serious. Five baserunners but no hits.The best hope might be for Zambrano to let a pitch slip and hit another batter so he gets ejected.
Cubs top: Typical Zambrano.He walks the pitcher, who never has had a hit, but strikes out the other three batters. He's just wild enough to have no-hit stuff.
Sox bottom: Contreras is throwing one of his best games, but the offense needs to get going. He already has had three games with one run allowed and no final decision.
Cubs bottom: Dubois looks encouraging, singling this time up. Maybe it's time to play him every day and see if he can hit enough to stay in the majors.
Sox top: Finally a hit. It wasn't hard but it counted. The hope now is that Zambrano has thrown so many pitches the Cubs have to go to their bullpen soon.
Cubs top: OK, so everyone knows Zambrano gets a little emotional. But he didn't let the first hit bother him, getting the next batter Pierzynski to line out to end the inning.
Sox bottom: One thing we know: Contreras is awful at holding runners on base. When the Cubs steal three bases, you know you're slow getting rid of the ball.
Cubs bottom: Another hit and stolen base, but Lee grounded out again. Bad news, because Zambrano may not make it to the ninth with his pitch count already above 100.
Sox top: Still waiting for Zambrano to leave. It can't come soon enough. And so we wait and wait.
Cubs top: Boom-boom-boom. One of Zambrano's easiest innings and one of his best games, only one hit. And the greatest thing is his elbow survived.
Sox bottom: Is that the Cubs' bullpen up and throwing? Best news of the day. White Sox have had 12 comeback victories already this season.
Cubs bottom: Aramis Ramirez walked with one out but got no further. In this type of game you need to squeeze out every possible run.
Sox top: This is the way it has been done all year. Two infield hits, a stolen base and a single off the center fielder's glove. Lucky? Good? Doesn't matter.
Cubs top: Oh, that bullpen. Michael Wuertz wasn't exactly clobbered but it's a darn shame to waste an effort like Zambrano gave with that kind of relief pitching.
Sox bottom: Amazing how many Sox fans got into the ballpark one way or another. They are making lots of noise, almost as much as Cubs fans. A glimmer of hope.
Cubs bottom: But hopes of a third run and a tie went down the drain when Lee was picked off first. When things are going bad ...
Sox top: Jermaine Dye, home run. Boy, is it good to see him getting hot. And how wonderful to watch the Cubs' bullpen keep disintegrating.
Cubs top: Booo.That's for LaTroy Hawkins, who did it again. He gave up another homer right after his offense had got itself back into contention.
Sox bottom: Payback time for the sweep here last year that helped start the season spiraling downward. The brooms will be out for Game 3.
Cubs bottom: Talk about low points in a season, this has to be one. It doesn't get much worse than losing two in a row in the home park to that other team.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times