The scouts were thick as flies at Guaranteed Rate Field Wednesday night, for good reason.
Before Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez were traded to the Angels, it was a two-for-one special as the White Sox and Cubs hooked up in a wild one on a warm, muggy South Side night.
Contending teams looking for starting pitching are undoubtedly aware of Lance Lynn and Marcus Stroman, who were the mound opponents.
Neither veteran right-hander improved his potential trade value, although Lynn is much more likely to be wearing a new uniform by Tuesday’s trade deadline.
In another subpar start, Stroman lasted just 3.1 innings and gave up 7 runs on 9 hits. He has an 8.00 ERA over his last six starts.
With his second 2-run single of the game in the fourth inning, Eloy Jimenez put the Sox in front 7-2 and ended Stroman’s night.
“Not great,” Stroman said. “Not great at all. I’ve been kind of struggling a little bit, mechanically, timing, tempo, rhythm. Just very inconsistent.”
A good team would have seized the momentum and clamped down on the big lead, but the White Sox have not been able to do that all season.
The Cubs stormed back to take an 8-7 lead in the fifth inning, ending Lynn’s night with two outs.
While sweeping the two-game series, the Cubs beat the Sox 10-7.
“It was nice, really nice,” manager David Ross said. “Guys continue to fight. We’ve done a lot of that lately. Just getting down in the middle of the game and the at-bats don’t go away. Really good at-bats. Really nice win.”
Coming out of the bullpen to protect a 7-6 lead in the fifth inning with two outs and the bases loaded, Sox reliever Joe Kelly issued back-to-back walks to Mike Tauchman and Nico Hoerner, forcing in a pair of runs.
The Cubs have been showing some recent life and might force club president Jed Hoyer to pause on pushing the trade button by Tuesday’s deadline.
“What that big picture looks like is the ultimate goal and how fast can we get there,” Ross said. “How do we do that? We try to win every single game. We try to win every single pitch. That’s what I’m focused on. The more we keep the good players, the closer we are to doing that this season.”
As for Lynn, his ERA now stands at 6.47. That’s far from appealing, but he has a long history of success and still can pile up innings and strikeouts.
“He understands the role that he’s got in being the veteran guy in a rotation,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “He understands the leadership part of it that he’s had to take on with younger starters. It means a lot to any ballclub. Him taking the ball every five days and never complaining about anything and giving you 100 pitches plus?
“He understands that part of the game better than anybody I’ve been around. There’s a lot of value to Lance Lynn, here or anywhere else.”