This week’s names and numbers in baseball:
CUBS NINE TO KNOW
1.The Cubs had by far their worst run-differential month in July. In March/April, when they were 9-17, they scored 99 runs and allowed 108, a run differential of minus-9. In May, when they were 11-16, they scored 108 runs and allowed 108, a run differential of zero. In June, when they were 15-13, they scored 98 runs and allowed 101, a run differential of minus-3. In July, when they were 10-16, they scored 107 runs and allowed 141, a run differential of minus-34.
2. The Cubs have played three games longer than six hours in their history, and the 4-3, 16-inning victory in 6:27 last week against the Rockies was their first victory in those games. They lost a 6:10 game Aug. 17, 1982, to the Dodgers in 21 innings and a 6:09 game April 20, 1986, to the Pirates in 17 innings. In the two previous epic games, Ryne Sandberg went a combined 1-for-17.
3. Catcher John Baker became the 24th Cubs pitcher with a 1-0 career record. Baker became the first catcher to pitch for the Cubs, but Frank Isbell and Sam Mertes did it for the White Sox in 1902. In 1979, the Sox’ Wayne Nordhagen appeared as a designated hitter, right fielder, left fielder, catcher and pitcher.
4. Chris Carter, Carlos Santana and Anthony Rizzo led the majors with eight home runs in July.
5. Neil Ramirez came out of the bullpen nine times in July and had a 0.00 ERA.6. The Cubs’ starting pitchers had the worst ERA in the National League in July at 5.03. Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson each went 0-3 in July. Wood had a 6.89 ERA and Jackson had a 7.50 ERA.
7. Anthony Rizzo and Chris Coghlan led the Cubs with 32 hits in July.
8. Emilio Bonifacio hit .279 for the Cubs, but he was brutal in May and June, hitting .207 with one homer, 11 RBI and three steals.
9. What made reliever James Russell so attractive to the Braves is that he held opponents scoreless 35 times in 44 appearances this season with the Cubs. But Russell inherited 23 baserunners and allowed nine to score, a rate of 39 percent.
WHITE SOX NINE TO KNOW
1. The White Sox had their best month of the season in July. In March/April, they were 14-15 (.482). In May, they were 14-14 (.500). In June, they were 11-15 (.423). In July, they were 14-12 (.538).
2.No starter had a lower ERA in July than Chris Sale’s 0.85. Jon Lester was next at 0.93.
3.When Jose Abreu’s hitting streak reached 20 games, it became the third-longest for the Sox since 2000. Carlos Lee had a 28-game streak in 2004, and Alexei Ramirez had a 21-game streak last season.
4.The Sox hit 24 home runs in July, led by Jose Abreu with six and Adam Dunn with five.
5.When Paul Konerko scored twice Thursday, it marked the 195th time in his career he had scored more than once in a game for the Sox and the first time this season. Frank Thomas holds the team record with 291 multiple-run games.
6.Jose Abreu led the Sox with 37 hits in July, but give some love to Adam Eaton, who had 34.
7.July was a really good bounce-back month for Tyler Flowers. He hit .268 after hitting .169 in May and June combined.
8.Hector Noesi led the majors by walking 18 batters in July.
9.Nine pitchers have started and 17 have appeared in relief for the Sox this season.
Chicago baseball anagram • Scroll down for answer
On Aug. 3, 1979, this Hall of Famer became the White Sox’ manager.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Welcome to the dog days of August. The Sox host the Rangers for three games, then head to the Great Northwest to play the Mariners. The Cubs will fly high to Colorado to face the Rockies, then head home to face the David Price-less Rays.
Tony La Russa