Rick Renteria reached his breaking point on the South Side Wednesday night.
The first-year manager was tossed from Game 3 of the Crosstown Classic as the White Sox drubbed the Cubs 8-3 in front of just 21,075 fans at U.S. Cellular Field.
It was the South Siders' third straight win in the series and the Cubs have been outscored 16-5 in the three games.
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Renteria, typically a mild-mannered guy, picked up his third ejection of the season during the fifth inning as Travis Wood melted down and was chased from the game on a Paul Konerko three-run double. Wood surrendered eight runs on eight hits in his four-plus innings.
"We obviously are emotional because we want these guys to have success," Renteria said after the game. "Today, they're going to feel this. Every day we go out there and do not come out with a victory or we have lapses that occur because of the situation that happened in the ballgame, they take it to heart, they evaluate it."
Wood appreciated his manager lobbying for him and the rest of the Cubs players, but knows this team can't let external factors like umpires throw it off track.
"It's respectful that he's got our back no matter what, but if you're letting it affect you, that means you're letting everything affect you," he said. "You just gotta take it in stride and move forward."
Renteria and the Cubs were unhappy with the balls and strikes calls from home plate umpire Tom Woodring all game.
Wood entered the day with just seven walks in 37.2 innings, but dished out five free passes Wednesday night, many on close pitches the Cubs felt should have gone their way.
"He missed a lot of pitches," catcher Welington Castillo said of Woodring. "I have to respect his word. I know what his strike zone is, but at the same time, I know he's trying his best, too."
"They're not going to get every one right," Wood said. "It is what it is. You can't do a whole lot about it."
The Cubs didn't like the calls they were getting when they were hitting, either. In the top of the fifth inning, Anthony Rizzo worked the count to 3-1 with runners on second and third, but back-to-back questionable strike calls ended the inning and the Cubs' rally, prompting Rizzo to stand at home plate well after the strike-three call, letting his obvious frustration show.
"We're battling, we're competing. We all show emotion out there," Rizzo said. "We're not trying to show an umpire up or someone else up. It's emotion. You want to win. We're competitors just as much as anyone and at the end of the day, we have to answer the questions and not other people."
It wasn't just the umpires, though. Wood was struck by the barrel of a shattered bat in the fourth inning and retired just one batter after while walking three and allowing four hits, including Konerko's double and Gordon Beckham's three-run homer in the fourth.
The Cubs scored a run on Luis Valbuena's two-out RBI double in the second and pushed across two more in the fifth on a Mike Olt solo homer and an Emilio Bonifacio RBI double.
But as a team, they are hitting .121 (12-for-99) against the White Sox with five runs in 30 innings in the series. They've struck out 29 times and drawn 10 walks in three games.
"We need to start hitting," Rizzo said. "It's contagious. Four hits is not enough to win a ballgame. Sometimes, you can get away with it, but we need to start hitting a little bit better. Get guys on and put some more pressure on these pitchers."
The Cubs and White Sox wrap up the Crosstown series Thursday evening from the South Side.