CSN to replay Wood's 20 strikeout game, Humber's perfect game

CSN to replay Wood's 20 strikeout game, Humber's perfect game

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO REPLAY KERRY WOODS 20 STRIKEOUT GAME & PHIL HUMBERS PERFECT GAME DURING THE ALL-STAR BREAK

Chicago, IL (July 5, 2012) -- Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, will be providing fans of both teams with a special treat during the All-Star break as the network will re-air a pair of historic Chicago baseball pitching gems: Kerry Woods 20-strikeout performance from 1998 and Phil Humbers stellar perfect game from this past April. Note the following details

WEDNESDAY, JULY 11

7:00 PM Cubs Classics: Kerry Woods 20 Strikeout Game (from May 6, 1998) In just his fifth career start, Kerry Wood entered the halls of baseball history with one of the most dominant, single game pitching performances on record. Facing the visiting Houston Astros, Kid K threw a one-hit, complete game shutout, allowing just two baserunnersbut his MLB record-tying 20 strikeouts was the big story, as Wood mowed the opposition down from start to finish, including striking out eight of the last nine batters he faced. When the season ended, Wood was named the 1998 National League Rookie of the Year.
(SPECIAL NOTE: Kerry Wood will be along to provide brand new commentary coming in and out of breaks throughout this entire replay telecast.)

THURSDAY, JULY 12

7:00 PM White Sox Classics: Phil Humbers Perfect Game (from April 21, 2012) In his second start of the 2012 season (and just his 30th career start overall), Phil Humber became just the third White Sox pitcher in franchise history -- 21st in MLB history -- to throw a perfect game. A monumental performance throughout this game in Seattle, Humber retired all 27 batters he faced (and never needed more than 14 pitches, to get through a single frame) in his first-ever complete game shutout. In addition to receiving a congratulatory phone call from President Obama, Humber was also named the American League Player of the Week for the week ending April 22.

Coming up on Comcast SportsNet

INSIDE LOOK: A.J. PIERZYNSKI debuts this Saturday, July 7 at 7:00 PM

THE BATTERS BOX (episode 2) debuts this Sunday, July 8 at 3:30 PM (following Cubs Post Game Live)

WHITE SOX close out the first half of the season this weekend with a home series against the Toronto Blue Jays (Friday at 6:30 PM on CSN; Saturday at 2:30 PM on CSN)

CUBS head into the All-Star break with a three-game set at the NY Mets (Friday at 6:00 PM & Sunday at 11:30 AM on CSN)

In addition, viewers are also urged to visit Comcast SportsNets newly-enhanced website, CSNChicago.com, for the very latest White Sox & Cubs news, game previewsrecaps, Insider reports, talent blogs, videos and much more, available 247.

Preview: White Sox, Royals tangle Friday night on CSN

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Preview: White Sox, Royals tangle Friday night on CSN

The White Sox take on the Royals on Friday, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. from Kansas City. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Miguel Gonzalez (0-1, 4.57 ERA) vs. Danny Duffy (0-0, 2.13 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get your White Sox gear right here]

— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with White Sox Pulse.

Preview: Cubs, Phillies start series Friday on CSN

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Preview: Cubs, Phillies start series Friday on CSN

The Cubs take on the Phillies on Friday, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins with Cubs Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. Then catch first pitch with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on Cubs Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Jon Lester (4-3, 2.60 ERA) vs. Adam Morgan (1-2, 5.61 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

[SHOP CUBS: Get your Cubs gear right here]

— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

— Latest on the Cubs: All of the most recent news and notes.

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with Cubs Pulse.

Bears' move away from Forte part of change in run-game philosophy

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Bears' move away from Forte part of change in run-game philosophy

The Bears’ decision to move on from Matt Forte, the No. 2 running back in franchise history behind only Walter Payton in yardage, was not necessarily an easy one. It was, however, unanimous at Halas Hall, sources told CSNChicago.com. And it was also part of a significant deeper change in the main operating principle underpinning the Bears’ rushing offense.

Depending upon what Forte does with the New York Jets — and for how long — the decision might be open to question. Few NFL decisions aren’t.

But the Bears’ offense under John Fox and new coordinator Dowell Loggains was clearly going away from what Forte was accustomed to — a true featured back with a relief-back in the form of a Chester Taylor/Marion Barber/Michael Bush — and moving onto a true use of two backs in the fashion that Fox’s Denver Broncos offenses used them.

The change will be more than just a few carries. Forte lost carries last season to Jeremy Langford and Ka'Deem Carey. This is different.

Instead of Forte and an understudy, as the de facto rushing offense has been since Forte was drafted in 2008, the Bears this offseason made the decision to emphasize the run even more under Loggains, and that has meant something other than simply more carries for Forte’s understudy.

For perspective purposes: Last season Forte missed three full games due to a knee injury but still totaled 276 touches (carries plus targets) to 236 combined for Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey. When Forte returned from the three-game injury break, the offense had changed. Forte had four 20-carry games in the first six. He had one over the final six.

Forte did not appear publicly to genuinely embrace the job-sharing approach as Langford’s carries matched and in cases exceeded his own. Whether he would have been on board with ceding even more meaningful time to a co-back is another matter that would have been open to question, though any suspicions that direction are now moot.

(If Forte would have had problems with younger backs rising, he would not have been the first; Thomas Jones ultimately demanded a trade after the Lovie Smith Bears drafted Cedric Benson to broaden the run game.)

Regardless, the true multi-back system will be a change for the Bears, harking back perhaps to the Bears building their run game on two starter-grade backs in Benson and Jones. The Bears’ unsuccessful attempt to bring in C.J. Anderson from Denver suggests less a no-confidence vote in either Carey or Langford than a measure of the commitment to both competition and a depth chart with meaning past the top one or even two names. The Bears have used mid-round picks on running backs in three straight drafts (Carey, Langford, Jordan Howard this year), making the same point the Anderson interest did.

And that’s how Langford took the Howard selection to a position that where confidence in him was one of the reasons the organization was OK with parting with Forte.

“I really didn’t think too much of (the Howard pick),” Langford said. “I know it’s just competition. That’s what brings a lot of running backs, a lot of positions, to push themselves even more. Competition is always a good thing, and playing in the NFL, there’s always going to be competition, so you can’t really become too complacent as a player.”

“Complacent” wasn’t a word anyone was likely to apply to Langford, and certainly to Carey, who played his way up from a roster bubble at the end of training camp last year. And Howard as a fifth-round rookie isn’t guaranteed anything for awhile in training camp except reps with the 2s or 3s, with Jacquizz Rodgers also re-signed after an injury shortened 2015.

Loggains has been dealt a hand without an ace like Forte but with what he and the organization think can be three or four kings, depending on roster decisions at the end of August.

“We like where Jeremy’s at,” Loggains said. “He needs to continue to develop. There’s things he can do a better job of in the passing game, but we still like our other backs. Ka’Deem Carey finished strong for us last year. We obviously drafted a back. We’re excited about getting Jacquizz Rodgers back as well.”