The Chicago White Sox finally did what they needed to do; win games that were important. After sweeping the Minnesota Twins over the weekend, they then defeated the visiting Detroit Tigers in a makeup game. So with that done, they need to catch magic in a bottle again and do the same against the Kansas City Royals starting Tuesday.
The recent win streak now puts the Sox three games over the Tigers, and the game Monday afternoon couldn’t have been more exciting, as it truly felt like a playoff atmosphere had fallen over U.S. Cellular Field.
At first, starter Jose Quintana got off to a rocky start, making everyone in the ballpark a bit nervous after a three-run third inning. However, when the Sox answered right back in the fourth and fifth innings, the volume inside the stadium rose considerably, especially for a Monday afternoon in September.
With the Sox now finished with the Tigers for the season, a new challenge awaits them as they try to hold their lead for the final two weeks of the season. Unfortunately, they have to start that journey against the Royals.
As many a Southsider has noticed, the Sox aren’t playing very well against KC this year, with a current record of 5-10 against them. The Sox need to keep their confidence level up in order to win these games.
The recent four-game win streak should help. Also, the return of Adam Dunn and Gavin Floyd to the lineup seemed to provide a boost. If the Sox can ride this hot streak into October… well, I don’t even have to finish that sentence.
Hot teams win games in the postseason, and the Sox are 6-4 in their last ten. And with the Tigers facing the red-hot Oakland Athletics, this is the perfect time for the Sox to completely pull away and secure that Central Division Championship.
But it all starts with the Royals. Don’t even worry about Tampa Bay and Los Angeles yet. If this team can’t beat the Royals, then there’s something wrong with the Sox. And when teams do something wrong this late in the season, it never turns out well.
Game 1 (Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. CT)
Gavin Floyd (9-10, 4.59 ERA) vs. Luke Hochevar (8-13, 5.46 ERA)
Game 2 (Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. CT)
Chris Sale (17-6, 2.78 ERA) vs. Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.50 ERA)
Game 3 (Thursday, 7:10 p.m. CT)
TBD vs. Bruce Chen (10-12 5.42 ERA)
Chris Sale- With everything management, and other fans, are saying about keeping the Sox’ young pitchers on a tight leash, Sale keeps on proving that he doesn’t need one. He’ll be looking for his 18th win, and if the Sox are going to win a game this series, this is the one.
Luke Hochevar- He’s been pretty horrible this year, but has posted a 1-0 record with a 2.25 ERA against the Sox this year.
DeWayne Wise- Sure he gets some timely hits, but how many more fielding and base-running mistakes does he have to make until he’s taken out of the every day lineup?
Bruce Chen- Unlike Hochevar, Chen has been pretty dismal this year against the American League, the Sox included. Another hit parade may be coming for the Sox.
Follow on Twitter @Midwaymadness