Chicago White Sox Morning BP: Can this team really compete?
The Chicago White Sox are 8-2 in their past 10 games with the most recent win being Friday against the Chicago Cubs in the first of three against the crosstown rival.
In the game it took bench players J.B. Shuck hitting a sacrifice fly to left field to score Emilio Bonifacio for the 1-0 win over the Cubs Friday afternoon. The win saw the White Sox offense have just five hits, and the defense have no errors, so in a win none of us can be picky, right?
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The White Sox are four games under .500 at 40-44 headed into Saturday’s showdown with ace Chris Sale facing Cubs ace Jon Lester in what should really be a treat for fans of pitching.
Back to Friday’s win … we did get to see the MLB debut Tyler Saladino at third base for the Sox. He was recalled to the majors with a .255 batting average at Triple-A Charlotte, and hopefully with his speed, he can eventually turn into the player (and third baseman) this ball club really needs. He failed to get a hit in his debut game.
We have to give props to Friday’s starter Carlos Rodon, who in six innings allowed no earned runs on two hits in a no-decision. He did walk a few too many batters with six free passes to the Cubs, but in all he pitched a solid game. Rodon improved on his two previous starts, so that’s all anyone can ask for from the rookie lefty.
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Rodon entered the game with a 4.18 ERA and lowered it to 3.80 once his six-strikeout outing was complete.
Also the bullpen of the Sox on Friday deserves some praise with the trio of Jake Petricka, Zach Duke and David Robertson combining to allow no runs and one hit in a combined three innings of work.
Today’s Sale vs. Lester matchup could be just as exciting as Friday for the fans of the Crosstown Cup. Hopefully we won’t see an appearance from either of the bullpens, and this can mirror the previous start by Sale where he went all nine innings vs. the Blue Jays on Monday.
Did you see this strange double play the White Sox converted in the first of three at Wrigley Field? Only the ’15 White Sox can do this and make something positive out of it. In all the team converted five double plays at the Cubs, but this was the strangest one all:
Friday’s win leaves the White Sox last in the AL Central, but they are 5.5 games back of the second AL Wild Card spot with the Los Angeles Angels (47-39) and the Minnesota Twins (47-40) holding onto those coveted spots.
Can this current club of White Sox really compete for one of those two spots? It is still going to be very tough, and depending on how this series ends, and how they begin the post all-star break slate, we’ll know if the White Sox will be going all in, or waiting until next year.
WHITE SOX HEADLINES
• Cubs vs. White Sox: Jon Lester gets his shot at Chris Sale: By Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago.
• Reserves come through for only offense: By Scott Merkin of WhiteSox.com.
• Pitching, defense get it done for White Sox in win over Cubs: By Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald.
• Lincicome: White Sox-Cubs series is an overdone stunt: By Bernie Lincicome of the Chicago Tribune.
Before we end, since this is White Sox vs. Cubs weekend, how can we ever forget this video:
Next: Crosstown Cup: Are fans losing interest?