White Sox: September Crosstown Classic Will Be Can’t-Miss TV
White Sox didn’t have a good series against crosstown rivals last weekend, but next series in September should be more entertaining on the South Side.
The series no one and everyone waited for. The Chicago Crosstown Classic for the trophy and all trophies – the BP Crosstown Cup.
Well it’s not exactly the World Series trophy nor is it well known to most outside of Chicago, but it’s the only chance the White Sox have this season of winning anything.
The White Sox, as abysmal as they’ve been, always seem to match up well with the Northsiders. They were the holders of the Crosstown Cup for six of the seven years (2010-2012, 2014-2016) since it’s been introduced, which means they either split or won the Crosstown series.
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But there was a different feeling going into this series in particular. The Cubs have not played at their peak, World Series form but the White Sox have just been completely awful over the past few weeks. And going to Wrigley throwing out three sporadic, inconsistent starters, the Sox were destined to get utterly dismantled. And they almost did.
Here is a quick overview of the Crosstown Series in three sentences.
Friday: Bad start by Carson Fulmer, Willson Contreras (7 RBI) and Cubs have a field day against the bullpen, put up 11 runs.
Saturday: Not a terrible start by James Shields, Cubs still roll over him and the bullpen, put up eight runs. Sox lose with a chance to tie with a grand slam (yeah right).
Sunday: Lucas Giolito has a shaky but strong start, Matt Davidson powers another home run and the bullpen shuts down the Cubs to finally win a game.
The White Sox were playing passable baseball for the first time in a while and it was great to see them rewarded with a win. There were a few games over the past week against the Pirates and the Cardinals that the team should have won but didn’t come away with a win.
But last weekend, the Cubs took advantage of a sorry and incomplete White Sox team. No, the Sox were not dealing with too many major injuries or suspensions. This was just not their team of the future. The Cubs, on the other hand, has already reached the top of the MLB mountain with this very squad.
The Cubs dealt with the Sox brutally and quickly, however, this decisive defeat brought up a thought that should comfort White Sox fans in a time of sports sadness and grief. The next time these two teams meet up in September, the teams will look much more different and the stakes will be much greater.
As discussed earlier this month, the White Sox are playing only three-to-four players every day that may or may not be on the contending team of the future. In the series last weekend, the Sox were missing Avisail Garcia, probable piece of the contending team, and Yoan Moncada, the cornerstone of the rebuild. Both players just missed out on this series on the disabled list and Moncada returned to action this past Tuesday.
Come September, hopefully both players will be available and playing well to show the Northsiders what they missed back in May. But in addition to them, the White Sox could be throwing out Reynaldo Lopez, the best starting pitcher currently on the staff, Carlos Rodon, the team’s makeshift ace, and Michael Kopech, the second highest ranked pitcher on MLB Pipeline’s 100 top prospects list.
Another player that could join the team by September could be Eloy Jimenez, the organization’s number one prospect who has been absolutely incredible so far this season. He’s currently playing for the Double-A Birmingham Barons but he should be promoted any day now, as well as be a part of the September call-ups.
The best part of this scenario is that even if those players don’t make the cut, they will eventually along with some of baseball’s highest-rated prospects like Luis Robert, Blake Rutherford and Dylan Cease.
The Sox playing Kopech, Jimenez, Moncada, and Garcia instead of Shields, Trayce Thompson, Leury Garcia, and Adam Engel could make a world of a difference in the September series. The Sox developing Kopech and Jimenez will be the main objective to close out the year, while the Cubs will either be getting ready for the playoffs or be playing to get into the playoffs. It’s going to be a great series.
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It’s a win-win-win for the White Sox, the Cubs and Chicago if the White Sox prospects pan out. The White Sox will be a force again, the Cubs’ bragging rights will multiply if they beat a good White Sox team, and the Crosstown Classic will be the best it’s ever been.