One of my favorite baseball quotes is from Lou Boudreau, player-manager of the 1948 World Series winning Cleveland Indians. When asked during the season what was the key to his team’s success, Boudreau replied, “We beat the bums.” Apologies to the Detroit Tigers, but sweeping them this week after winning two of three in Detroit has the White Sox living that Boudreau principal.
Six wins in seven played is a good way to get back into the thick of things in the AL Central. The White Sox sit two games behind the Twins and a game and a half behind the Indians for the top spot. More importantly in this COVID season, the Sox are in the seven spot of the playoff picture. As we turn the page and head into September, that is definitely better than being out of it.
Unfortunately, the White Sox can’t play the Tigers every day and the steady diet of bums radically changes this weekend as they face the Cubs. As readers of this fine website are aware, the Cubs are the second best team in the National League, and not by all that much. The White Sox winning two of three would be sublime, even eeking out a win in Wrigley would be a good bit of weekend work. The rest of the week brings another round of bums with Pittsburgh and Kansas City coming to town, so surviving the weekend is the goal.
This isn’t to soft pedal the White Sox before this weekend because the Cubs will have their hands full. As a team, the White Sox are first in the AL in batting average, second in home runs and second in slugging percentage. If you haven’t been paying attention to the South Side, keep an eye on the usual suspects like Tim Anderson, José Abreu and Yoan Mocada. And for the sheer joy of it, watch Louis Robert play centerfield. It’s a treat. Finally, Eloy Jiménez is having a good year and he seems to love sticking it to the Cubs.
The pitching isn’t in quite as good a position, with the fifth-best ERA and third-most strikeouts. Considering that TBD has been making regular starts for them, the pitching has held its own thus far this season. It could be a really fun weekend, too bad we can’t all be together. These games are always fun, but when both teams are decent to good, they reach a whole other level. I miss live baseball, even at Wrigley.