Batting Around

Chicago Baseball made some big splashes last winter and now it appears as though both teams are starting to show some real promise as Memorial Day Weekend approaches. Currently the Cubs are in San Diego preparing to take on the Padres in an important NL Wild Card tilt. The White Sox just got back from being in Oakland where they swept the Athletics for the first time since 1997. Last night Chris Sale and defending AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber went toe to toe in a battle of aces where the White Sox won in extra innings after Kluber went nine innings. The White Sox are on a six game winning streak which is the length of the streak the Cubs had snapped by the Pirates on Sunday. The Sox are only three back in the loss column of the AL Central and have three more games against the Indians and then a weekend series against the Twins.

For the White Sox they’ve been battling back from a tough opening part of the season and now that they’ve won 10 of 13 their starting to dig themselves out of a hole in the division and climb the standings. The Cubs have been treading water in terms of a playoff spot throughout the first six weeks of the season, and now this most recent homestead has given them breathing room with which to work when they start their West Coast swing tonight that ends in Arizona on Sunday.

The White Sox and Cubs have the same thing going for them in that their starting pitching is starting to turn things around. Jon Lester has been very good in past couple starts and the Cubs staff as a whole was very good this past week. The White Sox have seen their pair of aces show up and now they’re starting to get that stellar bullpen in situations that’re leading to wins instead of mop up innings. The Cubs bullpen is still a problem, and that was a big reason why they lost on Sunday, but the offense for the northsiders, in particular Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant have been awesome. The White Sox are being led offensively by Jose Abreu and the resurgent Avisail Garcia who’s batting .338 with 17RBI’s and 11XBH’s.

Currently the White Sox have a very important couple of series against teams that are not only in their division but ahead of them in both the Central and the Wild Card. The Twins are the weekend series after the Indians and they’re ahead of the White Sox by a game and a half in both the division and the Wild Card. The Cubs are currently a half game up on the Nationals in the Wild Card, a team they’ll play at home when they return from Arizona on Monday.

Chicago Baseball is in the thick of the playoff races, but there’s still a lot of the season left, and if these teams wanna make it to October they’re going to need to keep pace with some of the best teams in baseball. Something they haven’t been able to sustain over the course of a six month season for several years. As of now it’s good to see quality baseball being played on both sides of town.