White Sox vs. Cubs, Part 2
The first time the White Sox and Cubs met there was quite a bit of talk that six games between the two rivals are just too much, that interleague play should be scaled back to just one three-game series. With Part 2 of the annual rivalry set to begin Friday, what do you think?
Last year, the first series was played at U.S. Cellular Field. There does seem to be more hype and coverage for whatever matchup is first. We benefitted from that last year. By the time the second series comes around, a lot always seems to be happening in the sports world, story lines for the baseball season seem to be set and media interest seems divided (i.e. tonight’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals, the U.S. Women’s Open, the coming Western Open, etc.). But I’m not sure any of this makes a difference to the fans of the two teams … let me know what you think? Has the rivalry cooled somewhat as we have now played 45 times against one another?
I do know that from a White Sox front office perspective, it is very nice to have an off day before the series begins … especially with the series coming at the end of the season’s longest homestand. We all are taking a breather.
It was nice of the Chicago Tribune to remind the White Sox in today’s newspaper of the 2003 Kansas City Royals. My opinion, but given the disppointments this team has gone through since 2000 and its one-game-at-a-time approach, the Sox players won’t need the friendly reminder. Time will tell.
Given the day games of the weekend and the hectic schedule, I will probably not post before the three games (i.e. lineups and notes) but will try and post after each game to pass along any funny notes or quotes from the clubhouse.
This one is for extra, extra credit: The White Sox have enjoyed five walk-off victories against the Cubs during the series’ history. Can you name the four players who were involved? Here’s a hint … one came in 1999, one in 2000, one in 2001 and two in 2003. Answer later.
White Sox vs. Cubs Notes
Possible statistical help for those pregame arguments with your friends from the other side of town:
Since interleague play began in 1997, the Sox own a 24-21 edge over the Cubs, going 13-8 at U.S. Cellular Field. The Sox have won five of the last six series. However, the Cubs have outscored the Sox by a slim margin, 217-214.
Paul Konerko is hitting .293 with seven home runs and 21 RBI in his last 18 games against the Cubs. He has hit safely in his last nine games. PK’s nine home runs against the Cubs leads the Sox, followed by Frank Thomas with six.
Twenty-nine of the 45 games (64 percent) have been decided by three runs or less with the Sox going 17-12. The Sox are 3-4 in three-run games, and 3-2 in the five extra-inning contests (last coming on 6/9/01, a 4-3 Cubs win).
Twelve of the 45 games have been decided in the final at-bat. The last time the Sox lost a home series to the Cubs was in 1999, going 10-5 and winning two of three games in each of the last five years.
Counting postseason, exhibition, spring training and regular-season games, the White Sox own a 152-106-6 edge in the all-time series with the Cubs.
7/9/99 … Carlos Lee sac fly off Terry Adams for 3-2 win
6/9/00 … Ray Durham single off Daniel Garabay in the 14th inning for a 6-5 win
6/8/01 … Lee grand slam off Courtney Duncan for a 7-3 win
6/27/03 … Jose Valentin solo home run off Antonio Alfonseca for a 4-3 win
6/28/03 … D’Angelo Jimenez’s single off Mike Remlinger gave Sox a 7-6 win
Yesterday we released an advisory for fans planning to come to the three games. The two key points … plan to arrive early to alleviate traffic and take mass transit if you can.
If I may add, let’s all enjoy the weekend together (Cubs fans and Sox fans) and avoid the mean-spiritedness that sometimes creeps into these games. Let’s all try to be respectful and considerate. Give peace a chance.
The 2005 White Sox team has succeeded to date by focusing on today’s game and the next series — messages preached in the clubhouse over and over again by Ken Williams and Ozzie Guillen. Let’s keep the same approach this weekend because it seems to be working …
Have a great time and enjoy the buzz Chicago’s fans create for these three games. I know our players do.