Sweep should give Sox some confidence
May, 20, 2012
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox had shown as much consistency over the last month as the city’s weather prior to arriving to Wrigley Field for the weekend showdown.
They won. They lost. Their starters pitched great. Their starters pitched awful. Their bullpen was unhittable and then very hittable. Their lineup followed the same trend and was productive on some days and non-existent on others.
Leading up to Friday, the White Sox had been winless in their previous eight series. They lost five of those series and split three others, and they were 9-15 overall in games during that stretch. The last series they won was a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners from April 20-22.
And then, they welcomed themselves to the Friendly Confines.
While the Cubs said goodbye to Kerry Wood in his retirement and dissipated any small hope for this season, the White Sox soared in the opposite direction. They celebrated three consecutive wins over their North Side rival, finishing with a 6-0 victory on Sunday, and swept the Cubs at Wrigley Field for the first time since 1999. They also returned to .500 for the first time since May 2 and moved within 2 ½ games of first place in the American League Central.
All in all, there was plenty for the White Sox to feel good about as they head back to the South Side for six consecutive home games.
Mike McGinnis/Getty ImagesGordon Beckham homered in the fourth inning Sunday to give the Sox the lead.
“Obviously interleague is a kind of a cool change of pace for everyone, especially with a rivalry with the Cubs,” said White Sox slugger Adam Dunn, who homered on Sunday. “It adds a little extra incentive. For us to go out and play well three games is kind of icing on the cake.”
The White Sox nearly had every component clicking in the three wins.
“Everybody is kind of doing their part – starting pitching, relievers, hitters getting some timely hits and playing defense,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said after Sunday’s win. “And you put those together, you have a good chance.
“(This series) is fun. Anytime you get the crowd that is like this, where it is split, it is fun. They’re always fun no matter where it’s at our place or here. They’re better if we win.”