What a start to the week for my two favorite baseball team, the White Sox and Giants, both completed huge sweeps on Wednesday to remain in first place in their respective divisions.
The White Sox were hoping to extend their lead over the Detroit Tigers with a sweep of the Yankees this week, but instead it allowed them to keep their 2-game lead going into todays off day. Justin Verlander takes the mound for the Tigers today, so after a sweep of the Yankees the Sox might end up losing a ½-game today. That’s been the story for both teams on off-days the past month, they have both been trading ½-games.
Chris Sale continued his bid for AL Cy Young last night with a 13 strikeout evening against the Bronx Bombers, rather impressive since the Yankees are one of the most patient hitting teams in baseball. Sale notched his 15th win and the Sox finished their season series against the Yankees with a 5-2 record. I like our chances in the playoffs.
The Giants sweep of the Dodgers is even more impressive to me, since the Giants have had to deal with adversity since the end of last week when their star left fielder, Melky Cabrera, was suspended 50-games for failing a mandatory drug test. Everyone pretty much knows the story, so I won’t go over the details again. After a rough weekend the Giants regrouped and went to LA and swept the Dodgers.
The Dodgers took a ½-game lead into the series and left the series in a 2-1/2 game hole
as the Giants pounded the Dodgers pitching staff for 14 runs in the three game series.
Matt Cain continued his impressive season last night by pitching 7-innings of one run ball while striking out five to notch his 13th victory. The Giants touched up Chris Capuano for 6-runs over five innings, which I pretty much called earlier in the year. Capuano is notoriously bad in the second half of the year, his lifetime ERA in the second half is over a run higher than his first half ERA. That was one of the reasons the Brewers did not resign him back in 2010, he was horrible in key games down the stretch. Good pick-up Dodgers, well for the Giants.
The key for both the White Sox and the Giants is to extend their leads before meeting up with the Tigers and Dodgers again this season.
I would prefer to go into each of those series with at least a 4-game lead, but that may be a difficult task. As long as both teams keep taking care of business it should be a fun October for me.