Saturday, July 11th, 2015

MLB 2015 Game #7: White Sox vs. Cubs

With the exception of the two early season games in Milwaukee where the retractable roof was closed, today's game may be the first truly summerlike game of 2015. Perhaps a new trend will begin. Along with that, I have not attended a crosstown game since July 1, 2011 when the Chicago White Sox defeated the Chicago Cubs, 6-4.

Both teams enter today's game in radically different positions. The Cubs (46-39, .541) are young team with a bright future. Following several seasons of breaking down old traditions, there's a glimmer of success at Wrigley Field right now. As they approach the All-Star break, the Cubs sit in third place, nine games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. That seems like a decent to merge from, but if the season concluded today, the Cubs would enter the postseason as the second National League wild card. They would meet the Pittsburgh Pirates in a one-game playoff.

The White Sox (40-44, .476) have strung together a three-game winning streak, but are buried at the bottom of the American League Central. They are 10.5 games behind the Kansas City Royals. The south siders are at a strange point in the season. Will Robin Ventura continue to manage the team for the duration of the campaign? Will they be relevant shaping the outcome of the AL Central?

I don't identify as an old-school baseball purist, but I crave pitching duels. Today's game has the potential of offering just that. The best pitcher in this city dons the opposite uniform, but I can't wait to see him pitch again. And he'll be matched up against the Cubs ace coming off of his best start since transitioning to the National League.

Chris Sale (7-4, 2.80 ERA) will make his final start of the first half for the White Sox. The Cubs will answer with Jon Lester (4-7, 3.48 ERA).

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