As the Chicago White Sox team photographer, I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve when it comes to how I handle the club’s ups and downs throughout the season. Right now, I’m riding an emotional high going into the All-Star break, which has given everyone (except the All-Stars themselves) a much needed three day break before the second half of the season begins on Thursday.
5 weeks ago, I wasn’t feeling quite so chipper, that’s for sure. The White Sox trailed the first place Minnesota Twins by 9 1/2 games on June 8th, and the schedule didn’t look like it was going to get easier any time soon. But that’s when things changed. Oh my, did they change. The past 5 weeks have allowed White Sox fans to experience some great baseball, and experience what it’s like to win. Not just win, but win a lot. In bunches. At an .833 pace over 30 games. Serious winning.
First with an 11 game winning streak, followed shortly thereafter by their current 8 game winning streak going into the break, the White Sox have made up ground in a hurry in the AL Central. Like taking over first place in the division. And I must say, it’s been fun getting there.
There has been some great baseball being played on Chicago’s Southside during this streak. Defense, offense, pitching, speed. Everything you need to go 25-5 over the last 30 games.
According to notes provided courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau:
The White Sox were 9.5 games behind AL Central leaders Minnesota and Detroit following a loss on June 8, but they have won eight consecutive games and 25 of their last 30 to end the half in first place … only one team in major-league history has been further behind at any point in the first half but entered the break with a division lead … the 1973 Cardinals were 11.5 back at one point and in first place at the All-Star Break.
• The White Sox went 25-5 to end the first half … that matches the best record for any team in MLB history in its final 30 games before the All-Star Break … the 1975 Cincinnati Reds and 1990 New York Mets both were 25-5 to end the first half.
• The White Sox current eight-game winning streak is the longest in franchise history to end the first half.
• Carlos Quentin has hit a franchise-record six home runs in his last four games. His three multiHR efforts in a four-game stretch also are a White Sox record.
I think I’m not alone in wishing that there wouldn’t be an All-Star break this season. When things are going like they have of late, you don’t want to stop for anything. Everyone at the ballpark has a little more bounce in their step. Two consecutive games with long rain delay’s don’t seem to be a bother. Everything is better when you’re winning. Baseball is fun again.
How long will it last? To quote former MLB pitcher Joaquin Andujar, “you never know”.
Don’t wake me up until early November, please!