After Wednesday's crazy Game 5 Blackhawks win, I wrote a comment here explaining how I had suddenly felt at ease about the Hawks' chances to win, upon seeing that the White Sox walked off in the ninth inning that night (thereby completing the sweep of Cleveland).
To the apathetic Seattle folks around me at the bar, I ran my beer-stained lips good and plenty about how confident I was that the Blackhawks were going to seal the deal in overtime, based alone on my observation that White Sox dramatic wins seemed to correlate with the Hawks winning. People in my proximity thought I was jinxing things, if not outright crazy in the pants. But when the Hawks won in the second overtime and validated my prediction, I figured I should investigate further and see if my gut was truly onto something.
I first compiled all of the Blackhawks wins in the 2014 playoffs, and compared the winning results to Sox games on the same day. The record alone doesn't seem very lopsided or telling: of the 11 playoff games that the Hawks have thus far won, the Sox only won on six of those days. However, my feeling was NOT that the Hawks and Sox always won on the same days. My thought was that the Hawks had a tendency to win on days that the Sox dramatically won.
The concept of drama is certainly open to interpretation and debate. But as far as baseball goes, I define a dramatic win as the unlikelies, come-from-behinds, walkoffs, late-inning victories. So when I drill into the box scores of those six times that the Sox won on the same day as the Hawks, the results are far more intriguing.
Of those six corresponding wins, only one of the Sox wins was arguably not dramatic (Sunday, April 27's 9-2 victory over the Rays). The other five wins fit the bill. Perhaps it's worth noting then, that this relatively easy-breezy Sox win took place on a day that the Hawks rolled over the Blues (5-1) to complete their series win. We know that not all Hawks wins have been so effortless. In fact, this particular game was also the only time that the Hawks won by a margin of more than three goals this entire postseason (and a three-goal margin has only been achieved twice in their eleven wins; the last of which came forever ago, on May 4).
Here is the breakdown of the eleven games that the Hawks have won, with notes about what happened with the Sox on the same day:
Sunday, April 27 (linked above)
Hawks win series over Blues 5-1
Sox beat Rays 9-2
In less dramatic fashion, Sox score all nine of their runs across the 6th and 7th innings
Friday, May 2
Hawks beat Wild 5-2
Sox lose to Indians 5-12
Sunday, May 4
Hawks beat Wild 4-1
Sox beat Indians 4-3
Three-run ninth-inning in Cleveland, on Dayan Viciedo's homer
Sunday, May 11
Hawks beat Wild 2-1
Sox lose to Diamondbacks 5-1
Tuesday, May 13
Hawks beat Wild 2-1
Sox lose to As 11-0
Sunday, May 18
Hawks beat Los Angeles 3-1
Sox lose to Astros 8-2
Wednesday, May 28
Hawks beat L.A. 5-4 in two overtimes to avoid elimination
Sox 3-2 walk-off win against Cleveland to complete sweep
Friday, May 30
Hawks beat L.A. 4-3
Sox lose to Padres 4-1
Naturally, it's also worthwhile to review the Hawks losses with relation to the White Sox. Of the seven times they've lost this postseason, the Sox have won on three of those days, and only one of these three wins could even be close to considered dramatic (May 6 against the Cubs). I'll only link to the three Sox wins/Hawks losses for more details below.
Tuesday, May 6
Sox beat Cubs 5-1
Sox had 2-1 lead in the 8th inning, and sealed the win with a three-run ninth, off of a couple doubles (meh.)
Friday, May 9
Sox beat Diamondbacks 9-3
Seven runs scored in 4th inning, Arizona never threatened (yaaaawwwnn)
Monday, May 26
Sox beat Indians 6-2
White Sox runs were scattered across the game, Quintana held Cleveland to two over six innings (borrrrrrring)
Finally, at the risk of getting hopes too high going into tomorrow's Western Conference Finals Game 7 in Chicago, I couldn't help but notice that the Blackhawks have a 100 percent success rate with 2014 postseason games played on Sunday. What are the chances that the Sox will set the dramatic stage early tomorrow afternoon, before our attention turns to Game 7 in the evening? Dunno ... numbers aren't really my thing.