The Chicago White Sox completed a series sweep of the Detroit Tigers on the South Side this afternoon, securing the victory in the finale by a final score of 5-3. It was the first sweep the White Sox have had in their own ballpark all season. The South Siders are now tied for second place in the AL Central, having finally caught up to the Minnesota Twins, who lost to the Angels today. And with a four-game set with the reviled Houston Astros looming on the horizon, boy, was it ever needed.
It was a good win today, full of tasty little nuggets and reasons to let those good vibes reign — if only for today. Let’s break it down.
Lance Lynn laid the groundwork for today’s win, getting his fourth quality start of the season. (It’s also worth mentioning that three of those four quality starts came against divisional teams, which is pretty cool.) Today, Lynn allowed two runs on five hits — and honestly, two of those “hits” could have easily been scored as errors, but the official scorer must like Lenyn Sosa, a whole bunch. Lynn kept the Tigers off of the bases all afternoon, not allowing a single walk and fanning seven. He improved his record to 3-5 and lowered his ERA to 5.62.
Lynn wasn’t the only White Sox hurler who had a good day. Jimmy Lambert came out of the pen and absolutely dominated, sitting down each of the four batters he faced. In those four straight strikeouts, Lambert threw 19 pitches — 14 for strikes. After a tough outing against Kansas City earlier in the week, it was reassuring to see Lambert quickly regain his command and confidence.
Since Liam Hendriks already had his fill of subduing the Tigers in the first two games of this series, Kendall Graveman was called on to close out the game, earning his sixth save of the season.
AJ Pollock made a lot of noise in the leadoff spot today, scoring the first run for the South Siders with a 407-footer to center field, his seventh of the year. Pollock has been on absolute fire lately. In the past seven days, he has slashed .350/.391/.650. This is the vintage Pollock the White Sox had been hoping would show up all season. (Hey, better late than never?) Pollock went 2-for-4 with a homer, double and a walk today. If he can maintain some of this momentum, he will be very fun to watch down the stretch and could fill the catalyst role left vacant at the top of the order with Tim Anderson out.
Andrew Vaughn is also riding a hot streak. In his past seven days, he’s slashed an insane .400/.423/.680. In this series with Detroit, Vaughn drove home a cumulative five runs — the most of any White Sox batter this weekend. One of those RBIs came today when Detroit’s Wily Peralta laid one up high, and Vaughn took it deep to left, adding a crucial insurance run. Have a weekend, kid — we love to see it!
And just like that, the White Sox shushed Javier Báez and the Detroit Tigers. The White Sox are now 59-56. To get to the last time they were three wins better than .500 (April 17), you would need a flux capacitor and some plutonium.
The Good Guys seemed to have procured a different vibe in this weekend series than they had previously displayed. Rick Hahn calls it “swagger.” Johnny Cueto calls it “fire.” Whatever your call it, it sure felt present against the Tigers. Is it premature to think that maybe the White Sox have grown as tired of underperforming as we all have watching them underperform? Maybe. But life out here in the real world is bleak, friends, so when little rays of sunshine come along and put a little spring in your step, you go with it. You cinch it up, you hunker down, and you — dare I say it? Enjoy the ride.
Today’s scorebook highlights:
- Lance Lynn had a pretty, pretty good second inning.
- The official scorer had me wishing I had chosen to keep score with a pencil rather than a pen several times.