For baseball fans, October means the postseason. The standings are pretty solid in the National League with the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants already clinching their division. Both the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves have gained a playoff berth, but it’s still uncertain who will win the NL East. The team that doesn’t win may end up being the wild card.
The race in the American League is a tighter one, with the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles fighting to see who will win the AL East. In Texas, the Rangers are counting down their wins and losses against the Oakland A’s to see who will win the AL West. In the Central Division, the race is even tighter with the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers battling for first place and a playoff berth. The White Sox and Tigers are almost identical in wins and losses. This makes it even more unclear as to who will be the victor of the AL Central.
Since winning the World Series in 2005, the White Sox have been in the postseason only once in 2008. During that year, the Minnesota Twins and the White Sox had to play a tie breaker game since their records were identical. The White Sox ended up winning the AL Central by beating the Twins 1-0. The Sox didn’t go too far in the 2008 postseason, losing in the first round to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Philadelphia Phillies went on to be the World Series champs that year. With Detroit and Chicago being so close in the standings this year, there is a strong chance that the White Sox will need to win another tie breaker if they want get to the postseason in October.
If the White Sox make it to postseason this year season it will be under leadership of rookie manager Robin Ventura. This year, the Sox have had some standout games, the most prevalent being the perfect game earlier this spring on April 21, pitched by Phillip Humber. The last time a White Sox player pitched a perfect game was Mark Buehrle on July 23, 2009. Humber’s perfect game this year stands out due to the rarity of perfect games in baseball. A perfect game happens when a pitcher faces twenty seven batters and none of them get on base. According to MLB.com, there have been only 23 pitchers in major league history to have pitched a perfect game.
Captain Paul Konerko, outfielder Alex Rios, and designated hitter Adam Dunn have made strides for the Sox this year. Dunn ranks third in home runs in the American League, and Rios leads the White Sox with 173 hits this season. If the White Sox want to make it to post season, Konerko, Rios and Dunn will have to stay consistent.
Since there is no wild card option for the A.L Central, the winner of the division will continue on to the postseason, while the other team will go home and wait for a chance next year. With the race between the White Sox and the Tigers being so close, fans may not know who moves on until the final game of the season. It’s a race that White Sox fans will watch with anticipation and sweaty palms.