CHICAGO – For the first time in at least eight years, there is a number that White Sox fans can discuss when it comes to their team this September.
Remember magic numbers? We’ll there’s one for the team in the middle of the last month of the regular season.
That’s 11 – which is the team’s number of wins or losses by teams around them in the American League that are needed for the team to clinch a spot in the 2020 MLB Playoffs. Should they be successful in doing so, that would end a 12-year playoff drought for the team that dates all the way back to 2008.
One of the guys that’s helped the White Sox get so close to that accomplishment is because of a streak of his own the last few weeks.
Their victory over the Pirates on Wednesday saw Jose Abreu extend his hitting streak to 22 games, which is the eighth-longest in the history of the franchise.
Abreu is just six short of the record set by Carlos Lee in 2004, and this current streak has helped the White Sox fortunes. Since starting it against the Cardinals on August 16th, the White Sox have gone 17-5 in those contests and have vaulted into first place in the AL Central.
During this stretch, Abreu has put his name into the AL MVP conversation, hitting .370/.414/.772 with ten home runs and 28 RBI.
Yet he’ll be tested along with the team over the final stretch of the season, where the team won’t have a day off until the shortened regular season ends. Friday’s game at Guaranteed Rate Field against the Tigers in the first of 17-consecutive games the White Sox will have to finish the season. It includes four-game series with the Indians and Twins, the two teams they’re competing with for the AL Central title.
It ends with three games against the Cubs at Guaranteed Rate Field September 25-27. What streaks will be alive or broken by that point will depend on the team as they prepare for a push towards the playoffs.