CHICAGO – This figured to be a series where the White Sox could further assert themselves as the best team in the American League Central.
Entering their series with Cleveland, Tony La Russa’s team had an eight-game lead over the Indians for first place in the division as the calendar turns from July to August.
Over the course of three days, they did just that, gaining another game in their lead, but they had to work for it each night in a wild few games at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Brian Goodwin capped off the unusual weekend in perfect fashion Sunday afternoon, knocking a 3-1 pitch from Nick Wittgren into the seats for a walk-off winner over Cleveland to give the White Sox a 2-1 victory.
The shot itself and the bat flip are just a few of the memorable moments that transpired that will stick with White Sox fans as the chase for the playoffs continues.
Friday night started the fireworks as the White Sox went back-and-forth with the Indians threw nine innings. Finally, the White Sox pulled ahead for good in the eighth on a Tim Anderson single following a few Cleveland miscues in the field then when Jose Abreu was hit in the helmet for Indians pitcher James Karinchak.
Upset that Abreu had been hit, La Russa ran quickly out of the dugout to check on the reigning American League MVP while also keeping Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez away from him. When he did that, the benches cleared but no punches were thrown, as the White Sox went onto win 6-4.
The offenses were on display on Saturday with both teams reaching double-digits in runs, with rookie catcher Seby Zavala providing the punch. He hit the first three homers of his career that night, becoming the first player to accomplish that feat, driving in six RBI, but it wasn’t enough as the Indians won it 12-11.
But the White Sox got it back in a pitcher’s duel the next day, where newly acquired Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless, hitless inning for the second time in as many days. Spot starter Jimmy Lambert, Reynaldo Lopez, and Aaron Bummer pitched well before him then Liam Hendriks had a clean ninth inning before Goodwin’s heroics.
It capped a wild weekend where at least one thing was normal: The White Sox keep winning and getting closer to a division title.