One of Jerry Reinsdorf’s teams played a statement game on Wednesday, and it wasn’t the Bulls. It might seem silly at first to compare a mid-May baseball game to an NBA conference semifinal as a critical contest, but the White Sox needed that win Wednesday night. After a brutal April, they were trying to sustain the momentum from a successful west-coast road trip, but they were also facing a Cleveland team threatening to run away with the division. The Sox were ten games down in the standings and in need of reasserting the dominance they’d shown in their opening series against the Indians, before the bottom fell out. As it turned out, they couldn’t have won in better fashion, with Jake Peavy—looking as good as he’s ever looked in a Sox uniform—making a first-inning run hold up for a complete-game 1-0 shutout. Of course, the Sox had to win the next night too, or risk undoing all the good that had been done, but they pounded the Tribe 8-2 to sweep the two-game series, move within five games of .500 and eight games of the Indians, and plant doubts in the minds of the division leaders.
With the weather improving, Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez, and Gordon Beckham should begin pounding out home runs, and the Sox may well have it in them to put together a late-spring spurt like last year’s to get them back in contention.