Both Chicago baseball teams ascended to the top of the division.
“The world’s favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.”
— Edwin Way Teale
Teale was a renowned ecologist, but he might as well have been a Chicago baseball fan in May.
Look at what a difference a month made for the White Sox:
- In April, the Sox were 14-11 (.560), with the seventh-best record in baseball and the fourth-best in the American League.
- In May, the Sox were 19-10 (.560), with the fourth-best record in baseball and the second-best in the AL. The Sox were one win shy of their wins record for May set in 1901 (20-7) and tied in 1951 (20-5) and 1963 (20-12).
But it was even better for the Cubs:
- In April, the Cubs were 11-15 (.423), with the 26th-best record in baseball and the 14th-best in the National League.
- In May, the Cubs were 19-8 (.704), the second-best record in baseball and the best in the NL. The Cubs were just two wins shy of their wins record for May set in 1903 (21-7) and repeated in 1977 (21-7).
Look at the two first-place teams in the Second City
NL Central standings on June 1
Tm W L W-L% GB
- CUBS 30-23 .566 —
- STL 30-24 .556 0.5
- MIL 29-25 .537 1.5
- CIN 24-28 .462 5.5
- PIT 20-33 .377 10.0
AL Central standings on June 1
Tm W L W-L% GB
- SOX 33 21 .611 —
- CLE 29 24 .547 3.5
- KC 26 26 .500 6.0
- MIN 22 31 .415 10.5
- DET 22 32 .407 11.0
It’s all the more impressive when you see their May 1 records
NL Central standings on May 1
Tm W L W-L% GB
- MIL 16 10 .615 —
- STL 14 12 .538 2.0
- PIT 12 13 .480 3.5
- CIN 12 13 .480 3.5
- CUBS 11 15 .423 5.0
AL Central standings on May 1
Tm W L W-L% GB
- KC 15 9 .625 —
- SOX 14 11 .560 1.5
- CLE 12 12 .500 3.0
- MIN 9 15 .375 6.0
- DET 8 19 .296 8.5
The Sox at the plate in May
The Sox hit .246 with 140 runs scored and 30 homers, 224 hits, 123 walks (led the AL) and 264 whiffs.
- Jose Abreu hit .333.
- Yoan Moncada hit .313.
- Yoan Moncada had 30 hits.
- Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson, and Nick Madrigal each 28 hits.
- Jose Abreu hit six homers.
- Yasmani Grandal and Andrew Vaughn each hit four homers.
- Jose Abreu drove in 27 runs, second in the AL.
- Yoan Moncada and Yermin Mercedes each drove home 14.
- Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson each scored 17 times.
- Yasmani Grandal led the AL with 29 walks.
- Yoan Moncada was second in the AL with 24 walks.
- Yoan Moncada struck out 35 times.
- Yasmani Grandal and Tim Anderson each whiffed 26 times.
The Cubs at the plate in May
The Cubs hit .262 (led the NL) in May with 131 runs scored and 36 homers, 237 hits (led the NL), 87 walks and 244 whiffs
- Kris Bryant hit .327.
- Joc Pederson hit .314.
- Javy Baez hit seven homers.
- Kris Bryant and Ian Happ each hit five homers.
- Kris Bryant had 17 RBI.
- Javy Baez had 16 RBI.
- Kris Bryant and Javy Baez each scored 17 times.
- Willson Contreras walked 13 times.
- Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant each walked 10 times.
- Javy Baez led the NL, striking out 34 times.
- Willson Contreras struck out 27 times.
The Sox on the mound in May
The Sox had a 2.89 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP, threw 12 quality starts, had nine saves (most in the AL), two blown saves, allowed 203 hits, permitted 89 runs and 79 earned runs, walked 77, struck out 279 (most in the AL) and allowed 29 homers.
- Liam Hendriks had a 0.52 ERA.
- Lance Lynn had a 1.64 ERA.
- Michael Kopech had a 1.72 ERA.
- Lucas Giolito had a 2.41 ERA.
- Liam Hendriks had a 0.86 WHIP.
- Lance Lynn had a 0.94 WHIP.
- Carlos Rodon had a 0.98 WHIP.
- Lucas Giolito had a 1.04 WHIP.
- Carlos Rodon and Lucas Giolito each had three quality starts.
- Liam Hendriks had eight saves, to lead the AL (and had no blown saves).
- Aaron Bummer had two blown saves.
- Dallas Keuchel allowed 31 hits.
- Carlos Rodon and Lucas Giolito allowed 25 hits.
- Liam Hendriks permitted no earned runs in 11.2 IP.
- Michael Kopech permitted three earned runs in 15.2 IP.
- Lance Lynn permitted six earned runs in 33.0 IP.
- Codi Heuer walked one in 10.2 IP.
- Jose Ruiz walked two in 12.2 IP.
- Liam Hendriks walked two in 11.2 IP
- Carlos Rodon walked four in 29.2 IP
- Lucas Giolito struck out 45 to lead the AL.
- Carlos Rodon struck out 44, second in the AL.
- Dylan Cease struck out 37.
- Lance Lynn struck out 30.
- Liam Hendriks allowed no homers.
- Codi Heuer allowed one homer.
- Jose Ruiz, Michael Kopech, Aaron Bummer and Dylan Cease each allowed two homers.
The Cubs on the mound in May
The Cubs had a 2.52 ERA (lowest in the NL) with a 1.15 WHIP, had nine quality starts, had 10 saves, four blown saves, allowed 203 hits, permitted 85 runs (fewest in the NL) and 68 earned runs (fewest in the NL), walked 77, struck out 238 and allowed 26 homers.
- Keegan Thompson had a 0.52 ERA.
- Ryan Tepera had a 0.61 ERA.
- Zach Davies had a 1.72 ERA.
- Kyle Hendricks had a 2.67 ERA.
- Craig Kimbrel had a 0.92 WHIP.
- Adbert Alzolay had a 0.94 WHIP.
- Kyle Hendricks had a 1.19 WHIP
- Kyle Hendricks had four quality starts.
- Adbert Alzolay had two quality starts.
- Craig Kimbrel had eight saves, second in the NL.
- Craig Kimbrel had two blown saves.
- Kyle Hendricks allowed 37 hits.
- Zach Davies allowed 28 hits.
- Keegan Thompson permitted one earned run in 17.1 IP.
- Ryan Tepera permitted one earned run in 14.2 IP.
- Andrew Chafin permitted one earned run in 13.2 IP.
- Zach Davies permitted six earned runs in 31.1 IP.
- Ryan Tepera walked no one in 14.2 IP.
- Craig Kimbrel walked two in 12.0 IP.
- Kyle Hendricks walked three in 33.2 IP.
- Adbert Alzolay struck out 28.
- Kyle Hendricks struck out 26.
- Andrew Chafin allowed no homers.
- Ryan Tepera allowed no homers.
- Craig Kimbrel allowed one homer.
- Zach Davies allowed one homer.
- Keegan Thompson allowed one homer.
Here’s my Nine to Know for May
- With runners in scoring position, Ian Happ hit .429.
- Against lefties, Kris Bryant hit .476.
- The first batters Liam Hendriks faced went 1-for-12 (.083).
- With two outs, batters went 1-for-13 (.077) against Craig Kimbrel.
- Carlos Rodon faced 97 righties and struck out 37 of them.
- From the seventh inning on, Yasmani Grandal hit only .083, but he had a .476 OBP since he had one hit and nine walks.
- Jose Abreu had 16 RBI with two strikes on him.
- Javy Baez ended 16 innings with a strikeout.
- With two outs, batters were 0-for-25 against Dylan Cease.
Have a great June!