Here come the White Sox.
Riding a six-game winning streak as they return home to face the Guardians and Yankees this week, the Sox are back above .500 — at 14-13 — for the first time since April 20. They are on fire, scorching, sizzling, red-hot. No, make that white-hot. Is it too soon to start planning the championship parade?
“It feels amazing,” catcher Reese McGuire said Sunday after a 3-2 win in Boston.
At the least, thank-you notes should be sent to the Red Sox and Cubs, the stuck-in-the-muck squads the Sox just swept. How does a team go 6-0 despite scoring only 20 runs in that stretch? By pitching very well, steadying a shaky defense, sprinkling in a few clutch hits and — perhaps the key to the whole operation — playing two of the worst teams in baseball so far.
The Sox went 6-2 to start the season. Then came an eight-game losing streak as injuries mounted, an explosion of errors occurred, Tony La Russa was knocked for his managing and fans muttered expletives into their soup. Now the Sox have a winning streak that matches their longest one of the entire 2021 season. What a roller-coaster ride it already has been.
But are the Sox really on the right track, which is to say one that will go in pretty much in the intended direction for a nice, long stretch? Think freight train, not roller coaster. If three games against the Guardians don’t illuminate us, four against the American League-leading Yankees sure will.
Here’s what’s happening:
Panthers at Capitals, Game 4 (6 p.m., TBS)
Top-seeded, Presidents’ Trophy-winning Florida is in trouble already, down 2-1 in the series. This is one serious high-danger scoring chance for Alex Ovechkin and the Caps.
Celtics at Bucks, Game 4 (6:30 p.m., TNT)
Giannis Antetokounmpo outscored Jayson Tatum 42-10 in Game 3 as the defending champs took a 2-1 series lead. If you want to be a superstar, this is when you have to act the part.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Grizzlies at Warriors, Game 4 (9 p.m., TNT)
Did the Dubs’ Jordan Poole really try to hurt sensational Grizz star Ja Morant in Game 3? Probably not, but the rancor that’s here to stay in this series doesn’t want to hear it.
NHL draft lottery (5:30 p.m., ESPN)
Only with a top-two draw do the Blackhawks get to keep their first-round pick. Any other result can just be tossed onto the heaping pile of recent disappointments.
76ers at Heat, Game 5 (6:30 p.m., TNT)
Any Joel Embiid is better than a watching-from-the-bench Joel Embiid. As long as the banged-up big fella is on the floor, the Sixers are always going to have a chance.
Blues at Wild, Game 5 (8:30 p.m., ESPN)
The sultry stench of violence hangs over this series, which promises to be deliciously nasty until the end. You know, in case you’re into that sort of thing.
Mavericks at Suns, Game 5 (9 p.m., TNT)
Who’s the point guard on the all-zero-rings team? John Stockton? Steve Nash? Chris Paul? The championship quest continues for CP3.
Guardians at White Sox (1:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
Cleveland probably isn’t the division rival the Sox need to be most worried about, but the games between these teams always feel 10% bigger — and that’s a guaranteed rate.
Cubs at Padres (3:10 p.m., Marquee)
The Pads have been killing it without their best player, Fernando Tatis Jr. Early MVP frontrunner Manny Machado might take issue with that “best player” designation.
Liberty at Sky (7 p.m., Marquee, CBSSN)
Three cheers for old pal Stefanie Dolson, who makes her return to Wintrust Arena with her new team. May she experience winning it all again soon … but not too soon.
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal (1:45 p.m., USA, Universo)
The fourth and final Champions League spot is there for the taking in a massively important North London Derby. Folks, that’s soccer-ese for “really big game.”
Yankees at White Sox (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
Dylan Cease is lined up to take the bump, and can we just start the best-pitcher-in-Chicago conversation right now?
Cubs at Diamondbacks (8:40 p.m., Apple TV+)
The Cubs are back in Arizona for the first time since spring training, which raises a question: Should they have ever left?
FC Cincinnati at Fire (7 p.m., Ch. 9)
In only its fourth MLS season, Cincinnati might be the league’s best surprise. So much for the Fire circling a rare game on their schedule as a “W.”
Yankees at White Sox (1:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
Wouldn’t it be something if these teams ran into each other in October? Not-so-fun fact: The Sox and Blue Jays are the only American League teams left that have never faced the Yankees in the postseason.