CUBS AND SOX NOT HALF BAD

30 games into 60-game sea­son, chicago teams ap­pear bound for play­offs in same year for only third time

Chicago Sun-Times - - BASEBALL - BY BILL CHUCK | walkoffs@gmail.com | @billy­ball

If it feels as though the base­ball sea­son is go­ing by quickly, it’s be­cause it is. We are zip­ping through this sea­son 2.7 times faster than usual (2.7 times 60 equals 162). Or­di­nar­ily, a 162-game sea­son is at its mid­point around the end of June. This sea­son, the half­way mark is the last week in August. Next week, we be­gin the fi­nal month of the sea­son.

Here are some first-half take­aways:

• Other than when the Cubs’ record was 1-1 and they were in sec­ond place, the team has spent ev­ery day of the first half in first place.

• Other than when the White Sox’ record was 1-1 and they were tied for first place, the team has spent most of the first half in third or fourth place. How­ever, they ended their first half tied for sec­ond with the In­di­ans.

• At the 30-game mark, the Sox led the ma­jors with a .267 bat­ting av­er­age (the Cubs were at .228) and a .479 slug­ging per­cent­age (the Cubs were at .403). They led the Amer­i­can League with 55 homers (the Cubs had 37).

• At the 30-game mark, Sox pitch­ers had al­lowed the fewest homers in the AL with 29 (Cubs pitch­ers had al­lowed 39).

• At the 30-game mark, the Sox’ Jose Abreu was tied for the AL lead in homers with Nel­son Cruz and Teoscar Her­nan­dez at 11. He led the league by him­self with 28 RBI, 80 to­tal bases and 1.8 WAR.

• At the 30-game mark, the Sox’ Lu­cas Gi­olito led the AL with one com­plete-game shutout and one no-hit­ter.

• At the 30-game mark, Cubs bat­ters were sec­ond in the Na­tional League with 291 strike­outs (the Braves had whiffed 297 times) and led the ma­jors in be­ing hit by pitches at 28.

• At the 30-game mark, the Cubs’ An­thony Rizzo and Will­son Contreras were tied for the NL lead with six HBP.

• At the 30-game mark, the Cubs’ Kyle Hen­dricks led the NL at 0.947 walks per nine in­nings (four walks, 38 in­nings).

• The Cubs and Sox are par­ty­ing like it’s 2008 — or maybe 1906. The 2008 and 1906 sea­sons are the only ones both Chicago teams made the post­sea­son, and they both look as though they could re­peat that in 2020. In 2008, the Cubs fin­ished in first place but were swept in the NL Di­vi­sion Se­ries in three games by the Dodgers. The Sox also fin­ished first and lost the AL Di­vi­sion Se­ries 3-1 to the Rays. The Sox haven’t been back to the post­sea­son since. In 1906, the only other year both teams reached the post­sea­son, the Sox beat the Cubs in the World Se­ries 4-2.

RON SCHWANE/GETTY IM­AGES

Kyle Hen­dricks (shown against the In­di­ans this month) turned in the Cubs’ best pitch­ing per­for­mance of the first 30 games with an Open­ing Day shutout of the Brew­ers on July 24.

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