The happy White Sox wrapup and what it may mean the rest of the way

The happy White Sox wrapup and what it may mean the rest of the way
Rios congratulates Youk after the third baseman's homer extended the lead over the Twins.

There are 19 games remaining on the White Sox schedule after last night's 6-0 Chris Sale whitewash of the Twins--and the lead remains at one over the Tigers. Here are the highlights of the win and what it may mean going forward:

* Sale was magnificent in winning his 17th game, throwing six shutout innings and allowing only three hits, no walks with five strikeouts. After a couple of so-so starts, Sale has now rebounded and if he's on his game the rest of the way only good things can happen for the Sox.

* There's no question that the bullpen has to deliver if the Sox hold on and make the playoffs. If last night was any indication, we'll be in fine shape. Brett Myers pitched two perfect innings--the 7th and 8th-- and Matt Thornton finished off the shutout with a scoreless ninth.

* Paul Konerko and Alex Rios weren't at their powerful best, but were right in the mix from the heart of the lineup where they'll need to be from this point on. Paulie collected a hit and run scored while Rios, arguably the team MVP, went 2 for 3 with a double, a run scored and an RBI.

* Kevin Youkilis, after a slump and a few days away for paternity leave, has now hit three homers in the last two games--hitting No. 19 last night.  A sizzling Youkilis will only make the lineup that much better.

* They weren't all frozen ropes, but Dayan Viciedo had a base hit and drove in a pair of runs last night--with a ground ball out and a walk. But if Viciedo, who is prone to getting into funks, is in the middle of things at the bottom of the order, the Sox offense should roll.

* Add a hit, run scored and walk for A.J. Pierzynski, a hit and RBI for Alexei Ramirez, a hit and run scored for Gordon Beckham and a hit, run and RBI for Dwayne Wise. Contributions are going to be needed from everyone and for the most part it looks like it's happening.

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    Art Berke

    Art Berke, a lifelong White Sox fan, has worked at the highest levels of the sports industry with Major League Baseball, ABC Television and Sports Illustrated. He grew up in Northwest Indiana, in the shadow of old Comiskey Park, and proudly proclaims 2005 as the best year of his life. Art offers his glass half-full opinions and observations as he lives and dies with the Sox.

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