Top Five Chicago Sports Stories to Watch: July 3-August 5

Francisco Liriano Makes his White Sox Debut Tuesday
Kenny Williams seems to mastered the art of the shocking trade at the deadline. Jose Contreras, Jake Peavy and Edwin Jackson were all acquired under the radar at or near the trade deadline.

In the last month, Williams has acquired former All-Stars Kevin Youkilis, Brett Myers and Liriano. All he has given up in return off the Major League Roster are Zach Stewart, Brent Lillibridge and Eduardo Escobar.

Youkilis is hitting .273 with six home runs and 22 RBIs and Myers has yet to give up a run in four appearances as Addison Reed’s setup man.

Liriano is going to step right into the rotation as the White Sox go back to the six man starting rotation they used last season. After an awful May, Liriano has rebounded well. He has a 2.87 ERA, .93 WHIP, a .159 batting average against and 31 strikeouts in 31.1 innings pitched June.

He hasn’t faired as well in July with a 5.34 ERA and 1-3 record. Seven of his 17 earned runs in July came in one awful start against the White Sox last Tuesday. His July ERA was 3.46 prior to that disaster. He does have 39 strikeouts in 28.2 innings in July.

The irony of the trade is that Liriano’s last start as a Twin was at US Cellular field and his first start for the White Sox will be at Target field Tuesday.

Chicago Olympians
Anthony Davis made his Olympic debut on Sunday as the American Men pulled away after taking a 22-21 lead over France after one quarter Sunday. He had three points, three rebounds and one blocked shot in eight minutes.

Team USA will play Tunisia Tuesday, Nigeria Thursday and Lithuania Saturday in Pool Play.

Luol Deng scored 26 points in a losing effort as Great Britain dropped their Olympic opener 95-75 to Russia. The Brits play Tuesday against Spain, Thursday against Brazil and Saturday against Russia.

The Women’s Basketball team opened with a dominant 81-56 win over Croatia. Chicago Sky players Sylvia Fowles and Swin Cash did not have much of an impact. They combined for just five points and four rebounds.

Former Chicago area prep stars Candace Parker and Tamika Catchings led the way for team USA. Parker contributed 11 points and 13 rebounds and Catchings had ten points and five boards.

The Women of Team USA will play four games this week. They play Angola Monday, Turkey Wednesday, the Czech republic Friday and China Sunday.

For a look at the rest of the Chicago Athletes, look here.

White Sox Week Ahead

After a 5-1 week, the White Sox travel to Minnesota before beginning a nine game homestand Friday against Anaheim. Jose Quintana, Liriano and Jake Peavy will pitch the three game series in Minnesota. The probable pitchers for that series have not been posted yet. Zach Grienke is likely to pitch Friday. Chris Sale will probably start Saturday.

Cubs Week Ahead
The biggest question for the Cubs this week will be the trading deadline on Tuesday. After turning down a deal to Atlanta, will Ryan Dempster be moved before the deadline? With Matt Garza injured what is the likelihood he’ll be moved? Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson and to a lesser extent Alfonso Soriano also might interest teams.

The Cubs will finish their homestand by hosting Pittsburgh. Recently acquired Justin Germano will start his first game for the Cubs after a relief appearance. Dempster is scheduled to go Tuesday and Travis Wood Wednesday. Jeff Samardzija and Paul Maholm are slated to pitch the first two games of the Cubs road trip to Los Angeles and San Diego. They have both been on fire. Samardzija is 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA in his last five starts, while Maholm is 5-0 with a 1.04 ERA in his last six.

Bears Training Camp Continues
Recently acquired Defensive Tackle Brian Price will be able to practice Tuesday after sitting out three days as required by the new CBA. The offensive and defensive lines and defensive secondary are the question marks entering this week. J'Marcus Webb and Chris Williams battle at left tackle and Gabe Carimi’s health on the right side will be key issues when the Bears Preseason schedule commences a week from Thursday on Fox against the Colts and Andrew Luck.

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