I'll admit it. When the White Sox beat the Indians it is just a little sweeter for me. The best rivalries are local. They are personal. I grew up in the Cleveland area and for the first twenty-five years of my life, I was an Indians fan. I've written numerous times about what happened and why my allegiance shifted. As you might guess, I still have a few friends and family that are fans of the Tribe. When the White Sox aren't going so well, I get to hear about it especially from the biggest Indians fan I know, my father. I'm routinely called a traitor, though when both teams aren't playing so good, not as much.
Last year was pretty bad. The White Sox managed only two wins against Cleveland last year. Forget getting a series sweep, the White Sox didn't even win a series. So a sweep of a team that the White Sox couldn't beat with a crowbar in 2013 is particularly is great, but against the team that is a familial rivalry makes it that much better. On to the honor and goat roll:
Best Game, Offense: Gordon Beckham
I easily could have gone with Connor Gillaspie, who has been fantastic at the plate, making the Mike Davidson watch a little less interesting. However in game 2 of the series, Beckham, who also has been off to a great start this year, went two for four with a double and a home run. I must admit, when deciding this I'm always torn between getting on base and providing more punch. Both are obviously valuable, but what is more valuable and what means more to a team? I'll dash a tweet to Joe Sheenan and see if he responds. Keith Law is just a little too snarky.
Best Series, Offense: Dayan Viciedo
Again with the diss of Gillaspie! Viciedo, like Gillaspie had a hit in every game of the series, but had a little more power and provided a few more runs. Viciedo even managed a walk which is a rare beast.
Best Starter: Hector Noesi
Easy pick here. After Tuesday's game chewed through the bullpen, a long appearance by the starter was needed. Noesi pitched into the eighth, fanning five and only giving up one run on five hits. I don't think this is the norm for Hector, but if he can pitch consistently and uncork a performance like this from time to time, put another tick in Rick Hahn's Attaboy column and Don Cooper's too.
Best Reliever: The Bullpen en masse
Game two of the series saw Chris Sale cruising through three innings. Then the rains came. After an almost two hour delay Sale was done for the night and it was basically a restart of a six inning game. In came Scott Carroll, who was a bit shaky but effective and the rest of the arms, Downs (not so good) Petricka (great, as usual) Bellisario (not bad.) For the remainder of the game they only gave up one run which is good because the bats only provided two.
Worst Series, Offense: Adam Eaton
1 for 12 against the Tribe with no walks and 3 strikeouts. The spark plug misfired.
Worst Pitching Performance: Ronald Belisario
I'm a bit biased here, Belisario is killing the WHIP on my fantasy team. Game three, blown save, courtesy of a walk and two hits and allowing the game tying run to score. The offense bailed him out in the bottom of the ninth.
Sign that Ed Farmer is Losing His Mind
As the final game was getting ready to start, Farmer mentioned that the White Sox were in second place in the AL Central, 5 games behind the Tigers. Farmer then said, "we will, of course, be scoreboard watching." Really Ed? It is only the end of May and the Tigers have a five game lead over the White Sox. Not only is it early in general to be focusing on the out of town scoreboard, but to intimate that there is some kind of race occurring boarders on lunacy. I'm all for cheering on our boys in black, but let's not try and manufacture a pennant race.