White Sox

CSN Top 20 Rankings, Playoffs 1st Round

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CSN Top 20 Rankings, Playoffs 1st Round

1 Maine South (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 1): Defeated Glenbrook South 35-14
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Lane Tech
PrepsTalk: The Hawks soar into the playoffs with the momentum of their 60th straight conference win.  They shook off a 14-0 deficit as Matt Alviti scored four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing).

2 Glenbard West (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 2): Defeated Downers Grove North 26-0
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Elk Grove
PrepsTalk: The Hilltoppers were all business against Downers North; now the scene shifts to the playoffs, where 7As top seed will try to get back to Memorial Stadium for the first time since 2009.

3 Lincoln-Way East (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 3): Defeated Joliet West 42-6
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Plainfield Central
PrepsTalk: Justin Corbett rushed for 90 yards, racked up 90 more in receiving and scored twice.  Now the Griffins set their sights on getting back to state for the first time since 2005.

4 Loyola (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 4): Defeated St. Rita 28-7
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Evanston
PrepsTalk: Quarterback Peter Pujals accounted for all of the Ramblers scoring (two rushing, two passing touchdowns) as Loyola takes the Chicago Catholic Blue conference title.

5 Marian Central Catholic (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 5): Defeated Wheaton Academy 41-7
Next Game: 5A Playoffs vs. Wauconda
PrepsTalk: The Hurricanes claim back-to-back Suburban Christian Blue conference championships.  The defense against Wheaton was solid, holding the Warriors to only 11 first half yards.

6 Mount Carmel (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 6): Defeated Providence 17-0
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Brother Rice
PrepsTalk: The 'D created six turnovers (four forced fumbles and two interceptions) as the Caravan posted their third consecutive shutout.  Next up: a rematch against a Catholic Blue foe.

7 Crete-Monee (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 7): Defeated Rich East 38-7
Next Game: 6A Playoffs vs. Springfield
PrepsTalk: The Warriors trailed briefly, but got rolling on offense with contributions from Kyle Tilley, Lance Lenoir, Laquon Treadwell, DeShawn Smith and Marcus Terrell.

8 Kaneland (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 8): Defeated Morris 33-30
Next Game: 5A Playoffs vs. Belvidere
PrepsTalk: The Knights lived up to the hype, winning the Northern Illinois Big 12 East conference.  Drew David found Zack Martinelli for the game winning five-yard score with 27 seconds left.

9 Batavia (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 9): Defeated Elgin 49-12
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Downers Grove North
PrepsTalk: The Bulldogs overwhelm the Maroons and take the Upstate Eight River title for the second straight year.  And they get bumped up to Class 7A.  How will that factor in their postseason run.

10 Palatine (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 10): Defeated Schaumburg 51-18
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Niles West
PrepsTalk: The Pirates might be peaking at the right time.  RB Cam Kuksa (141 total yards, two TDs) is back from an ankle injury.  Palatine's only loss was to 5A state champ Montini.

11 Neuqua Valley (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 12): Defeated Bartlett 42-14
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Naperville North
PrepsTalk: Running back Joey Rhattigan scored three touchdowns and now has 45 over his career.  The Wildcats win their first Upstate Eight Valley championship since 2006.

12 Cary-Grove (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 13): Defeated Prairie Ridge 35-14
Next Game: 6A Playoffs vs. Rockford Auburn
PrepsTalk: The Trojans pulled away late to win their first division title since 2009.  Marcus Thimios broke open a close game with a 90-yard kickoff return to start the second half.

13 Waubonsie Valley (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 14): Defeated Metea Valley 41-14
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Proviso West
PrepsTalk: Running back Austin Guido --226 yards and four touchdowns against Metea-- set school records for career rushing yards (1,826) and touchdowns (27) in a season.

14 Glenbard North (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 15): Defeated Naperville North 21-14
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Fremd
PrepsTalk: This shows you how competitive the 8A bracket isGlenbard North, the DuPage Valley Conference champs for the first time in 21 years, gets a 4-seed.

15 Wheaton North (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 16): Defeated Wheaton Warrenville South 23-13
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. St. Charles East
PrepsTalk: It's a pretty good time to be a Wheaton North Falcon-- an 8-1 record and they keep their arch-rival out of the postseason.  John Peltz: 20-28, 223 yards and three TDs vs. WWS.

16 Bolingbrook (7-2)
Last Week (Ranked 18): Defeated Lockport 34-10
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Sandburg
PrepsTalk: Intriguing first round matchup against a fellow SW Suburban Blue foe who has already beaten Brook.  All eyes will be on the injured Aaron Bailey this week.  Will he play?

17 Benet (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 19): Defeated Joliet Catholic 31-21
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Andrew
PrepsTalk: Its a storybook season for Benet.  Not to look ahead or anything, but what a matchup Benet-Oswego could be in the second round.  Stellar D versus a juggernaut offense.

18 Marist (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 20): Defeated Cincinnati (Withrow) 27-12
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Lyons
PrepsTalk:  Quarterback Ian Woodworth had a favorite go-to receiver in Flynn Nagel on multiple scoring strikes.  The RedHawks could have a tough road in the 8A bracket, though.

19 Lemont (8-1)
Last Week (Not Ranked): Defeated T.F. North 42-0
Next Game: 6A Playoffs vs. Morgan Park
PrepsTalk: Dont overlook Lemont in 6A.  They have shut out five opponents on the season.  Their opening round matchup will represent a rematch of last years playoff matchup.

20 Providence (7-2)
Last Week (Ranked 11): Lost to Mount Carmel 17-0
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Bradley-Bourbonnais
PrepsTalk: The Celtics could not overcome turnovers, one of them a fumble that resulted in an 88-yard Caravan touchdown.  Brandon Price did rack up 103 yards, but was kept out of the end zone.

Looming and Lurking: Morris, Richards, Lakes, Simeon, Thornton, Homewood-Flossmoor, Glenbrook North, Oswego, Montini, Aurora Christian, Oak Forest.

Be sure to follow @JoeCSN for prep football coverage.

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Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

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USA TODAY

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

As encouraging as the reports are on many of the White Sox’s minor-league pitching prospects, Carlos Rodon’s effort against the Athletics on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field could prove just as significant to the rebuild on the South Side.

Looking much like the ace the Sox envisioned prior to Rodon’s rough 2017 season that ended with shoulder surgery, the left-hander put together his most successful effort of ’18 during a 10-3 drubbing of the Athletics before a sun-drenched crowd of 21,908.

Making his fourth start of the season, Rodon matched a career-high by going eight innings. He yielded two runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Rodon earned his first win of the season to help the Sox salvage a split of the four-game series.

“I felt good today—a lot of strikes,” Rodon said. “It was good to go eight and just be ahead of guys.”

Helping matters for Rodon was an offensive explosion by the Sox, led by Yoan Moncada’s career-high six RBIs. After falling behind 2-0, the Sox plated five runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings as Moncada cleared the bases with a double off the base of the wall in the fifth and launched his 10th home run of the season to drive in three more an inning later.

“Today was a great day,” Moncada said via a team interpreter. “I just went out to play the game the way that I play. Just to have fun. It was a very good game for me.”

Daniel Palka and Yolmer Sanchez also homered as the Sox won for just the second time in their last 11 games.

Rodon was the happy recipient of the run support to win his first game since Aug. 21, 2017, against the Twins. On Sunday, he threw 99 pitches, 69 for strikes and was consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball.

“I’m looking to do that every time out,” Rodon said. “Just show up and establish the strike zone with the fastball and be aggressive.”

The 25-year-old’s second-inning strikeout of Khris Davis was the 400th of Rodon’s career. It is a career that is continuing after a surgery that was a setback, but one that did not derail Rodon’s confidence that he would again pitch effectively.

“There are up-and-down days when you go through shoulder surgery or any surgery for any player,” Rodon said. “You've just got to work through it and try to make your way back. I'm here now and it’s looking up and I’m trying to get better.”

So is it reasonable to view Rodon as the future ace after all?

“You certainly can’t discount that,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He has to go out there and continue to get his feet underneath him and get through the rest of the season healthy and climbing.”

In other Sox pitching news, Renteria said starter Dylan Covey, who was removed in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game due to a hip flexor injury, “felt better” Sunday and the team will continue to monitor the right-hander’s progress.

Meanwhile, veteran Miguel Gonzalez made a rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte as he continues to recover from inflammation in his right rotator cuff. Gonzalez went three innings and allowed one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez belted his first homer for the Knights in the game.

A series to forget: Facts and figures from Cubs' rough weekend in Cincinnati

A series to forget: Facts and figures from Cubs' rough weekend in Cincinnati

The Cubs and their fans may want to invent and use one of those Men In Black neuralyzers because the four-game series in Cincinnati was one to forget.

The Reds finished off a four-game sweep of the Cubs on Sunday with an 8-6 win. The way the Reds won the finale will be especially painful for the Cubs considering they led 6-1 after six innings. Mike Montgomery appeared to tire in the seventh inning and Pedro Strop got rocked out of the bullpen to lead to a seven-run seventh for the hosts.

The Reds have now won seven in a row and 10 of 12, but still sit 13 games under .500. Bizarrely, the Reds also swept the Dodgers, the Cubs’ next opponent, in a four-game series in May. Duane Underwood will start for the Cubs Monday against the Dodgers and make his major league debut.

Here are some other wild facts and figures from the series:

  • The last time the Reds swept the Cubs in a four-game series was back in 1983. That was the first week of the season and three weeks before the infamous Lee Elia rant.
  • One positive for the Cubs from the game was Montgomery’s start. Through six innings he allowed one run on three hits and two walks. However, he gave up a single, a double and a single in the seventh before Strop relieved him. Montgomery had gone six innings and allowed one run in each of his last four outings.
  • Strop was definitely a negative. On his first pitch, Strop gave up a home run to pinch-hitter Jesse Winker, the second home run for a Reds pinch-hitter in the game. Then Strop allowed a single, a walk, a single and a double before getting an out. Strop’s final line: 2/3 inning pitched, four runs, one strikeout, three walks, four hits.
  • The Cubs led in three of the four games this series, including two leads after five innings.
  • The Cubs were 5-for-23 (.217) with runners in scoring position in the series. On the season the Cubs are hitting .233 with RISP, which is 22nd in the majors and fourth-worst in the National League (but ahead of the division-rival Brewers and Cardinals).
  • The Reds outscored the Cubs 31-13 and scored at least six runs in every game. The Reds are now 6-3 against the Cubs this year after going a combined 17-40 against the Cubs from 2015-2017.