White Sox

Hawks take responsibility entering stretch run

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Hawks take responsibility entering stretch run

The trade deadline has passed. The opportunity to add, alter, change, spruce up, whatever you want to call it, is over.

Now the Chicago Blackhawks have to focus on the big task: snap another losing streak, play as a collective unit and finish strong.

The Blackhawks have 18 regular-season games remaining, 18 games left to make a strong push and secure a playoff spot. After an up-and-down month with more downs than ups, the Blackhawks are perilously close to dropping out of the top eight altogether. They enter Wednesday nights game in sixth place in the West, and the three teams trailing them (San Jose, Dallas and Colorado) are within three points of catching them.

Their schedule is a tough one: two more games against division foes the Blues, Red Wings and Predators each. Theyll see the New York Rangers and Dallas Stars again, too.

It wont be easy, especially with Jonathan Toews, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador still sidelined. But the Blackhawks know its up to them.

To be honest with you its all on us now, Patrick Kane said. (Management) has done everything they can to put a good team on the ice, be it offseason and the trade deadline. The coaches are doing a fine job and were happy with our team in here. For sure, the onus is on the players now to get it done ourselves.

Viktor Stalberg said its been a trying time.

Its frustrating times but the only way to get out of it is to work hard, play simple hockey and the bounces will go our way, he said. Were in a tough spot. Were fighting for those playoff spots and we have to compete every night. Injuries make it tougher on a couple of guys. Hopefully we get these guys back here soon.

Yes, the Blackhawks are missing their injured teammates. Theres no denying Toewss absence, especially, leaves a hole. But every team has injuries, every team loses key players. The Pittsburgh Penguins made the playoffs despite missing Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby for months last season. The Dallas Stars have gone on their recent push to the top eight without Brenden Morrow and Jamie Benn.

The Blackhawks still have a deep enough roster to do this. Add some confidence, bring back the team-first attitude, and it can be done.

Its the stretch drive; its going to be very competitive and going to be extremely tight, coach Joel Quenneville said. We lost the nice position we were in a month ago. Its evaporated and we have to come together here quickly and push and help each other.

Charlie Tilson plays in Detroit for first time since getting injured in his MLB debut

Charlie Tilson plays in Detroit for first time since getting injured in his MLB debut

For over two years, Charlie Tilson was starting to look like his own version of "Moonlight" Graham, the player made famous in the movie "Field of Dreams" because he played in one major league game and never got to bat.

The White Sox traded for Tilson just before the trade deadline passed in 2016. Two days later he made his big league debut with the White Sox in Detroit. He got a single in his first at-bat, but left the game with an injury and missed the rest of the season. Tilson also missed all of the 2017 season and his MLB future was starting to come into question.

Back healthy, Tilson started this season in Triple-A Charlotte and hit .248 in 39 games when he got called up to replace Leury Garcia, who was placed on the disabled list. On Thursday, Tilson returned to a big league field for the first time in more than 20 months. He went 0-for-3 in a loss to Baltimore.

Friday marked a return to the site of Tilson's big league debut and the injury that made it such a brief stint. Tilson has now played three big league games, over the course of nearly 21 months, and two of them have been in Detroit.

Tilson went 1-for-4, meaning both his hits are in Comerica Park. The White Sox lost 5-4 after giving up three runs in the bottom of the eighth.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Do the Cubs need to make a deal?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Do the Cubs need to make a deal?

On this episode of SportsTalk Live, Fred Mitchell, Seth Gruen and Jason Goch join David Kaplan on the panel.

The Cubs bats come alive against the Giants while Theo says there have been plenty of trade rumors but no trade talks. Do the Cubs need to make a deal?

Plus, Ray Ratto joins Kap to talk about the Warriors struggles and the guys debate if LeBron is playing his final game in a Cavaliers uniform.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: