Other Sports

ICYMI: White Sox trending in the right direction; Cubs confident best is yet to come; Bulls rookies shine in Summer League

0610_lucas_giolito.jpg
USA TODAY

ICYMI: White Sox trending in the right direction; Cubs confident best is yet to come; Bulls rookies shine in Summer League

Here are some of the Chicago sports stories you may have missed from the weekend. 

White Sox

The White Sox have had a truly amazing first half of the season when compared to last year's struggles. Whether or not their overall record ends up being closer to last season's, the progress that the White Sox have seen from their young talent is real.

They notched a win over the Cubs in the fourth game of the Crosstown Classic series on Sunday, tying the series at two games apiece. Despite some continued struggles against the Cubs from All-Star Lucas Giolito, the Sox have overall played well the past week.

As Rick Hahn has stated before, the White Sox win total isn't as important as clear-cut development among the core players. Fortunately for White Sox fans, winning games and focusing on player development have gone hand in hand these days. 

Cubs

The Cubs have had an up-and-down season so far but still, sit in the driver's seat in the NL Central.

The North Siders were in the midst of a four-game losing streak before bouncing back with consecutive wins over the Pirates and White Sox. The Cubs' win over the White Sox on July 6 contained a great six-inning outing from Jon Lester but the team still had their fair share of avoidable mistakes. The Cubs dropped the fourth game of the Crosstown Classic series, but still received a solid offensive contribution from rookie Robel Garica, who has been an awesome story for the Cubs.

There is an overall sense of optimism in the clubhouse, as the team feels the best is yet to come.

Bulls

Summer League is not a major indicator of long-term success but it does help us get an idea of how a rookie's game will translate to the NBA. And so far, the Bulls have gotten to see how effective Coby White and Daniel Gafford can be as a duo. Jim Boylen has been very pleased with the overall direction of the team and with good reason after a solid offseason.

White has shown off a variety of nice step-back shots and been a true asset in the pick-and-roll game. Gafford has been a monster around the basket, blocking shots and moving his feet well when defending in the pick-and-roll. There is legitimate excitement surrounding the Bulls.

Between the return of Denzel Valentine and Chandler Hutchison, the free agent additions and another expected leap from Zach Laine and Lauri Markkanen, the Bulls are poised for a (within reason) bounce-back season in a weakened Eastern Conference.

ICYMI: Cubs, White Sox go in opposite directions to start the first half

cubs-celebrate-714.jpg
USA TODAY

ICYMI: Cubs, White Sox go in opposite directions to start the first half

The Cubs swept the Pirates to open the second half while the White Sox went the other direction, getting swept in Oakland. Here are some Chicago sports stories from the weekend that you may have missed.

Cubs

The Cubs beat the Pirates on Friday and then crushed them with seven runs in the first inning on Saturday. Jon Lester even got in the act with a home run. The win locked up the team's first series win in over a month.

On Sunday, the Cubs finished off the sweep behind a quality start from Jose Quintana. After the sweep, the Cubs had a simple explanation for why the team played better over the weekend.

White Sox

Oakland remains a house of horrors for the White Sox. The Sox began the second half with a 5-1 loss at the A's on Friday. Ivan Nova took the loss and A.J. Reed debuted at DH.

The next day, Dylan Covey returned from the IL. Covey's start did not go well in a lopsided loss.

Oakland finished the sweep off with a walk-off win on Sunday, but Reynaldo Lopez didn't allow an earned run in six innings.

Bulls

The Bulls wrapped up Summer League play on Saturday. Coby White showed some glimpses of his playmaking ability in the finale against the Magic.

ICYMI: White Sox and Cubs each get three All-Stars, Bulls agree to deal with Thaddeus Young

giolito_thumb.jpg
USA TODAY

ICYMI: White Sox and Cubs each get three All-Stars, Bulls agree to deal with Thaddeus Young

Here are some of the Chicago sports stories you may have missed from the weekend. 

Bulls

NBA Free agency got underway on Sunday night and the Bulls wasted no time getting a deal done.

The Bulls agreed to terms on a three-year deal with forward Thaddeus Young

Despite not being the splashiest name in the free agent market, Young will help the Bulls will with veteran presence, playoff experience, and strong defensive versatility. 

Cubs

The Cubs ended up with three All-Stars in 2019, with Kris Bryant announced on Sunday to be joining teammates Willson Contreras and Javier Baez. The Cubs got some bad news on Saturday, with Cole Hamels injury being labeled an oblique strain.

The North Siders did receive some good news, as they do have one pitcher on the way back to the mound in Kyle Hendricks.

Hendricks is slated to start on Tuesday against the Pirates. He last pitched on June 14 against the Dodgers. The Cubs have not made a roster move to make room for Hendricks' return yet, so the expectation is that someone will be sent down to Tripe-A Iowa soon.

White Sox

The White Sox will also be sending three players to the 2019 MLB All-Star Game in Cleveland. First baseman Jose Abreu will be making his third All-Star appearance, while the South Siders have two first-time All-Stars in pitcher Lucas Giolito and James McCann.

The trio of All-Stars is just one of the many things that have showcased how things are heading in the right direction for the White Sox.

Perhaps the biggest piece of news to come out of the weekend for the White Sox was that Dylan Cease, the No. 3 prospect in the organization and the No. 18 prospect in baseball, will make his major league debut Wednesday. Cease will be getting the start in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers.

Blackhawks

The Blackhawks made a major move on the eve of NHL free agency, acquiring forward Andrew Shaw, who spent his first five NHL seasons in Chicago, where he helped the Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups in 2013 and 2015.