clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Respect 70? White Sox think reaching 70 victories this season might be a sign

For the 11th consecutive season, the Sox won’t be playing in October.

The White Sox are determined to win at least 70 games this season.
AP Photos

The White Sox have had enough.

For the 11th consecutive season, they won’t be playing in October. And their loss Thursday to the Royals assured them of their seventh consecutive sub-.500 season.

But maybe — just maybe — the Sox can find solace in achieving something they haven’t done since the Cubs won the World Series.

The Sox haven’t reached 70 victories in a season since 2016, when they finished 78-84. They have a chance to do so this season, entering their game Saturday against the Mariners in Seattle at 65-82 with 15 games to play.

Would it mean something for the Sox to win at least 70 games? Manager Rick Renteria thought about it.

‘‘Symbolically, maybe yes,’’ he said. ‘‘More than anything, we’re just trying to get these guys through this season playing as consistent as they can and healthy.’’

For third baseman Yoan Moncada, it would be tangible evidence the Sox are heading in the right direction.

‘‘We know that we can win more games than that, whatever the final mark is,’’ Moncada said through a translator. ‘‘But it’s always good to see that you’re progressing in the win column, and I think this has been a better year than the last two.’’

The Sox have had plenty of individual successes this season. Moncada has made a smooth transition to third base and entered play Saturday with career highs of 23 homers and 72 RBI. Right-hander Lucas Giolito (14-9) has become the Sox’ best starting pitcher, and his 3.41 ERA is more than 2.7 runs lower than his American League-worst 6.13 last season. And shortstop Tim Anderson has had a great season at the plate, entering play Saturday leading the majors with a .334 batting average.

‘‘They’re not finished,’’ Renteria said of the Sox’ most improved players this season. ‘‘They’re still going to continue to grow and improve. When you’re looking at players that have such high talent, they will continue to evolve over time and even hopefully show us signs of greatness.’’

Rookie outfielder Eloy Jimenez and rookie right-hander Dylan Cease have gotten experience at the big-league level, too. Both have shown flashes of their potential through their growing pains.

Plus, the Sox have a stacked pool of top prospects — including outfielder Luis Robert, right-hander Michael Kopech and infielder Nick Madrigal — who didn’t play in the majors this season.

The strides made by the major-league players and minor-league prospects offer hope for the future, but they don’t take away from the frustration of another lost season. Renteria pledged next season will be different.

‘‘I’m expecting that this is it,’’ he said of the losing seasons. ‘‘We are finishing this season, and we are talking about coming into next season ready to battle — period, exclamation point. That’s what we are looking to do.’’

Moncada is optimistic, too.

‘‘The future is looking pretty good for us,’’ he said. ‘‘We have a lot of talent here. And not just here in this clubhouse, but there’s [young talent] coming up in the minors. . . . We’re going to be pretty good.’’