Chicago White Sox: Why the Tigers Series Is Just the Beginning

Matthew Smith@@MatthewSmithBRCorrespondent IIISeptember 11, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 10:  A.J. Pierzynski #12 of the Chicago White Sox pats teammate Alex Rios #51 on the head after the pair hit back-to-back home runs during the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field on September 10, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Rios's three-run shot scored Dewayne Wise #28 and Paul Konerko #14 while Pierzynski hit a solo home run.  (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Brian Kersey/Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox have some work to do if they plan on maintaining a now three-game lead over the Detroit Tigers for the Al Central division title.

Of course, it starts with finishing off the Tigers at home during their last meetings of the regular season.  With the division lead at two games following a two-run loss Tuesday evening, the Sox need, at minimum, to split the final two games in the series.

Unfortunately, it will not get any easier after the Tigers leave town. 

See, the upcoming road trip is as important as the remainder of the current homestand.

Not to overlook the series against the Minnesota Twins, but the six games that follow the trip to Target Field are critical.

Following a day off Monday, the Sox play the exact same schedule that the Tigers did last week and every Sox fan knows how that week turned out. 

The Sox went 3-3 at home last week and gained two games on the reigning division champions.  That’s right, the Sox gained two games because the Tigers went 1-5 against the Kansas City Royals and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

With the Tigers back at Comerica and the Sox on the road next week, no lead is safe if they get swept.  A split on the road is the bare acceptable minimum performance. 


The Sox have historically had problems at both stadiums, so they will need to be on top of their game.

The return of Gavin Floyd Wednesday should allow for the pitching staff to get some extra rest, and the Sox are hopeful that Adam Dunn will be able to contribute down the final legs of the stretch run after re-aggravating his oblique.

Chicago should be all-hands-on-deck for the visit to Kauffmann Stadium and the trip out west.  If disaster strikes on the road, nothing they do at home will be enough.