The Cubs had an even weekend, going 1–1 with a rainout in between. In a home series against interleague foes in the Royals, the Cubs dropped the Friday game 8–4, but won on Sunday 2–1. Jorge Soler hit his fourth homer of the season in the sixth inning, and Addison Russell hit his fourth of the year as well, in the seventh. Saturday’s game was called after some unseasonably cold, in other words, seasonably Chicago, weather. On Sunday, in throwback Chicago Whales jerseys, the Cubs pulled out a 2–1 victory in eleven innings. Starter Tsyuoshi Wada gave up a run over 5.2 innings, and seven relievers combined to shut out the Royals for the rest of the game. Chicago won it on David Ross’ 11th-inning single. The Cubs remain in second place in the N.L. Central, six games behind the Cardinals, entering Monday. This week, the Cubs will take on the Marlins and then the Nationals on the road.
The White Sox took two out of three from the A.L.–West–leading Astros this weekend in Houston. On Friday, the Sox won 6–3 in 11 innings. After Carlos Rodon gave up three runs, one earned, over 6.1 innings, the bullpen kept the Astros scoreless. Gordon Beckham hit an eighth inning home run to tie the game at three apiece, and then the floodgates opened for the ’Stros pitching in the top of the eleventh. On Saturday, Dallas Keuchel pitched a four-hit shutout, notching 11 strikeouts en route to a 3–0 Astros victory. But the Sox were able to reign supreme in the rubber game, winning 6–0 behind John Danks’s 10-hit shutout. Perhaps not as dominating in the box score as Keuchel’s, but the shutout still got the job done. The Sox remain in last place in the A.L. Central, seven games out of the division-leading Twins, entering Monday. This week, they’ll take on the Texas Rangers on the road before returning home to face the Detroit Tigers.
Four wins. That’s all that stands between the Blackhawks and Lord Stanley’s Cup. After winning Game 7 on the road in Anaheim on Saturday, the Hawks are preparing to face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals beginning Wednesday. Chicago beat the Ducks 5–3 in the decisive game, paced by two first period goals by captain Jonathan Toews. The Hawks will play in the Stanley Cup Finals for the third time in six years. The Western Conference representative in the finals for each of the past four years has been either the Hawks or the L.A. Kings, alternating each year. Puck drops for Game 1 at 7 p.m. CST on Wednesday.
The Bulls fired head coach Tom Thibodeau on Thursday, reliving him of his coaching duties after five seasons at the helm. The Bulls made the playoffs each year under Thibodeau. There’s been no official announcement entering Monday morning, but the team is expected to announce Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg their new head coach. Hoiberg played for the Bulls from 1999–2003 and has been coaching at Iowa State since 2010.