What was Happening the Last Time the Chicago Cubs Swept the Chicago White Sox

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | On July 8, in the form of make-up game from a rain-out on May 28, the Chicago Cubs put the finishing touches on a dominant four-game season series sweep of the Chicago White Sox.

Not much was at stake seeing as the two franchises are buried in their respective divisions, but when you're rebuilding, you'll take signs of life wherever you can get them. And the Cubs definitely had life over those four games -- outscoring the White Sox by a combined 32-8 in the four games.

Interleague has only been going on since 1997, so the history size isn't huge, but the last (and only) time the Cubs swept the White Sox in the season series was 1998 -- the Cubs winning all three games. The Cubs are a pedestrian 45-49 overall.

In 1998, the scene was quite a bit different.

Robin Ventura was playing third base for the White Sox

Ventura was 4 for 14 with four RBIs in the series in 1998. Here in 2013, he was busy managing in the dugout.

The Cubs were on a nine-game winning streak

The Cubs entered the series in '98 on a six-game winning streak -- they would eventually extend it to 10 after sweeping the White Sox and winning one more game against the Minnesota Twins.

The Cubs were 13 games above .500 (37-24)

Entering the final game of the 2013 series, the Cubs were 10 games under .500 (38-48). Back in '98, the Cubs (34-24) were just beginning their wildcard run when they met up with the Sox. The White Sox were nine games under .500 when the series began in '98 and fell to twelve games under after.

The Cubs would win the wildcard (90-73), while the White Sox rebounded (80-82) but fell short in the playoff chase.

Kerry Wood pitched his 20-strikeout game one month earlier

On May 6, 1998, Wood pitched this masterpiece in just his sixth major-league start on his way to being named Rookie of the Year.

Sammy Sosa hit home runs 17, 18, and 19

Sosa had a monstrous month of June (.298 AVG, 20 HRs, 40 RBIs, .842 SLG) and the White Sox weren't spared as Sosa hit home runs in each of the three games. His line for the series was .417 AVG, 3 HRs, 8 RBIs, .533 OBP. He would go on to win the MVP while finishing second to Mark McGwire in the historic home run race.

2013 hasn't had much to cheer about for either club. Though, the Cubs only being nine games under .500 is surprising; it feels much worse.

Brian is a lifelong Chicago Cubs follower. Living in Illinois his entire life has given him a chance to closely follow and report Chicago sports as a freelance writer through Yahoo! Contributor and Yahoo! Sports. He is also a senior in college majoring in English and Creative Writing.

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