White Sox vs. Cubs 'BP Crosstown Cup' Round 2 coverage returns to CSN on Monday, June 18

White Sox vs. Cubs 'BP Crosstown Cup' Round 2 coverage returns to CSN on Monday, June 18

Two full hours of Pre-Game coverage leading up to every 7:10 PM first pitch!Crosstown coverage team to include Harrelson, Stone, Kasper, Brenly, Melton, Hollandsworth, Boyle, Kaplan, Garfien, Otto - plus, The Big Hurt Frank Thomas!CSNChicago.com to provide LIVE video stream of EVERY post-game press conference, plus detailed analysis via Cubs Talk & White Sox Talk, feature storiesin-game Tweets from Kaplan, Garfien, Mooney and much more!

Chicago, IL (June 13, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs, is ready for Round 2 of the BP Crosstown Cup with LIVE coverage of ALL THREE GAMES of the series (June 18-20), featuring expanded, TWO-HOUR, pre-game coverage beginning at 5:00 PM on all three days.

Comcast SportsNets BP Crosstown Cup coverage gets underway each night at 5:00 PM with a special U.S. Cellular Field remote edition of Chicago Tribune Live presented by Captain Morgan (hosted by David Kaplan) featuring lively debate with local Tribune writers and a number of special guests on all three days.

At 6:00 PM each night (also live from U.S. Cellular Field), fans can catch up on the latest local & national sports news of the day, along with continued Crosstown pre-game coverage on SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse (hosted by Pat Boyle and Mark Schanowski).

Then, at 6:30 PM each night, viewers can look forward to full-blown pre-game coverage on White Sox Pre-Game Live (Monday & Wednesday) and Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live (Tuesday). The pre-game shows will be hosted by Pat Boyle who will be joined by featured Crosstown analysts Frank Thomas & Dave Otto. Comcast SportsNets primary studio teams of Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton (White Sox) & David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth (Cubs) will also be live at U.S. Cellular Field with the very latest White Sox & Cubs pre-game reports and playercoaches interviews.

Game coverage begins with a 7:10 PM first pitch each night as Comcast SportsNet will televise the Monday, June 18 & Wednesday, June 20 games as White Sox telecasts featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone with the game call. The game on Tuesday, June 19 will be presented as a Cubs telecast with Len Kasper and Bob Brenly calling the action.

Immediately following Monday and Wednesdays BP Crosstown Cup games, Comcast SportsNet will provide fans with an expanded edition of White Sox Post Game Live (hosted by Garfien featuring analysis from Thomas, Melton and Hollandsworth) and Cubs Post Game Live, presented by Horseshoe Casino (on Tuesday: hosted by Kaplan with analysis from Thomas, Hollandsworth and Melton). All three shows will feature the live post-game press conferences with White Sox manager Robin Ventura, Cubs manager Dale Sveum, along with locker room player interviews, complete game highlights and detailed post-game analysis.

In addition, Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, will provide even more exclusive BP Crosstown Cup content including the following:

CSNChicago.com will stream EVERY press conference LIVE providing insider access to White Sox manager Robin Ventura and Cubs manager Dale Sveum addressing the media as it happens.

New-look White Sox & Cubs team pages offer the latest news, enhanced articles, player interviews, video, stats and more around the clock.

Cubs and White Sox In-Game Live: New and improved product featuring real-time, live data combined with timely editorial elements such as the fan stream - a one-stop shop for interacting with other fans via the web page or through Twitter and Facebook, in-game box score, out of town scoreboard and more.

Complete coverage of the series 247 from CSNChicago.com Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) and Cubs Talk and White Sox Talk bloggers Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz. Additional coverage provided by CSN PrePost Game Live hosts Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) and David Kaplan (@thekapman).

Cubs Talk (@CubsTalkCSN) and 'White Sox Talk' (@WhiteSoxTalkCSN) offer news, views and analysis from Mooney, Garfien, Kaplan, Andracki and Stankevitz, as well as other CSNChicago.com contributors.

Twitter hashtags (WhiteSoxTalk, CubsTalk) to be used during the series for fans to submit comments, with the most intriguing fan comments to be featured on White SoxCubs Post Game Live.

Note Comcast SportsNets full coverage breakdown for the upcoming Cubs at White Sox BP Crosstown Cup series:

MONDAY, JUNE 18 & WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20

5:00 PM Chicago Tribune Live presented by Captain Morgan Special edition pre-game discussion & analysis with host David Kaplan, Tribune writers and special guests live from U.S. Cellular Field
6:00 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse Even more pre-game coverage LIVE from U.S. Cellular Field
6:30 PM White Sox Pre-Game Live Special edition pre-game show LIVE from U.S. Cellular Field
7:00 PM CUBS at WHITE SOX (L) White Sox telecast featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone
9:45 PM White Sox Post Game Live (time approx.) Featuring live post-game press conferences and player interviews
10:00 & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central (time approx.) Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports
12:00 AM SportsNet Central presented by CLR Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports
12:30 AM Cubs at White Sox (game replay)

TUESDAY, JUNE 21

5:00 PM Chicago Tribune Live presented by Captain Morgan Special edition pre-game discussion & analysis with host David Kaplan, Tribune writers and special guests live from U.S. Cellular Field
6:00 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse Even more pre-game coverage LIVE from U.S. Cellular Field
6:30 PM Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live Special edition pre-game show LIVE from U.S. Cellular Field
7:00 PM CUBS at WHITE SOX (L) Cubs telecast featuring Len Kasper and Bob Brenly
9:45 PM Cubs Post Game Live, presented by Horseshoe Casino (time approx.) Featuring live post-game press conferences and player interviews
10:00 & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central (time approx.) Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports
12:00 AM SportsNet Central presented by CLR Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports
12:30 AM Cubs at White Sox (game replay)

Jose Quintana giving White Sox another ace to play as early season success rolls on

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Jose Quintana giving White Sox another ace to play as early season success rolls on

The White Sox newfound brand of crisp, clean baseball is suiting Jose Quintana awfully well. 

The 27-year-old left-hander pitched another gem Tuesday night, firing eight innings of one-run ball to propel the White Sox to a 4-1 win over the Boston Red Sox in front of 15,025 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Anchored by improved offensive and defensive support, Quintana lowered his season ERA to 1.40. But more jarring — in a positive way — is that in earning the win on Tuesday, Quintana for the first time in his career won three consecutive starts. 

“It’s way better this year,” Quintana said. “The offense is, for me and for everybody, everybody tries to do his job. We’re off to a really good start and we believe this year is a good year for us, and we’ll try to do everything to stay in first place.”

Quintana’s posted consistently solid results since the White Sox plucked him from Double-A Birmingham to start in a doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians four years ago. His decidedly-not-flashy-but-effective pitching style didn’t make headlines like his prolific teammate Chris Sale, but a 3.46 ERA and an unfairly poor win-loss record landed him on plenty of lists and social media takes focused on the most underrated or overlooked players in baseball. 

That’s changed this year. Before his stellar start Tuesday, Quintana was given 8/1 odds by the sports betting website Bovada to win the American League Cy Young, the third-best of anyone (Sale led the way at 6/5). It’s still early, of course, but these six starts to begin the 2016 season stand is one of the best stretches he’s had in his career. 

Manager Robin Ventura attributed Quintana’s ace-like success in part to pitching with a little less pressure than in the past. 

“There is something to be said for going out there thinking if you give up one you’re going to lose,” Ventura said. “It’s been a few years for him. Right now (with) the feeling going on in there, he knows if he just pitches his game those guys are going to scratch out some runs for him.”

The White Sox continue to show signs of ending a head-scratching inability to support Quintana. 

Jose Abreu’s first-inning RBI triple got the White Sox scoring started and his double in the eighth added two insurance runs (a Todd Frazier groundout in the third inning plated the White Sox other run). For the fifth time in six starts this season, Quintana was supported by four or more runs, and Adam Eaton and Austin Jackson made sparkling defensive plays to keep hard-hit balls from inflicting any damage. 

Having the offense score four or more runs in 83 percent of Quintana’s starts seems unlikely — if he makes 32 starts this year, that’d mean he’d get that support in about 27 of those — but it is an improvement off the last few seasons. The White Sox scored three or fewer runs in 54 percent of Quintana’s starts from 2013-15, a span in which it’s worth noting the club also was rated as having the third-worst defense in baseball by DRS and UZR. 

“There’s more of a confidence level of him knowing he doesn’t have to do an extraordinary thing — and he might do it, like tonight,” Ventura said. “But he doesn’t feel like he has to do it on his own.”

Quintana isn’t throwing harder this year and hasn’t added a new pitch or anything like that. But Ventura’s theory on why the Colombia native is pitching better makes sense — perhaps the next step in Quintana’s career was getting a good, reliable team playing behind him.

“He’s probably one of the best right now in the league,” first baseman Jose Abreu said through a translator. 

That’s not hyperbole. Quintana has a top-10 ERA that’s backed up by a 2.12 FIP, which is a good indicator that his early-season success isn’t necessarily a small sample size-generated mirage. 

Quintana is a shining example of how so much has gone right for the White Sox this season — even on the day in which the team announced it would eat over $11 million to cut ties with veteran left-hander John Danks. Not only is he pitching better, but everyone around him is playing better. And the combination of that, so far, has taken Quintana and the White Sox to another level. 

“Everything changed,” Quintana said. “Everything is going in a good direction this year. We believe in that.”

Today on CSN: Lester, Cubs go for sweep in Pittsburgh

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Today on CSN: Lester, Cubs go for sweep in Pittsburgh

The Cubs look to sweep the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins with Cubs Pregame Live at 11 a.m. Then catch first pitch with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on Cubs Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Jon Lester (2-1, 1.83) vs. Juan Nicasio (3-2, 3.33)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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Rick Hahn: Filling fifth spot in White Sox rotation a 'fluid situation'

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Rick Hahn: Filling fifth spot in White Sox rotation a 'fluid situation'

Erik Johnson gets the first chance at the No. 5 spot in the White Sox rotation, but the situation is hardly finalized.

The White Sox announced Tuesday that they would promote Johnson from Triple-A Charlotte in time to make Thursday’s start in place of John Danks, whom they will officially designated for assignment later this week. But just because Johnson gets the first start doesn’t mean he’s here for good, general manager Rick Hahn said.

Hahn and the White Sox have made it clear they want better production from the fifth spot, whether it's from an internal or an external option.

“It’s going to be a bit of a fluid situation,” Hahn said.

Hahn is comfortable with the team’s internal options at Charlotte beyond Johnson.

Miguel Gonzalez, who started last Monday in Toronto, has a solid major league track record. Then there’s Jacob Turner, who has 27 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings with a 3.04 ERA in five starts.

But Hahn also said the White Sox wouldn’t shy away from looking outside the farm system, either. Hahn declined to answer whether or not the White Sox would watch Tim Lincecum’s tryout Friday in Scottsdale, Ariz. before he noted the club has “scouts everywhere.”

The White Sox could also try and use their internal options to get by for several months before adding another pitcher ahead of the trade deadline.

No matter whom they turn to, the expectation is better results than the White Sox received from Danks, who was 0-4 with a 7.25 ER in four starts.

“Obviously, Erik starts on Thursday,” Hahn said. “After that, we may well make another move next week as we try to accomplish two things with that spot -- first and foremost, get greater production than we’ve been receiving thus far this year.”

“We do have a few internal options.

“If it does get to the point where we’re better off going outside the organization, obviously we’ve never been shy about doing that.”