As we exit the dog days of summer and set our sights on the fall, baseball in Chicago is almost an afterthought. Both my beloved Cubs and their bitter cross-town rival the White Sox are fading in the playoff picture and look to be heading towards early October tee-times some place very warm.
Though both teams for all intents and purposes are done for the year there is still one thing to keep Sox fans tuning in: Jose Abreu has a legitimate shot at catching Mark McGwire’s rookie home run record of 49. After tonight’s game, the Sox will have 35 games left and Abreu has 32 dingers on the season.
Let’s do some quick math: 49-32=17. Abreu needs 17 more home runs to tie Big Mac and 18 to pass him. That’s one home run every 2.05 games (35 games left/17 homers) to tie the record and one homer every 1.9 games (35/18) to break it. So roughly Jose Abreu needs to hit a home run every other game down the stretch.
While that’s feasible it seems unlikely, as Jose would have to pick up the pace. Currently, Abreu is averaging one home run every 3.5 games.
According to an article on Bleacher Report referencing the Baseball-Almanac, no other rookie has hit more than 38 home runs. Abreu only needs six to beat that mark, which he should do with ease given his 1 HR to every 3.5 games. As two mediocre baseball seasons come to close in the Windy City, maybe Abreu can send the Sox out on a high note.