It has long been a city divided. For the next four days, those sides will clash.
North Side vs. South Side: A Windy City war. A battle between black and blue.
"Any time we play against the Cubs, it doesn't really matter what the records are or previous performances," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn. "It's an exciting time and sort of quasi-playoff atmosphere for the fans, and lots of bragging rights and hard times on the line. [I'm] looking forward to it."
The Cubs and White Sox will play two games at U.S. Cellular Field before trekking to 1060 W. Addison Street on the north side of town to play a pair at Wrigley Field on Wednesday and Thursday. The teams have met on 90 occasions, with the White Sox claiming 49 of those encounters.
Hahn said he deems divisional games to be more important, though he acknowledged the excitement that comes with these affairs.
"We realize the importance of these inter-city games and what they mean to fans and what they mean to the city," Hahn said. "It's an exciting four days, it's high energy and intense, sort of playoff-like games."
The Cubs limp into the series in the National League Central cellar. They snapped a six-game skid with an extra-innings triumph against Cincinnati on Sunday. The White Sox will enter Monday's meeting winners of nine of their last 12.
"I want to win. I don't care who it is, where they're at," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "It doesn't matter. You still have to go out and try to win. You feel just as good winning those games as you do any other ones."
Monday's series opener will pit Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija (2-6, 3.25 ERA) against White Sox southpaw Jose Quintana (3-1, 3.48 ERA).
"It's such a strange circumstance to play four games in, obviously, the same city but in two different parks," said Cubs skipper Dale Sveum. "There's no other way to do it now, and there's nothing you can do about it. But it's kind of funny how it comes that way with the crosstown rivals."
Cubs: DeJesus to face lefty
• With the White Sox slated to start three southpaws against the Cubs this week, Sveum is preparing to make some changes to his typical approach against left-handed pitchers.
Sveum plans to play outfielder David DeJesus on Wednesday against John Danks. DeJesus, a career .254 hitter against lefties compared to .293 against righties, often sits against left-handers.
"I'll keep the same approach," DeJesus said.
• Samardzija's record might not portray it, but the righty has pitched well this season. He has turned in six quality starts in his 10 outings, and has racked up 72 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings.
White Sox: Santiago to move to 'pen
• Dylan Axelrod will remain in the rotation and Hector Santiago will relocate to the bullpen. Danks' return from a shoulder injury gave the White Sox six starters.
"Hector is an extremely valuable guy for us because he can do many roles," said pitching coach Don Cooper. "Obviously, his time is not coming -- it's here. He has started for us. He's started well."
• Quintana blanked the Red Sox for 6 1/3 innings in his most recent outing on Tuesday. He said he's looking forward to facing the Cubs.
"It's a really good opportunity to face another team from Chicago," Quintana said. "I'm just going to try to do the best I can to get the win."
• There have been 171 players who have appeared in at least one game for both the Cubs and White Sox, including current Cubs pitcher Edwin Jackson.
• The White Sox claimed four of their six meetings with the Cubs last season.