(The only guy in the lineup to do something meaningful last night. Courtesy of The AP)
Facing a young, hard-throwing pitcher with a funky delivery who they'd never faced before wasn't a winning formula on paper for the Yankees. Chris Sale has nasty stuff and he's proven multiple times this season that when he's on he can be unhittable. Well he was on last night and there wasn't much the Yankee lineup could do against him. Phil Hughes, who's been "meh" at best lately, had his work cut out for him last night to keep the Yankees in the game, but he did have a good history against the White Sox going in. The stage was set for a pitchers' duel, and that's exactly what we got.
- Hughes was a little uneven in the 1st, when he walked 2 batters, but he righted the ship quickly with some well-located fastballs and a 7-pitch 2nd.
- Hughes got into some more trouble in the 3rd inning when he gave up a leadoff double to Gordon Beckham. He worked out of it, but not before giving up 1 run on a Kevin Youkilis sac fly.
- As you would expect, Sale started off dominating the Yankee lineup. Mark Teixeira hit a fastball for a double in the 2nd, Robinson Cano hit a hanging slider for a double in the 4th, and that was all Sale allowed through a scoreless 4. His stuff was nasty and he was making a lot of guys look bad.
- It took a third time through the lineup for something to click, at least for Derek Jeter, who took Sale deep on a fastball up with 1 out in the 6th to tie the game at 1. It was Jeter's third straight game with a HR and the fourth straight HR he pulled to left field. Who was saying something about that trend yesterday?? Hmmmmm...
- Almost on cue, Hughes came back in the bottom half of the 6th with a meatball that Alex Rios hit for a solo HR. It was wildly disappointing, as Hughes actually pitched very well overall through 7 innings, allowing just the 2 runs and 5 hits.
- Sale was just too much for the Yankee lineup, striking out 13 and only allowing the 3 previously mentioned hits in 7.2 IP before turning it over to the bullpen, who finished things off with ease.
- Jeter: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Responsible for the lone Yankee run, still driving to the ball to left field, and had another hit taken away on a nice defensive play by Beckham.
- Hughes: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, . In fairness to Hughes, he did pitch a very good game. He walked 2 in the first, gave up a dinky bunt single that led to his run allowed in the 3rd, and for the most part controlled the White Sox lineup with a steady diet of fastballs. Hughes just got outpitched by a dominant Sale.
- Ichiro Suzuki: 0-3, 3 K. Shouldn't have been in the lineup.
- Casey McGehee: 0-3, 2 K. Shouldn't continue to be in the lineup against lefties if that's how he's going to look at the plate. Give me Jayson Nix instead.
The Yankees get a day off today before heading to Cleveland for 3 games, and they need to start getting it together; injuries, slumps, or no injuries or slumps. The Rays are on absolute fire and seem hellbent on making this division race real. A couple of good series followed by a couple of bad series isn't going to get it done.