(I'd be bumming too if I had to hit against Sale. Courtesy of Getty Images)
I really don't understand why Joe played Derek Jeter and Brian McCann on Wednesday. Day game after a night game, series starting against a better team in the same town on Thursday, why not take advantage against a crummy team like the Cubs? Joe didn't and his lineup for last night's series opener against the White Sox suffered for it. Ellsbury leading off again, Jeter DHing #2, Solarte 5th, and a 6-9 of Roberts, Murphy, Ryan, and Zoilo. No McCann, no Brett Gardner (???), and Chicago ace Chris Sale coming off the DL. Not a recipe for a lot of runs. Or no runs, to be more accurate. Because that's how many the Yankees got off Sale.
- David Phelps has this Hughes-ian habit of not being able to finish off batters or innings. He couldn't put away old man Paul Konerko after getting him down 0-2 with 2 outs in the 2nd and the White Sox strung together 3 hits and a walk to put 2 runs on the board.
- Sale absolutely tore through the Yankee lineup. No hits through 5, 9 strikeouts including the side in the 1st and 3rd innings, and not even a single ball out of the infield through the first 4 innings.
- Phelps settled down after the 2nd and actually worked pretty efficiently into the 7th without giving up any more runs. Retired 10 in a row at one point and let his defense work for him instead of trying to strike everybody out.
- The Yanks did finally get a hit, a Zoilo Almonte single in the top of the 6th, but they never came close to scoring against Sale. They only started getting chances because Sale was removed after 6 innings.
- Phelps went 7 and Joe went to Alfredo Aceves for the 8th. He did Alfredo Aceves things that added up to another White Sox insurance run.
- The only real chance the Yanks got against the Chicago bullpen came in the 9th when Ichiro singled, Jeter walked. and they moved up on a passed ball. Mark Teixeira knocked them both home with a 2-out, 2-run single to make it interesting, but Alfonso Soriano struck out to end it.
- Phelps: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Really nice game for Phelps. Had his stuff working and got a lot of strikeouts early, but it wasn't until he started attacking the zone and throwing more strikes that his day really got good. The last 5 innings were the type of Phelps the Yanks could really use for the next few weeks.
- Teix: 1-4, 2 RBI, 1 K. Keeps knocking guys in when he gets his chances. The offense is pretty much him, Gardner, and Solarte.
- Jacoby Ellsbury: 0-4, 3 K, 2 LOB. Yeah, guys. It was definitely him batting in the 3-spot that was causing his slump, not something wrong with his swing.
- Soriano: 0-4, 3 K, 1 LOB. Ugh.
- Aceves: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB. Double ugh. Why does this guy have a 40-man roster spot over Burawa or Pinder or Montgomery?
Bats need to wake up tonight and former Yankee prospect Hector Noesi is the right opposing pitcher to help make that happen. Hiroki Kuroda gets the ball for the Yanks.