(D'oh! Courtesy of The AP)
Rafael Soriano didn't look very sharp in closing out Wednesday's win, and with good reason since it was his 4th appearance in 5 days. He was not available last night to pitch the 9th, and it really cost the Yankees as the "closer by committee" crew gave up a late lead and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory to break the Yankees' winning streak. Ivan Nova was good, not great, and the offense didn't do a whole lot to provide a huge margin for error, but it was still a game the Yanks should have, could have, and would have won if their relievers remembered the ABC rule.
- The teams traded 0s through 4 innings, with White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod having the easier time overall. Nova put at least one runner on in every inning, and didn't get a lot of groundballs, but managed to work out of trouble every time.
- The Yanks loaded the bases against Axelrod in the 4th on an Alex Rodriguez leadoff double and 2 walks, but couldn't come up with a big 2-out hit as Eric Chavez grounded out to end the inning.
- Nova's biggest mistake in his 7+ innings of work was the 2-1 fastball he left belt high and over the plate to Alejandro De Aza in the top of the 5th. De Aza hit it into the 2nd deck in right for a 1-0 Chicago lead.
- Like The Empire, the Yankee offense struck back in the bottom half of the inning, and did it all with 2 outs. Curtis Granderson singled, and Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano followed up with back-to-back RBI doubles to make it 2-1 Yanks.
- The 2-out runs continued in the bottom of the 8th when Mark Teixeira drove a HR to left to make it 3-1.
- Joe mixed and matched with Boone Logan and Cody Eppley to get through the 8th after Nova was removed, but it all fell apart in the 9th. Alex Rios singled off of Eppley to start the inning, bringing Clay Rapada in to face the lefty A.J. Pierzynski. He got the double play groundball he wanted, but threw the ball into center field to put runners on the corners.
- Joe went to D-Rob to put out the fire, and instead D-Rob threw gas on it, grooving a 1-0 fastball that Dayan Viciedo crushed for what turned out to be a game-winning 3-run HR. You can question Joe's decision to not just go with Robertson to start the inning if you want, but the bottom line is that nobody got the job done in the 9th and the Yankees lost because of it.
- A-Rod: 2-4, 2 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 LOB. I really hope this is the start of a 2 or 3-week A-Rod tear. We haven't seen anything close to that yet this season and now would be the perfect time for it.
- Nova: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. It wasn't the best night for Nova. He didn't have the greatest command of his stuff in the way where you know he's on (only 13/29 first-pitch strikes and 9 FB outs to just 6 GB outs), but he did his typical Nova thing and wiggled his way off the hook when he got into trouble, and when he left the game he was in line for the win. 1 run in 7+ innings from your starter is a job well done and he should've gotten the W.
- The Bullpen: Combined 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR. Boone Logan did his job, but it was a sloppy all-around effort by the group after him, capped off by Rapada's error and the game-losing HR that D-Rob gave up.
What would have been a good win was ruined late, but with 3 games left in this series there are still plenty of chances for the Yankees to make up for it and make the weekend a success. Adam Warren makes his Major League debut tonight in CC's rotation spot (no pressure), and in an interesting twist he faces former fellow Yankee prospect Jose Quintana. It's the latest in a long line of games I wish I could watch.