Yankees fall to White Sox as bats go silent late in the game
The New York Yankees started their road trip in the south side of Chicago Thursday night against the White Sox. The Yankees saw a familiar face on the mound in a struggling Iván Nova, who started out his big-league career with the team and played with them until 2016 when he was traded to Pittsburgh. Heading into this start, Nova was sporting a 6.28 ERA with a 1.62 WHIP, averaging around two runners on base per inning. Lefty J.A. Happ took the mound for the Yanks who has been pitching better as of late, but was still approaching the start with a 4.48 ERA.
The Bombers got out to an early lead on Chicago after a ball got by catcher James McCann in the second to score Didi. After Gardner moved up to second base on a passed ball after breaking up a double play, Clint Frazier stayed hot since the media controversy after the Toronto series. He hit a single to score Gardner, giving the Yankees a 2-0 leading heading into the bottom of the inning.
Following a scoreless 1-2-3 third inning for both sides, Gleyber Torres singled to left with one down to make him 2-for-2 on the night. To add onto the lead, the Gardy Party continued on with a bomb that just got over the wall in right field at Guaranteed Rate Field. His homerun total matches his jersey number as he now has eleven on the season. Newly called up Mike Tauchman flew out to left to end the half as the Yankees went into the bottom of the fourth inning with a strong 4-0 lead. Unfortunately, that is where the Yankees offense flatlined as they failed to score the remainder of the game.
The fourth inning is when the White Sox showed their first scoring threat of the game after a leadoff single from Tim Anderson. The inning looked to be going well after back-to-back flyouts from José Abreu and James McCann to get Happ’s first two outs of the inning. But, unlike normal Happ, he then walked Eloy Jiménez on four pitches, and then immediately followed that with a walk to Yonder Alonso to load the bases. He wiggled his way out of the inning after forcing a flyout to Torres to end the inning.
It only took Chicago one more inning to put their first runs on the board and to tie the game at 4-4 at the conclusion of the fifth inning. Happ started the inning with a full count walk to Yolmer Sánchez to walk his third batter in his last four seen. Chicago then followed that up with back-to-back hits off of the bats of Ryan Cordell and a double from Leury García to bring in the first run for the White Sox. Hot stick Tim Anderson sent a missile to center field for a three-run homerun while sitting in a 1-1 count to knot things up a four a piece.
Happ finished the fifth inning, but that was the end of his night after giving up four earned runs on only five hits. This was an interesting start from Happ, as he walked one less runner as he allowed hits, which is uncharacteristic of him. Through the first three innings he looked strong but unfortunately once the walks started, so did the runs.
The score stayed where it was until the bottom of the seventh inning when Adam Ottavino came into the game, one of the most reliable arms out of the bullpen for the Yankees this season as he held a 1.53 ERA to that point. All that changed when he allowed a solo shot to his first batter of the inning, García, to right field after he worked into a full count. Ottavino only survived two outs of the inning after allowing a double off the bat of Abreu and a walk to McCann. Jonathan Holder came in to finish out the inning.
The Yankees bats never came back to life as DJ LeMahieu struck out looking with Clint Frazier standing at first to give Aaron Bummer his first save of the season. Clearly, the issue for New York was they struggled to limit the walks and keep the ball in the yard in key situations. The first four batters in the Yankees order combining for a 0-for-16 night, though unusual, makes scoring runs a battle as well. The Bombers look to bounce back tomorrow for the second game of a four-game series in Chicago with CC on the bump.
Recap by: Dustin MilesFollow @ndjdm