Jobu Reviews the White Sox’ sweep of the Yankees.
Another week, another huge series for the Yankees. With the Rays breathing down their necks and just five games back now, the Yankees headed to Chicago for a three game set against the White Sox. Seriously it’s like the Rays decided that losing is dumb, and they don’t want to do it anymore. Anyway, this was a terrible “rock bottom” type series for the Yankees, as they got swept, and saw their lead crumble to three games.
Game 1: White Sox 9, Yankees 6
Nothing like a stinker to open up a big series, right? The Yankees sent Freddy García to the mound in this one to face Gavin Floyd. They blew two separate leads in this game, which is among the more frustrating things that can happen. The bullpen is gassed, and they showed it in this big loss. By the way, the Rays won., cutting the Yankees lead to four games. Eek.
Sometimes Freddy Doesn’t Have It
We learned this last year. Sometimes, when Freddy isn’t locating his pedestrian fastball, or his breaking balls aren’t breaking as much as they should be, he’s going to get hammered. The weird part about this game was that the hammering didn’t happen right away. Freddy actually held his own until the fifth inning in this game, and that’s when the wheels completely fell off. The White Sox scored five runs in that inning to take a 5-3 lead, and Freddy had to leave before the third out. His final line looked like this: 4.1 Ip, 6 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 8 Ks, 97 pitches and a no decision thanks to the offensive bailout he received in the top of the sixth.
The bullpen was just awful in this one too, which is good for constancy’s sake. Even after the Yankees had gotten back all the runs García had given up, Joba Chamberlain came in and immediately gave up a game-tying solo home run to Gordon Beckham. Logan followed that up by giving up a two-run home run to Alexei Ramírez, but I chalk that up to Joe Girardi’s bad bullpen management more than Logan’s mistake. Ramírez is a power-hitting righty and Logan’s been looking gassed lately. He should never have faced that man. Derek Lowe, trying to be like everyone else, gave up a solo bomb to Adam Dunn in the ninth, and the Yankees lost 9-6.
Enough Offense, Not Enough Pitching
Truth be told, there wasn’t much more the offense really could have done in this game. Yes they left some men on (4-13 RISP, 12 LOB), but they led the game early, came back after Freddy’s meltdown and the team still lost somehow. They were led, as has been pretty common of late, by Derek Jeter. The Captain really made it happen in this game, going 4-5 with two doubles and a home run. The Yankees offense chased Gavin Floyd in the third inning, tagging him for three runs, five hits and four walks in 2.1 terrible innings. They then tagged the next guy, Hector Santiago, for three more runs with four hits and three more walks. Could the offense have scored more runs? Yes… but they did their jobs.
Notable Offense: HR – Jeter (11), RBI – Teixeira 2 (80), Chavez (32), Granderson (72), Jeter (41), McGehee (6), 4 hits for Jeter (3,255, now 12th all-time), 2 for Teixeira
Game 2: White Sox 7, Yankees 3
This was another terrible game for the Yankees. Iván Nova continues to pitch like he wants to tour with the roving AAA Yankees squad, and Joe Girardi continues pitching him like he’s CC Sabathia. The White Sox countered with Francisco Liriano and, after a rocky start, he settled in and shut the Yankees down.
There’s no way to disguise is. Nova was awful in game two. If you didn’t watch the whole game, you would think he just got unlucky with one big grand slam by Kevin Youkilis. If you watched the game, you’d know that it probably should have been ten or twelve to three the way Nova was really pitching. It seemed like even all of the outs were line drives right at infielders and outfielders alike. It was brutal, which made Girardi’s decision to leave him in after he loaded the bases in the fifth inning. I’ll give Joe the benefit of the doubt and say that he was trying desperately to rest the bullpen, or that he wants Nova to start responding to pressure situations, but I’ve seen this pattern all year. No manager I’ve ever seen is so unprepared for when a pitcher suddenly loses it. It’s like he lacks that instinct. Anyway, Nova’s final line: 6 Ip, 7 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 4 more XBH, 84 pitches and his seventh loss of the year (11-7).
The Captain Rules
This wasn’t the prettiest offensive game in the world, but Liriano still has that ability to dominate from time to time. He also has that ridiculous slider as an out pitch, which helped get him out of trouble a few times in game two. Things started out great, as Jeter launched the first pitch Liriano threw into the right field seats for his twelfth home run of the year. The Yankees loaded the bases in the inning, but only ended up with one more run. After that, Liriano went into shutdown mode, and the game was over. The only other run came on a solo home run by Russell Martin in the top of the seventh. Is it just me, or should a guy hitting under .200 in late August not tough guy strut it around the bases when he hits a home run, especially when his home run leaves the team still down three runs late in the game? I mean I guess any hit should be celebrated by Martin, but still. Clean that up.
Notable Offense: HR – Jeter (12), Martin (14), RBI – Jeter (42), Granderson (73), Martin (34), 2 hits for Martin (almost there, lil’ buddy! .196!)
Game 3: White Sox 2, Yankees 1
If there was one bright spot to this game, it was that Phil Hughes pitched well. I’d rather lose 2-1 close games than crappy blowouts or bullpen blown saves and the like. The Yankees got shut down by Chris Sale in this game, to the tune of 13 Ks in 7.2 innings. It was brutal, but we need pitchers to pitch well, and that’s what we got at least.
Bad Luck Phildo
Not much to say here other than what I said above about Phil pitching well. He gave up a sacrifice fly to Youkilis in the bottom of the third and a solo home run to Alex Rios in the sixth, and that was it. Unfortunately the Yankees didn’t hit, so Phil was saddled with the following line: 7 Ip, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BBs, 5 Ks, 99 pitches and his eleventh loss of the season (12-11).
No Offense for Sale
As I said before, Chris Sale was brilliant in this game. He struck out 13 Yankees over 7.2 innings and was nearly unhittable. The only run for the Yankees came on a solo home run by (who else) Derek Jeter. It was Jeter’s 13th home run of the year. He’s been incredible of late. To hell with Skip Bayless.
Notable Offense: HR – Jeter (13), RBI – Jeter (43), 2 hits for Canó
There’s really nowhere for the Yankees to go but up. The last time they suffered an embarassing sweep (against the A’s), it took them about a week to recover. The beat the Mariners two out of three but then lost two of three to both the Red Sox and the Orioles before finally winnings some games in early August. They get CC Sabathia back in the first game against the Indians, but have now lost Iván Nova to a shoulder injury. The former will be very nice to get back, while the latter probably shouldn’t be in the rotation anyway, so hopefully he’s out for a while. In the meantime, David Phelps can keep his spot in the rotation, which makes me feel a lot better. With the lead now down to three games, the Yankees really need to step it up now. The Rays will be coming to town soon, and the two teams play six more times this season. Getting a little scary in the Bronx.
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