WP - Matt Thornton (5-2)
LP - Phil Hughes (4-3)
It was a rough loss for the Yankees tonight in Chicago as they fell to the White Sox 3-2. After an hour and four minute rain delay both starters, Andy Pettitte and Gavin Floyd, pitched great games holding both offenses in check for most of the night. Pettitte allowed just 1 earned run on 5 hits in 6.1 innings, striking out 8, and did not walk a batter. While Floyd allowed just 1 earned on 4 hits in 7 innings. He struck out 10, and walked just one. Both pitchers had very good stuff tonight and were hitting their spots consistently.
Another reason both starters pitched so well was the ridiculously large strike zone home plate umpire Ted Barrett had tonight. It was a strike zone that would make Eric Gregg proud. Anything near the strike zone was called a strike, especially for Floyd. That's also probably why 7 of his 10 strikeouts were looking.
Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on an RBI double by rookie Gordon Beckham, and that was how the score would remain until the top half of the sixth. Jose Molina led off the inning with a ground-rule double. Two batters later he scored on a Johnny Damon single to tie the game.
Pettitte had an easy sixth, but then got into some trouble in the seventh thanks to some shoddy defense. Jim Thome led off and his a weak dribbler up the first base line. Pettitte came over to field it, but he slipped on the wet grass and failed to make the play, E1. After Paul Konerko struck out A.J. Pierzynski hit a sharp grounder to A-Rod, a ball he probably should have fielded and turned into an inning-ending double play. But instead the ball bounced off his glove to put runners on 1st and 2nd with just one out. (The play was initially scored an error but was then changed it to a hit. I still think it was an error.) That would be all for Pettitte and Phil Hughes came into the game.
Chicago gave the Yanks another chance to get out of the inning, this time when Carlos Quentin hit a tailor-made 5-4-3 double play ball, but Alex Rodriguez took a little too long to get the ball to Robinson Cano, Pierzynski came in with what was probably an illegal slide, and Cano threw the ball where even Mark Teixeira couldn't reach it. Tex try to block it, but it wasn't enough, and the ball trickled off his glove and up the line allowing the run to score and the White Sox had a 2-1 lead.
The score would remain the same until there were two out in the top of the ninth and Nick Swisher was at the plate. He had gone 0-for-3 with 3 strikeouts so far in the game and had really looked awful in the process, so my expectations weren't high. But White Sox reliever Matt Thornton left an 0-1 fastball right down the middle and Swisher sent it over the wall in left for a game-tying solo homer.
Sadly the joy of the Swisher homer was short-lived because the White Sox quickly got runners on 1st and 2nd with one out against Phil Hughes in the bottom of the ninth to knock him out of the game. Then, after Phil Coke was able to get the second out of the inning, Dewayne Wise lined a single off his glove and into center field for a game-winning RBI single. The run and loss was charged to Hughes. It was the first run Hughes has allowed in 25.1 innings.
It was a game the Yankees easily could have won. Besides the terrible defense that cost them a run, they went just 1-for-8 with RISP for the game. Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez came up time after time with men on and each time came up short. Combined they went 0-for-8 with 6 K's and 6 men left on base. Not really what you want from your 3-4 hitters. Add Hideki Matsui and the Yanks 3-4-5 hitters when 0-for-12 with 8 K's and 6 men left on. When you don't play defense and you don't hit with men on it's pretty tough to win.
Their lead in the east dropped back to 2.5 games because Boston won earlier today thanks to a 3-run 7th inning homer by David Roidtiz. The Yanks look to even the series tomorrow night at U.S. Cellular with Sergio Mitre on the mound. He will be facing White Sox southpaw Clayton Richard.
|Rodriguez, A, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||3||2||.247|
|Matsui, H, DH||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.255|
|Cabrera, Me, CF||3||0||1||0||0||1||0||.290|
|Molina, J, C||2||1||1||0||0||0||1||.255|
a-Struck out for Molina, J in the 8th.
2B: Cabrera, Me (18, Floyd, G), Molina, J (3, Floyd, G).
HR: Swisher (17, 9th inning off Thornton, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Jeter; Damon 2; Swisher 4; Cabrera, Me 2; Molina, J 2.
RBI: Damon (58), Swisher (54).
2-out RBI: Swisher.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Damon; Rodriguez, A; Teixeira.
Team RISP: 1-for-8.
Team LOB: 5.
E: Pettitte (2, fielding), Cano (4, throw).
|Hughes, P (L, 4-3)||2.0||2||1||1||0||1||0||3.47|
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Gavin Floyd (7.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K)
HONORABLE MENTION: Andy Pettitte (6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)
GOAT OF THE GAME: Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira (comebined 0-for-8, 6 K's, 6 men left on base)
Game Time: 8:11 p.m. | TV/Radio: YES, WCBS
RHP Sergio Mitre (1-0, 5.91) vs. LHP Clayton Richard (4-3, 4.65)