Late rally falls short; Yankees lose 3-2 to ChiSox

DotF: A loss at every level
Mailbag: Sabathia, O'Brien, Maeda, Betances

Sometimes there’s just nothing you can do but sit back and accept a loss. There’s no one to blame, nowhere to point fingers. You just get beat. It happens. Sixty-something times a year too. Chris Sale and the White Sox cruised to a 3-2 win over the Yankees on Thursday night.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

A Great Sale
It was pretty clear the Yankees were in a tough night offensively as soon as the lineup was posted, but I’m not sure even the ’27 Yankees had much of a chance against Sale on Thursday. The lanky southpaw was as sharp as ever despite spending the last month on the disabled list with an elbow issue. He struck out ten in six innings and did not allow a base-runner until Zoilo Almonte singled to center with two outs in the sixth. The same Zoilo Almonte who hit .132/.214/.158 against lefties in Triple-A this year. Baseball is weird sometimes.

The Yankees actually did a good job driving up Sale’s pitch count early in the game — manager Robin Ventura said his ace was going to be limited to 100 pitches or so, though he yanked him after 86 — forcing him to throw 49 pitches in the first three innings. When working the count produced nothing, but they started swinging at pitches in the zone earlier in the count, and that didn’t work either. Had he been perfectly healthy and not been limited to a pitch count, I’m pretty sure Sale would have gone the distance and struck out 14 or 15. He was on top of his game.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

Dealin’ David
David Phelps gave the Yankees exactly what they needed. He gave them both quality and quantity innings, allowing just two runs in seven innings of work. Both runs scored in the second inning, after the slugger formerly know as Paul Konerko doubled with two outs. Alejandro De Aza dunked a bloop ground rule double to right — Almonte came up juuust short on his dive and I’m pretty sure Brett Gardner would have caught that ball — to score Konerko, then Adam Eaton flared a single to left to score De Aza. All with two outs. Yuck.

Aside from that, Phelps was pretty awesome. He retired 16 of the final 18 batters he faced and struck out eight, finishing the night with a season-high 104 pitches. The bullpen got worked pretty hard in Wednesday’s extra innings win over the Cubs, so I’m pretty sure Phelps was going to be left out there to throw about a hundred pitches no matter what. The rotation is a big question mark behind Masahiro Tanaka right now and it would be great if Phelps could give the Yankees something like this every fifth day. Maybe not two runs in seven innings, that’s a high standard, but pitch deep into the game and not let things get out of control. Tough luck loss.

For the second straight day, the Yankees rallied for two runs in the ninth. Too bad Alfredo Aceves spotted the White Sox a third run in the bottom of the eight. A double by Gordon Beckham and a single by Adam Dunn did the trick. He also managed to walk the unwalkable Alexei Ramirez. That turned out to be the game-winning run after Mark Teixeira singled in a pair in the top of the ninth. The tying run was on first when Alfonso Soriano struck out looking to end the game. The pitch was rather high, especially by current strike zone standards (PitchFX plot), and heck, catcher Tyler Flowers didn’t even catch it, but home plate ump Tom Woodring called it a strike so a strike it was. Soriano’s doing a great Vernon Wells impression this year, don’t you think?

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

The Yankees only had three hits on the night because Sale was dynamite — singles by Almonte, Teixeira, and pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki. After going without an extra-base hit for the first time this season on Wednesday — last team to have an extra-base hit-less game! — they did it again on Thursday. Baseball, huh? Derek Jeter drew the team’s only walk in that ninth inning rally. The Yankees struck out 13 times as a team, including three times each by Soriano and Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury’s been pretty bad of late but I can’t give him grief for whiffing three times against Sale.

Other than that … at least the rest of the bullpen got the night off? Not the most eventful game of the year. It’s pretty clear Aceves should be the guy to go whenever Michael Pineda gets healthy. Whoever loses their rotation spot to Pineda can talk over as the long man. That 2009 Aceves magic is long, long gone.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
For the box score and video highlights, go to FanGraphs has some other stats and ESPN has the updated standings.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees are now halfway through their six-game stint in Chicago. Hiroki Kuroda and former Yankee Hector Noesi will meet in the second game of this four-game series on Friday night. Chicago’s next three starters can reasonably be considered replacement level, so if they don’t wake up the bats, nothing will.

DotF: A loss at every level
Mailbag: Sabathia, O'Brien, Maeda, Betances
  • Cuso

    Not much you can do about this one

    • hornblower

      The Yanks are two bats away from being pretty good. Unfortunately Roberts, Johnson, Sori, Jeter and Ichiro are making too much money to be jettisoned. The lineup can absorb one out (Jeter) but 3 is hard. They need more power. Too many singles guys who do not produce runs. Too many older players who have little left. There are a couple of older minor league guys who like Solarte may be worth a shot. Too bad money is going to decide who gets a chance. It is really boring to watch.

      • WhittakerWalt

        Ichiro has not been a problem.

        • Cheval Anonyme

          In fact, pro-rated, this is one of the best years in Ichiro’s career. If he continues this for the whole year as a half-time player, he is well worth the money.

          • hornblower

            Ichiro has 3 RBI’s on a team with very little power. The BA is deceptive because he doesn’t play too often. As last year showed he has little left in the tank.

    • nycsportzfan

      Hey, the Yanks are battling at least. Lets not forget they faced Hammel, Samardzjia, and Sale the last 3games. So, I woulden’t go judging the offense to harshly(anyone who is).

      I think there are more positives then negatives to be honest. Phelps, Murphy, Ichiro(super in new role), Solarte, Whitley, Betances, Warren, DROB(healthy), Pineda feeling no pain..etc

      Its gonna be a battle, but things are looking up if you ask me. Just gonna take time for some to see that, I guess.

  • WhittakerWalt

    Soriano’s been a steaming pile of ass.

    • your mom

      What did you expect?

      • WhittakerWalt

        Not much. He’s been even worse than that.

        • ALZ

          He is playing exactly how he did with the Cubs last season, then he had the dead cat bounce in the 2nd half. It’s not like he suddenly fell off a cliff this year, this is what we reasonably should have expected.

  • your mom

    There’s got to be a better option than Aceves. He freakin sucks. It’s annoying watching him pitch too. He takes forever to choose a damn pitch.

    • TWTR

      Jose Ramirez.

    • nycsportzfan

      Yup. Aceves still living in the bullpen because of one good outing, which lucky for him, was his 1st back with Yanks. God, I can’t stand him. Who know if the Yanks win if hes not on the team last night?

  • http://riveravenueblues mississippi doc

    Let’s make an agreement to not compare anyone to Vernon Wells. He should be like the ugly girl that for some reason you dated in high school and want to forget. And Soriano, after bilateral above knee amputations, would still be better than Wells.

    • ALZ

      But lets be honest. 83 WRC from you DH is fucking shitty.

      • Kosmo

        Wells was posting good numbers up until late May 2013 and was making a solid contribution until the clock struck midnight.

  • TWTR

    If they trade even one high-end prospect for pitching, they’re high. This offense is offensive, and desperately needs reinforcing, like yesterday.

  • Jason

    I hope Yankees DFA Alfredo Aceves He freaking awful. , Im pissed about this guy, everytime he make appearance and he pitches,,he gave up base hits, and homeruns. . When last time, He pitches score less inning? I feel like He doesnt want to be in Yankee uniform, when I watch him pitch.

  • Cliff

    Am I to understand from this graph that before the game started the White Sox had a 66% chance of winning? And that doesn’t take into account pitching matchups??

  • brian

    Not blaming Girardi for this loss or anything, but I miss Joe Torre… greatest Yankee manager of my lifetime and really looking forward to seeing his number retired later this year

    • sevrox

      Torre deserves a plaque and not his number retired.

      Yankees obsession with retiring numbers is freakin’ ponderous. Unless you’re a Ruth/Gehrig/Jeter type – it shouldn’t happen.

      And remove that big-ass’d picture of Steinbrenner from the back of YS3. He is no longer The Yankee Boss.

      Rant over.

      • mick taylor

        really, tell me how many managers in baseball history have won 4 world series, 6 pennants, and 12 playoff appearances. you are an idiot

        • sevrox

          thanks re: ‘idiot’ comment – nothing more courageous than calling a complete stranger an idiot on the ‘net.

          Torre started when the ‘Core 4’ and Williams and O’Neill became factors – any coincidence they started winning then? Torre was merely a bullpen-abusing, stoic, stone-faced figurehead.

          • WhittakerWalt

            It’s just Mick Taylor. He’s a bomb-throwing fool.

            • sevrox


  • Bartolo Colon

    Seriously Aceves needs to be gone. Bring up Montgomery or someone else…there’s no way they can be worse

  • ALZ

    This is what Soriano was like for the Cubs last season. Then he pulls an Ichiro, and people actually buy it. He might get hot for a bit, but the fact is he sucks. He swings at things that are so obviously way out the strikezone, then watches shit go right down the middle.

    • Deep Thoughts

      Actually, he’s always run hot and cold. You just have to ride out the bad streaks and hope the good ones last. Hang in there. He’ll get his timing back.

      • Kosmo

        he can´t hit RHP to save his life. The Yanks are going to wait on a 39 yr old that might get his timing back ? Just pitch him down and away and he´s essentially an automatic out vs. RHP

  • Kosmo

    Soriano ? Yanks don´t really owe Soriano much money, the Cubs are picking up most of the tab. He is simply dreadful vs. RHP and would be better as a platoon player. IF NY signs Morales and that´s a big IF why not flat out release Soriano ? Like you said Soriano will pull an Ichiro for a week or 2 .

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    blah blah blah proven commodity.

  • FIPster Doofus

    “You just get beat. It happens. Sixty-something times a year too.”

    Probably gonna be a lot more than that, tbh.

  • Some Other Guy Named Mike

    I’m wondering what dirt Ace has on Girardi … why this guy still gets handed the ball is beyond me Did Girardi sleep with Cashman’s wife and Ace walked in or something?… they’ve DFA’d better quality guys in the last two months.

    What’s Brian Bruney doing these days?

  • TheLastClown

    I don’t post much on here anymore, let alone post to bitch, but I just got done watching the archive of this game, and I really take issue with the pitch sequencing to Dunn in the 8th.

    3-0, I would’ve liked to see a curve buried in the dirt outside, but Aceves hits the outside corner decently.

    Then, 3-1, he has to back up the same pitch that Dunn has just seen, with that insurance on 2nd & 2 out, with 1st base open. He’s just too gangsta to pitch around the best hitter in their lineup in a pretty high leverage spot, I suppose.

    He may have found some way to screw up the Ramirez AB worse than walking him in that event, maybe not. Maybe he still walks him & the anemic Konerko gets a chance to make an out with the bases loaded.

    I don’t usually second guess, bitch & cry, or play armchair catcher, but in that particular situation I thought the pitch sequencing was atrocious.

    I was angry right there, in that moment, even before they managed to rally in the 9th.

    All that aside. David fucking Phelps.

  • Cheval Anonyme

    I don’t know why some people were discounting Sale before the game. He’s a great pitcher even if he’s 10 to 20% off.

  • Reggie C.

    Ellsbury really needs to get going this series. The man has been a near automatic out for so long that his great start to the season feels like the outlier.

  • http://riveravenueblues Mississippi doc

    While the offense has been awful, they just faced three terrific pitchers in three consecutive games. Nobody was going to hit Sale last night. Baseball is a game of streaks. Be patient. Ellsbury, McCann, Soriano, and Johnson will most probably come around. Jeter is a star who, like most stars, has stayed a year too long. Beltran is very possibly done for the year. It happens. Look at Fielder. There have been performers. How about Texiera, Gardner, Solarte, JR Murphy, and, yes, Ichiro. At the end of the day, we can rant and rave all we want, but if the others don’t come around, this team is really a .500 team. Sometimes things go bad. Look at last years Giants.

  • mick taylor

    this offense is putrid. yanks should have signed nelson cruz for 8 million instead of wasting 85 million on mccann. could have gotten the red sox catcher for a lot less. yanks need to sign kendry morales because beltran will most likely go under the knife.

  • Rolling Doughnut

    Why is Aceves pitching in any situation other than mop-up? Literally anyone else would have been a better choice last night.

    • TheRealGreg

      I agreed with the decision last night and I agree with it today.
      If you are going to burn up the bullpen, start with the least effective members and pray you get a scoreless inning out of them.

      • WhittakerWalt

        It was only 2-0, not 12-0. You make it sound like it was practically “have a position player pitch” territory.

  • BJ Rassam

    The Yankees are basically a .500 (average) team as exhibited by their mediocre overall offensive stats (i.e., #14 in OBP), and less than mediocre pitching results (i.e., #19 in MLB ERA, over 4.00 ERA). These guys should be performing at a much higher level, especially given their payroll (not to mention talent, on paper).

    • mustang

      The division is basically a .500 (average) division so I guess they be fine.

  • mustang

    This division sucks in fact the AL sucks. There are 9 teams (almost 10) with a negative DIFF. Everyone is at or around .500 so lets relax and see why happens when the rust settles.

    • mustang

      what not why