Rapid Reaction: White Sox 4, Yanks 3
June, 28, 2012
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
What it means: That maybe the Yankees can survive the loss of Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte, but can they survive the absence of Rafael Soriano?
Joe Girardi outthinks himself in the ninth inning, avoiding his closer for an amalgam of Cody Eppley, Clay Rapada and David Robertson. The ploy backfires when Eppley gives up a hit, Rapada committs a costly error and Robertson serves up a home run ball to Dayan Viciedo, and the Yankees lose, in shocking fashion, 4-3, to the White Sox.
Joe, just say Sori: After pitching in four of the past five games -- and not looking too good on Wednesday -- Soriano might not have been available. But why not then go right to Robertson, his backup closer, who had least would have had the luxury of not having to come in with two runners on and no out? I have the feeling that will be a major topic of post-game discussion.
Super again: Ivan Nova didn't have his best stuff of the year -- he got hit hard and often in the early innings, but with one exception every rocket found a home in a Yankee's glove -- but still worked into the eighth inning, allowing just six hits. Not wanting to push his luck, Joe Girardi pulled Nova after he snuck a curveball -- that looked inside, BTW -- past Kevin Youkilis with a runner at second. It was the fourth strong outing by Nova in his last five starts.
Lucky Ivan: In the fourth inning, Nova faced four batters and allowed three lasers -- and escaped without a scratch. After giving up a long leadoff double to Paul Konerko and a bloop single to Alex Rios to give the Chisox first and third with none out, A.J. Pierzynski lined out hard to Curtis Granderson in center, and Konerko had to hold when Granderson fired a one-hopper just to the rght of home plate. Next, Dayan Viciedo hit one on the screws, but right at Robinson Cano, who turned it into an easy inning-ending double play.
Gut instinct: Girardi went to the "Gut'' section of his binder in the eighth, pulling Nova after the favorable called third strike on Youkilis, going to Boone Logan to face the lefty-hitting Adam Dunn, who flied out to center. Then, Girardi went to Cody Eppley to face righty Paul Konerko, who went down looking at a slider. It wasn't until the ninth that everything went wrong.
Big fly: Granderson, Cano and Nick Swisher could have stood on Sabathia's shoulders and still not come close to Alejandro De Aza's fifth-inning shot into the second deck in right. The solo bomb gave Chicago a 1-0 lead. De Aza went 4-for-5 on the night.
Tex tacks on: Mark Teixeira's solo home run with two out in the eighth -- No. 13 -- looked like an imortant insurance run at the time he hit it. It turns out to be just one more HR for the back of his baseball card.
Alex, meet Brooks: Alex Rodriguez' RBI double in the fifth, which glanced off De Aza's glove after a long run to the warning track in center, tied him with Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson for 44th on baseball's all-time hit list with 2,848. It was also A-Rod's second double of the night.
Derek, meet Cal: Derek Jeter's seventh-inning single gave him 3,184 hits in his career, tying him with Cal Ripken Jr. for 13th on the all-time list.
Cano not afraid of RISP: Cano's RBI double to right-center that gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the fifth was their first hit of the night with runners in scoring position, breaking an 0-5 start.
No Sori tonight: With a two-run lead in the ninth, Girardi did not call on his closer, Rafael Soriano, who had worked four of the last five games. Instead, he started with Eppley but pulled him for Clay Rapada after Alex Rios led off the inning with a single. But after Rapada threw a potential double-play comebacker into centerfield, Girardi went to David Robertson
What's coming: I'll be writing a column on Girardi's decision-making process, once I understand what it was. Andrew Marchand, Blogging Fool, is on blog duty tonight.
Tomorrow: It's Adam Warren's big day as he takes CC Sabathia's place in the rotation, facing LHP Jose Quintana (2-1, 1.25), first pitch at 7:05 p.m.