Monday, August 5, 2013
Rapid Reaction: White Sox 8, Yankees 1
By Mike Mazzeo
Can MLB commissioner Bud Selig suspend the entire Yankees roster for the rest of the season by invoking his “best interests of baseball” clause?
The Chicago White Sox jumped all over Andy Pettitte early in Alex Rodriguez’s season debut Monday and snapped a 10-game losing streak, walloping the floundering Yankees 8-1 at U.S. Cellular Field.
Rodriguez, playing in his first game of the 2013 campaign after receiving a 211-game suspension earlier in the day, went 1-for-4 at the plate.
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Pettitte allowed seven runs on 11 hits in just 2 2/3 innings. He dropped to 7-9 and his ERA ballooned to 4.71.
WHAT IT MEANS: Biogenesis Day wasn’t a good day. Sure, A-Rod is back -- at least for the time being; he is appealing the suspension. But Derek Jeter was placed on the disabled list due to a strained calf, and the Yankees (57-54) still stink, having now lost three of their past four and six of their past nine. They’re on the verge of really falling out of the race. Entering Monday night’s action, they had the fourth-worst record in the American League since the All-Star break.
Aside from Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova, their rotation is extremely inconsistent and when it comes to hitting, well, as you would expect from a team missing so much superstar power, they’ve been lousy all season. Compliments to Mariano Rivera and David Robertson out of the bullpen, of course. They’ve been outstanding.
A-ROD WATCH: Before the game, A-Rod told reporters that the last seven months have been a “nightmare,” but did not deny doing performance-enhancing drugs. He missed the first 110 games of the season due to injury. Rodriguez was booed before each of his at-bats. He blooped a single to left field in the first inning, flied out to center in the fourth, flied out to the edge of the warning track in left in the sixth and struck out looking at a nasty 3-2 breaking ball in the eighth.
The Yankees need A-Rod to be a force in the middle of the lineup and drive in runs. A lot ask from a 38-year-old who just played in his first MLB game since Oct. 18, 2012, and is coming off a pair of hip surgeries.
FIRST IS THE WORST: Pettitte gave up three runs in the first inning. It was his seventh straight start allowing at least one first-inning run, which is a franchise record. Five of the first six White Sox hitters Pettitte faced singled, putting the Yankees in an early 3-0 hole they weren’t able to climb out of. For what it’s worth, Pettitte did pitch well in his previous two starts.
ALL IS WELLS AT FIRST: Vernon Wells made his first career start at first base. He went 3-for-4 at the plate.
THEY SCORE! The Yankees avoided being shut out for the 10th time this season when Brett Gardner delivered a seventh-inning sacrifice fly to center. It was the only run surrendered by southpaw Jose Quintana, who scattered eight hits over 6 2/3 innings to pick up the win. The Yankees went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
UP NEXT: Hiroki Kuroda (10-6, 2.38) versus Chris Sale (6-11, 2.92) on Tuesday night at 8:10 p.m. ET.