It was the start of another extremely important series for the Yankees as they faced off against the Chicago White Sox. Shane Greene was called upon to keep the Sox at bay while John Danks and his ballooning ERA dealt with the fearsome Yankees offense. It wasn't a pretty effort today from the Yankees, but beggars can't be choosers.
Things got off to a difficult start for Mr. Greene. He unwisely allowed both Alejandro De Aza and Carlos Sanchez to reach ahead of the mighty Jose Abreu. Surprisingly Abreu smacked a homer that barely made it over the outstretched glove of Brett Gardner in left field. Still, it counts as a homer just the same and the White Sox had themselves a 3-0 lead. It took until the bottom of the third for the Yankees to get it back with a dinger of their own. With Jacoby Ellsbury aboard Martin Prado continued his hot hitting by cranking a ball into the left field seats to cut the deficit to one run.
The Yankees managed to succeed in tying it up while still managing to fail miserably in the fifth. Gardner was hit by a pitch leading off the inning and was followed with a single by Derek Jeter. Jacoby Ellsbury then lined a double to deep right to chase home Gardner and knot things up at three. But the next three Yankees all failed to get the lead run home and we were left with a tie. After Greene exited upon allowing the first two hitters in the top of the sixth to reach Shawn Kelley struck out two in a row. But when De Aza singled it was up to Gardner to gun Conor Gillespie out at home to preserve the tie.
The tie continued on and on though the top of the ninth. In Yankee milestone news, David Robertson got strikeout number 500. And 501, if you're interested. The Yankees would pull it out in the bottom of the inning. Ichiro Suzuki led off with a single off of Daniel Webb and was bunted over to second by Gardner to the dismay of all sentient Yankee fans. Then the always dangerous intentional walk was issued to Ellsbury. Sure enough Webb lost the strike zone and walked Mark Teixeira. Prado came next and worked the count to 3-2 and knocked the game-winning single that ended the evening before another extra inning affair bored the lot of us. Hooray victory!
In regards to the starting pitching today, after what was a very difficult start Greene settled in okay. His pitch count got high because of his difficulties and number of strikeouts, but even an okay five inning performance has its place. He held things down after what must have been a first inning shellshock. Having to call the bullpen into action in the sixth isn't ideal, but Greene's moxie was nevertheless admirable. Three runs would often be an insurmountable lead for this team, so let us thank the lack of control from the Chicago staff for a much needed win.
The Yankees and the Pale Hose match up again tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 PM. Scott Carroll and Hiroki Kuroda are your probables.