Since being traded to the White Sox from San Diego, James Shields had given up 25 runs in 20.1 innings. Well, before today. On Monday, Shields allowed all of two runs over six innings, more than enough for the Chicago offense to overpower the Yankees and get an 8-2 win. Shields was far from great, and certainly looked hittable, but the Yankees were unable to notch a single hit with runners in scoring position and stranded 22 total.
More than half of New York’s hits came off Starlin Castro’s bat in an excellent 4-4 showing (including a pair of doubles), but the rest of the lineup was quiet. The team’s first four hitters combined to go 1-15, and the only runs came off Chase Headley’s bat in the top of the second inning. Headley, who 114 wRC+ since his first extra base hit on May 12th, lined a ball into the right field seats for a two-run shot. That would give the Yankees a 2-0 lead, but it would only hold for an inning.
Top shortstop prospect Tim Anderson began the scoring for Chicago in the bottom of the third with a big two-run home run, and a Brett Lawrie sacrifice fly and Dioner Navarra home run would make it 5-2 in a rough fifth inning for Yankees starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia would go just one more frame, making it a total of six innings and five runs allowed.
Sabathia did strikeout nine batters on one hundred pitches, but he’s now had three straight rough starts, allowing 16 runs over that stretch (17.1 innings). Of course, the recent struggles will make some wonder if he is turning into a pumpkin, though the issue may also be stemming from an ankle injury. Either way, the upcoming All Star Break is sorely needed for the veteran southpaw.
Luis Cessa came in to relieve Sabathia, allowing three runs (two earned) over two innings. The unearned run came as a result of a Didi Gregorius error. Usually a rare sight for the slick-fielding shortstop, Gregorius allowed an eye-popping three on Monday. Two came with the glove, and one on a throw that sailed. Gregorius now has eleven on the season, and is talented enough to make this afternoon’s mishaps simply a blip on the radar.
If there’s any good news to this game, it’s that none of Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, or Dellin Betances pitched, meaning there will be a rested bullpen for Tuesday’s game against Carlos Rodon. There’s not a whole lot else to say, as the Yankees celebrated the fourth of July with an ugly loss, featuring few high points. On the bright side, fans who skipped the game for holiday-related festivities didn’t miss much!