Once again, pitching couldn’t keep the Yankees in a game they had every chance to win. Despite six runs on seven hits in a shortened game, the Yankees’ hurlers simply couldn’t keep the White Sox off the board. The southsiders took went deep four times and racked up nine runs before the game was called after six-plus innings due to rain.
J.A. Happ has been off to a rough start this season and that didn’t change tonight. Trouble started in the first inning when Leury Garcia led the game off with a hard-hit double to center. The scoring opened two batters later when Yonder Alonso’s single to left-center brought in Garcia.
The Yankees’ offense didn’t take long to answer, though. An error and two walks loaded the bases in the bottom of the first, and DJ LeMahieu ripped a single to bring home two runs, giving the Yankees the lead. In the bottom of the second, Clint Frazier walked and Giovanny Urshela doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs. Austin Romine singled home Frazier, and Aaron Judge’s sac fly to left brought home Urshela.
The White Sox plated two runs in the top of the fourth, which shortened the Yankees’ lead to 4-3. In the bottom of the inning, Brett Gardner hit his 99th career homer to once again extend the Yankee lead. That would be the last time the Yankees led all night.
In the top of the fifth, the Yonder Alonso tied the game with a two-run homer off Happ. Jonathan Holder came on in relief, but he wasn’t able to stem the tide of Chicago runs nor the torrent of rain from above. Eloy Jimenez added a two-run shot of his own that inning to give the White Sox a 7-5 lead.
Credit to the Yankees’ offense. Despite the third lead change of the game, they kept fighting. Urshela’s single in the sixth made it a one-run game again, but Luke Voit lined out to strand the bases load, and the White Sox pulled ahead further in the seventh against the struggling Chad Green. After retiring the lead-off batter, Green gave up back-to-back homers to Jimenez and James McCann. It was definitely the low point of the night ,and fittingly, the rain became too much to allow play to continue. Umpires suspended play following McCann’s dinger, and called it a few minutes later.
An already tough week got even tougher tonight. The offense performed excellently with runners in scoring position, but the pitching just couldn’t help but let the game get away. Not only did Happ’s struggles continue, but to make matters worse, Patrick Corbin tossed a gem for the Nationals. It’s still early, but the players the Yankees forsook in the offseason sure look like they could be of use right about now.
Moreover, again the Yankees’ strategy of doubling down on their super bullpen looked suspect. Holder and Green continued their horrid Aprils as the Yankees blew another lead. The season’s first month was supposed to be an opportunity to pile up victories against the AL’s dregs, and instead, the losses are piling up under the weight of myriad blown advantages. With CC Sabathia set to make his season debut tomorrow, hopefully the Yankees will be able to stem the bleeding as at least one player makes his return from injury. On a day when another star in Gary Sanchez went on the IL and yet another winnable game slipped through their fingers, the team certainly looked to be in need of a stopper.