If you take all the fun of Friday night's game and reverse it completely you might have an idea of what Saturday night's game against the White Sox was like. The Yankees fell behind early and never managed to grab the lead after Bryan Mitchell and Diego Moreno were roughed up by Chicago's offense. John Danks came into the game struggling this season, but only the bottom of the Yankees' order seemed to give him any trouble. It was the recipe for a long night of baseball.
Mitchell, making his first start of 2015, failed to record an out in the fifth inning. He struggled early on, allowing the White Sox to tee off against his fastball before settling down a bit after a conference with Larry Rothschild. Mitchell gave up four runs on seven hits and struck out five batters before giving way to Moreno out of the bullpen. Moreno was a revelation against the Rangers in Arlington when Chris Capuano couldn't make it out of the first inning, but that magic was nowhere to be found tonight. Like Mitchell, Moreno gave up four runs but in three innings. The big blow coming off the bat of Melky Cabrera in the form of a three-run home run.
The first five batters in the Yankees' order failed to record a hit. It's difficult to win games when that is the case. The team did manage to work five walks, mainly in an inning when Danks was struggling to find the strike zone. Didi Gregorius, John Ryan Murphy, and Brendan Ryan all continued their hot hitting with Gregorius coming inches shy of a three-run home run early that would have put the Yankees on top. It was robbed at the wall and all the momentum that might have provided died with the catch. Brian McCann came in for Murphy later in the game and hit a ninth inning solo home run that ultimately didn't matter in the outcome.
Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury have suddenly gone very cold with the bats, making it difficult for them to be the table setting threats that they have been for most of the season. Hitters struggle and they are good ones that will snap out of it, but it does feel a bit automatic right now that they aren't getting the hits they were a few weeks back. Luckily, production in the middle of the lineup from Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez hasn't faltered, and Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius have also been contributing plenty at the plate for the last month as well. Hopefully the struggles at the top of the lineup will iron themselves out soon.
Ivan Nova gets the start tomorrow in the rubber game of the series as the ten-game road trip comes to an end. Nova has been inconsistent after returning from Tommy John surgery and the Yankees are obviously quite thin on pitching at the moment. He'll have to square off against Jeff Samardzija for Chicago at 2:10 pm.