Watching Robin Ventura use his bullpen against the Yankees, he had an idea that they were susceptible to left-handed pitchers. It's the lone critique for an offense that leads the league in many important categories, but southpaws could exploit the exhaust port in the Death Star.
Chris Sale? Boom.
In what might be his most stirring start of the year (hearts or loins, take your pick or take both), Sale struck out 13 Yankees over 7⅔ innings. He limited the damage to -- what else? -- a Derek Jeter homer, but nobody was on base. In fact, the Yankees finished the series hitless over their last 17 at-bats with a runner on base.
In the process, the White Sox swept the Yankees at home for the first time since 1991.
Aside from the fastball count that bit Sale on Jeter's solo shot, everything else was working. He was able to spot his fastball in, up and away, and his slider had a tremendous amount of bite. He used to great effect against righties, who gave up on the pitch out of his hand, only to watch it dig toward the strike zone after it was too late to get into a good hitting position.
Sale needed to be that good, because the offense only had two runs in it. The timing was super, though.
The Sox were able to score first for once. Gordon Beckham led off with an opposite-field double, moved to third on a Dewayne Wise bunt single, and came around to score on Kevin Youkilis' sac fly to right.
After Jeter tied the game in the top of the sixth, Alex Rios beat Phil Hughes with a solo shot of his own off the top of the padding in left to retake the lead. Sale, Brett Myers and Addison Reed wouldn't give it back.