A frustrating end to the White Sox weekend in the Bronx. The Chicago White Sox lost the finale of this three-game set against the New York Yankees, 5-4, after a walk-off walk in the bottom of the ninth inning. Although the team did have many positive signs as the game went on, it wasn’t enough to avoid the sweep.
Now at 26-19, the White Sox still hold the lead in the American League Central, but this was a series that would have been nice to at least see one win as they return home. Let’s see how this one ended up turning out.
Righty Jameson Taillon started off the game allowing a leadoff single to Tim Anderson, which is really nice to see as he looks to get back on track. Unfortunately, after a walk to Yoán Moncada, the White Sox were unable to score after back-to-back outs from José Abreu and Yermín Mercedes.
Dallas Keuchel came out in the bottom of the inning and retired DJ LeMahieu before Luke Voit reached on a fielding error, followed by a single from Aaron Judge. With two outs and runners on second and third, none other than the White Sox killer this series a.k.a. Gleyber Torres slammed a single into center to score both runs and make it 2-0. Both Taillon and Keuchel pitched a scoreless second and third innings.
Mercedes had a scary situation in the top of the fourth inning, after getting hit by a curveball in the helmet. After a scary few minutes and getting checked up on, Mercedes stayed in the game and took first base. Keuchel continued to settle down after the first inning and pitched a scoreless bottom half of the inning.
Taillon allowed a leadoff walk to no other than Yasmani Grandal, but the offense couldn’t help him out and left him stranded to end the inning after three consecutive outs. Keuchel allowed a leadoff single to LeMahieu, followed by a walk to Voit. After a quick mound visit, he then walked Aaron Judge, as well, to load the bases. That would be it for Keuchel, who went four innings allowing six hits, three runs, and four strikeouts. This moved his ERA to 4.28 and his WHIP to 1.28. Although it would have been nice to see a bit of a longer outing from him, he was able to complete a few solid innings.
Evan Marshall came in to relieve him in a bases loaded situation, and the White Sox were finally able to catch a bit of a break after Gio Urshela grounded into a double play. The run from third did score to make it 3-0, but the damage could have been much worse. Marshall retired Torres with a strikeout to get out of the inning after that.
The Yankees made a pitching change in the top of the sixth inning, replacing Taillon with lefty Wandy Peralta. Taillon finished a scoreless outing, going five innings with only two hits and four strikeouts. His ERA went down to 5.06 and his WHIP now stands at 1.22.
After a Jake Lamb groundout, Moncada was able to walk to get on base, followed by a Pito missile to left-center field to finally get some runs on the board and make it 3-2!
Now only down by one run, could this give the team some much-needed momentum?
Chad Green came in to replace Peralta, before retiring Mercedes and Adam Eaton to get out of the inning. José Ruiz was used in a high-leverage situation in the bottom of the sixth, and allowed a leadoff walk to Gary Sanchez, and then a one-out single to Clint Frazier. Brett Gardner hit a soft ground ball to Ruiz, who fielded it cleanly, but Anderson was unable to turn the double play and threw the ball away, scoring Sanchez and making it 4-2. Gardner is fast anyway, so there was no guarantee the double play would have been successful, but the scored run did change the game quite a bit.
Green stayed in to pitch in the top of the seventh, and with a full count, Grandal was able to slam a home run just past the right-center field wall to cut the Yankees lead to 4-3.
Leury García came in to pinch hit for Billy Hamilton, but was unable to get on base, as was anyone else in the inning. Codi Heuer replaced Ruiz in the bottom of the inning, striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning.
Jonathan Loaisiga replaced Green on the bump in the top of the eighth inning, and did allow a leadoff single to Lamb. Unfortunately, the White Sox weren’t able to get that run in, again, after a Moncada strikeout and Abreu double play. Aaron Bummer replaced Heuer in the bottom of the inning, allowing a leadoff single to Torres but nothing more as Torres was caught stealing, which was a big break for the White Sox.
Things weren’t looking to go for the White Sox going into the ninth, considering they had to face Aroldis Chapman, who was 11/11 in save opportunities so far with a 0.00 ERA. The game completely changed with one out, as Tony La Russa made the call to pinch hit Andrew Vaughn for Adam Eaton. In a big moment for the rookie going against one of the best recent closers in the game, Vaughn really showed what he was capable of, slamming a game-tying, clutch home run into right center field to make it 4-4.
No matter what the outcome of the game was going to be at this point, it was really nice to see Vaughn have that moment. With one out still, Grandal took yet another walk and was replaced by Danny Mendick at first base. After a wild pitch by Chapman, Mendick was able to advance to second, but García and Nick Madrigal were unable to get the leading run in from second.
Bummer stayed in the game in the bottom of the ninth, which was yet another questionable decision for some, as Hendriks was yet to pitch this series. Frazier immediately singled, followed by him stealing second base after a Gardner strikeout. The decision was made to intentionally walk LeMahieu, and an infield single by Tyler Wade loaded up the bases for Aaron Judge.
Now, Hendriks was brought in to try and get out of the inning, but it was a very hard situation to get out of. Unfortunately, his command was not there and it led to a game-winning walk to make the Yankees victorious, 5-4, yet again.
This was a very hard series to watch as a White Sox fan, but there is no doubt that there is a lot of learning to do after getting swept by one of the best teams in the American League. As a possible playoff preview the team did underperform, but with it still being May, there is plenty of time to improve.
The White Sox will be back at Guaranteed Rate Field tomorrow to face another playoff caliber team, the St. Louis Cardinals. Lance Lynn will be on the bump for the South Siders, as it is still TBA who the Cardinals will pitch. Game time is at 7:10 p.m. and hopefully we can see some better outcomes coming up!