Dylan Cease had his first rocky outing of the year, and (for the most part) the offense actually showed up. How did the White Sox manage to lose by eight runs in a blowout, then? Well, the bullpen folded on themselves in the eighth, and it gave way to an eight-run, late-inning rally from the Yankees.
Today’s baseball game reminds us just how weird the sport really can be. Cease showed flashes of how great he has been; however, he missed some spots in high-leverage situations and gave up six runs almost as efficiently as he struck out Yankees batters.
The first inning started out rough with a leadoff double, but Cease quickly followed up with two big strikeouts from Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo. Things were looking up … until Giancarlo Stanton roped a laser over the right-field wall. Just like that, the White Sox were trailing by two early into the game.
Luis Gil took the mound for the Yankees, his first start of the year in the big leagues. Given his struggles so far in Triple-A, ideally the Sox would put up some runs early. That plan originally backfired, with three brutal at-bats from Tim Anderson, Yoán Moncada, and José Abreu to start the game. The bottom half of the lineup were able to pick them up in the second, scoring three runs thanks to AJ Pollock and Leury García.
Cease dominated the second inning, though he walked one — Joey Gallo, of all players —while striking out the rest. Things turned for the worse in the third, as Cease gave up a triple to Rizzo followed by yet another opposite-field bomb for Stanton to push the Yankees lead to 5-3. This is really where the game gets strange: Dylan struck out another two batters before retiring the side on a pop out — which would be his first recorded out of the game that was not a strikeout. Cease finished with 11 strikeouts of his 12 total outs recorded.
Pure insanity. If you saw just those stats, you would assume that something special was brewing with the Cease and the Sox — not that they would be down two runs.
José Ruiz came in for a scoreless fifth inning, followed by a solid sixth from Ryan Burr, with only two hits allowed between the two of them. Judge finally made contact with the ball ... and when he did, it nearly went to the concourse. Burr figured it out and made it out alive, holding the Yankees lead at 7-4.
Before everything turned into a circus, Moncada hit an extremely clutch, game-tying, three-run home run in the seventh. The White Sox were COOKING and Moncada was BACK. He had hit the ball hard all game, and it was lovely to see him making solid contact after his first inning whiff.
Joe Kelly came in for the eighth, and after looking great in his White Sox debut he recorded a quick two outs, on just five pitches. The next 24 were certainly not as effective; Kelly ended up walking four batters in a row, and Judge scored two on a wimpy infield single and a mental error by Abreu, forgetting to acknowledge the other runners on base.
Things went about as well as you could assume after Tony La Russa decided that Tanner Banks was the guy for the job down two in the eighth. Banks gave up a moonshot to Judge that extended the Yankees lead to 14-7.
Does the rest of the game even matter? The White Sox strung a couple of hits together in the eighth, but they fell flat and the Yankees secured a 15-7 victory — it wouldn’t be right unless Judge drove in one more RBI for the road.
White Sox are back tomorrow with Vince Velásquez on the mound, against Gerrit Cole. Daunting, sure. But we’ve got Tommy Barbee on game coverage and Chrystal O’Keefe on the Six Pack, so watch out, Bronx Bs.