Expecting the White Sox to steal a win against this lineup and Gerrit Cole was a tall order, but one would hope that the club would have brought a bit more fire to make things competitive after yesterday's debacle.
It did — but the fire went out after the first inning.
After Vince Velásquez got knocked around in the top of the first — which included getting clubbed by a monstrous two-run homer from Giancarlo Stanton — the White Sox put together a competent inning against Gerrit Cole. Of course, it helped that Cole fell behind most White Sox hitters, but the Sox reached a point where the bases were loaded with only one out.
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Despite a pseudo-dust-up between Tim Anderson and the ever-annoying Josh Donaldson, the “rally” was short-lived from the White Sox offense, as both Gavin Sheets and AJ Pollock struck out to end the threat.
That’s as close to competitive as the game ever felt.
Velásquez made the same mistakes he largely got away with previously against weaker opponents — leaving his breaking pitches up and fastballs middle-middle — except this time, the Yankees consistently tagged him with extra-base hits and home runs. The journeyman righthander gave up homers to Stanton, Joey Gallo, and Aaron Judge, and while he survived five innings, it was an uncompetitive 7-1 ballgame by the time Velásquez hit the showers.
That one run was a gift, as Cole mistakenly attempted a pickoff move to first, but with nobody covering, had to fake it for a balk, which scored Luis Robert from third. And after struggling in the first, Cole was in total control and dominated the White Sox through six innings.
Like most of the White Sox games this year, there was plenty of bad pitching, bad at-bats, and, despite zero recorded errors, enough defensive miscues to give the Yankees extra chances to score.
There were some silver linings, though, for the fans of the Pale Hose. For one, Luis Robert extended his hit streak to 11 games, and generally looked good with a 2-for-4 night and a couple of runs scored.
And Gavin Sheets, in an attempt to make up for striking out with the bases loaded, went yard to knock Cole out of the game.
Last but not least, Tim Anderson put on a highlight-reel play from shortstop, which is well worth mentioning given his struggles this year.
Other than those highlights, it was the four-plus hours of pain you expected when you saw the lineup cards and pitching matchups pregame. The White Sox were outclassed, outplayed, and outmanaged from start to finish.
Nevertheless, they will try to steal a win tomorrow (ha!) with Dallas Keuchel (2-3, 6.86 ERA) facing off against Jordan Montgomery (0-1, 2.90 ERA). The game starts at 6:10 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago and WMVP 1000 AM.