GAME 48: After last night’s kick in the gonads and facing the specter of dropping to .500 and falling further behind the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees sorely needed a Phelps-like outing from Vidal Nuno today. The bullpen is razor thin and the offense is on vacation, so Nuno had little margin for error. The White Sox putting 3 runs on the board in the bottom of the first was the last thing the Yankees needed to see.
But Nuno settled down and pitched very well into the 8th inning, keeping the Yankees within reach. The only problem was the offense. The Yanks could not figure out Chicago starter John Danks, who scattered 3 hits over 8 innings and was never in trouble. The anemic hitting effort brings to mind last season’s injury-riddled squad, where if they were down 2 runs at any point in the game, it was essentially over. You get that feeling watching this team right now, and you did again today — until the 9th inning.
Ellsbury Sparks Offense
Danks gave way to White Sox closer Ronald Bellsario to begin the 9th inning and then things got interesting. Jacoby Ellsbury singled and stole second. Alfonso Soriano doubled him home. Yangervis Solarte followed with a single, plating Soriano. Kelly Johnson replaced Solarte on the base paths, and advanced to second on a walk to Ichiro Suzuki. Pinch hitter Brian McCann looped a single into center, scoring Johnson to tie the game at 3. Brendan Ryan grounded out to end the rally.
Dellin Betances pitched a perfect 9th striking out 2. Zach Putnam took the mound for Chicago in the 10th, and after getting the first two hitters, Ellsbury skied a home run to right center for a 4-3 lead.
David Robertson quickly put last night’s mistake behind him, but not without a little drama. The closer had crisp command of his curveball. After striking out the first two batters, Adam Eaton singled to center and stole second. Gordon Beckham struck out to end the game.
Here’s the box score and recap.
MEMORY LANE: A busy day in New York Yankees history. On May 24, 1930 Babe Ruth clubbed his 13th and 14th home runs of the season, one in each game of a double-header against the Philadelphia Athletics. The Yanks pounded the A’s that afternoon, 10-6 in the first game, 11-1 in the second. The Bambino racked up 7 RBI on the day … In 1946, Joe McCarthy quits as Yankees manager Bill Dickey replaces him … In 1979, Billy Martin issues a public apology to Reno sportswriter Ray Hagar, with whom he brawled last November. Hagar had filed suit for assault, leading to an out-of-court settlement. (Sources: Baseball-Reference and Today in Baseball History)