GAME 46: One helluva night on the South Side of Chicago. The Yankees ran into a buzz saw in Chris Sale, who was tossing a perfect game until Zoilo Almonte‘s single to center with 2 outs in the top of the 6th inning. David Phelps pitched his heart out in a much-needed 7 inning effort, but the offense had to wait out the pitch count on Sale to make a game of it. Alfredo Aceves took over in the 8th and allowed a 2-out Adam Dunn line drive single to right-center, scoring Gordon Beckham, who doubled off Aceves to start the inning. That run turned out to be the back-breaker, as the Yankees 9 inning rally fell short in the 3-2 final.
The Yanks’ chance to tie the game ended on a horrible third strike call on Alfonso Soriano from home plate umpire Tom Woodring — who was recently moved up from AAA ball. Phelps, now 1-1, took the tough-luck loss, but is proving his mettle as a starter in the Yankees rotation.
“When you have a guy like that, if he’s not leaving anything over the middle of the plate, you don’t have a chance. And we really didn’t tonight.”
— First baseman Mark Teixeira on White Sox starter Chris Sale.
Aside from the 5-game winning streak in early May, the Yanks are yet to truly hit on all cylinders. Seems only one or two guys heat up at the same time, and stranding runners in scoring position is killing them. There has not been an extra-base hit in like forever, and the heart of the order is either unavailable (Carlos Beltran) or scuffling — Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann especially.
With both Phelps and Vidal Nuno stepping up — and the emergence of Dellin Betances as a lights-out rally stopper, the Yankees have been thus far weathering the loss of CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, and Michael Pineda.
Here’s the box score and recap.
MEMORY LANE: On today’s date in 1961, Mickey Mantle hit a pitch from Kansas City’s Bill Fischer off the right-field facade at Yankee Stadium in an 8-7 victory over the A’s. (Source: Today In Baseball History)