This is exactly how you would have drawn it up. The Yankees and Luis Severino have been struggling mightily, and Chris Sale has been cruising this season, so one would expect that the White Sox would take advantage of both of those facts. Well, they did. They won the first game of this three-game set 7-1, on the backs of Sale and their offense.
1. The Yankees entered the game hitting just .245/.325/.358 against left-handed pitching, so combine that with facing Sale and this is what one would expect. Sale completely mowed down this lineup, allowing just one run on six hits with six strikeouts. His one mistake was to Chase Headley, who crushed a fastball into the left field seats. It was just his second home run and extra-base hit of the year, and they came on back-to-back days. He is also now 6-for-12 against Sale. Baseball is weird. Sale retired 24 of 28 batters after the Headley home run — including 15 straight at one point — to notch the complete game. He’s good, guys.
2. The offense was clicking, and it was against a pitcher who is at risk of being sent back to Triple-A. The Sox started the scoring in the second after Brett Lawrie led off with a double and Alex Avila knocked him home with a double of how own with one out. Jose Abreu came up with the bases loaded after an Austin Jackson walk and Adam Eaton single, and hit a single that brought in two more.
3. The fatal blows were delivered in the following inning, and it was all with two outs: Avila singled and Jackson walked, then Eaton hit an RBI double after Aaron Hicks ran a terrible route in center field to allow the ball to go over his head. Then Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run moonshot, and Severino was out of the game. The bigger concern for the Yankees, however, is that the 22-year-old gripped his right arm, and now he’s going for an MRI. Yikes. Nonetheless, the White Sox took care of business against a struggling starter. Offenses that want to be above-average need to do that.
4. The offense didn’t hit a lick after the Rollins home run, as Nick Goody, Chasen Shreve, and Kirby Yates tossed six scoreless innings in relief, allowing just two hits and three walks. If there was a time for the Sox offense to go into cruise control, that would be the ideal time.
5. This was an easy victory, one that is welcome after the Sox dropped two of the three to Rangers. We knew going into this series that it would be Sale and Jose Quintana facing a struggling Yankees offense, so taking advantage of that is absolutely necessary if they want to solidify themselves as a top-tier ball club. They did just that. Quintana will go Saturday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. CT; he will take on Ivan Nova, who has a 4.34 ERA on the season.
Team record: 24-12
Lead Photo Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports